Job opportunities can be fickle, it can sometimes seem as though none are available for weeks, only for many to fall in your lap the moment you’re about to follow up with an opportunity. However, no matter how you pivot in your career, or how you try to ascend in responsibility and potential recompense, it’s important to be fully aware of what you’re getting into.
This is why many companies will often host recruitment events or be available to take questions from budding applications if necessary – especially in technical trades and certainly in trades where risks are common, such as the armed forces.
In this post, we’ll discuss five tips for researching a job before you pursue or ultimately accept one, allowing you to ensure that no matter what happens from that point on, you can honestly say that you did your best research, and made the best decision you could given all the context provided to you.
With this in mind, let’s consider where you’d even start to refine these principles, in the best way.
What are your daily duties?
What will you actually be expected to do each day? It can be healthy to ask an interviewer the kind of tasks a standard day might expect of you or to look into the job role at similar firms and see if any information is online.
It may be, for example, that a particular job role seems to be quite hands-on, but is in actual fact heavily on the side of administration and management. That might not deter you from the post, but it could suggest that your impression of the responsibilities assigned to you wasn’t entirely accurate.
In addition to this, it’s good to know what roles you may be responsible for, and what kind of teams you’d lead; including how you’ll be expected to lead them. Daily duties contribute to the lifestyle of your job, and this ultimately determines your job satisfaction and how long you can foresee yourself lasting in the role. Companies tend to prefer candidates who do everything to inform themselves of the tasks they may have to deal with, and for good reason.
What are the common pitfalls of working in this area?
All jobs have their rosy and their tiresome parts. Everything has advantages and disadvantages. Job satisfaction comes from genuinely enjoying the perks of the job and being able to tolerate the downsides. However, in order to make that decision, you have to take a clear-eyed look at the job in front of you.
So – what are the common pitfalls of working in the particular environment you hope to take part in? This is not an easy question to answer most of the time, but you can find it through online discussion forums, work shadowing, or reviews for certain employment positions.
For example, those going into counseling will have the chance to help a lot of people for the better, and no doubt come home with some incredible job satisfaction knowing that you’re providing an impartial space for people to share their worries. But of course, it can be tough to deal with hearing so many problems and so much heartbreak all day and finding a way to help clients in need of real help through their problems. This is especially true when you wish you could be more helpful than you feel, even if the service you provide is essential.
In some cases, jobs may also come with risks, and in these cases seeking legal counsel, like taking steps to find oilfield lawyers, can be helpful. Understanding the downsides but also the protections on offer helps you make a more informed decision.
When you can accept everything you’ll have to deal with, and understand the scope of the lifestyle and task, you’ll be in a healthier position to choose that forward path.
What are the growth opportunities?
Not all jobs have great growth opportunities. The term ‘dead man’s shoes’ can often refer to a place of work where the only time you’ll ever advance is if the person above you retires or leaves their role for whatever other reason. In some cases, this might not happen for some time. On top of that, if you occupy a role that is hard to replace, well, management is going to find it harder to replace you and is incentivized to keep you exactly where you are.
Growth opportunities can offer a spectrum, the baseline being an acceptable rate of pay increases over time, the top is the chance to take on responsibility, lead teams, and refine your professional development. It might be that the chances of being promoted in a particular role are low, but because of all the training you receive, selecting this path is more than worth it.
Who are the major players in this space?
Of course, it’s great to know which businesses, brands and even leading figureheads are present in this field, and how they might influence your time there. It will also potentially give you a gold standard to one day work for, like a top engineering firm, or perhaps work your way up in the production department of film shoots to grow into more prestigious projects.
A healthy understanding of the industry you hope to enter will help you move forward with more confidence, and that’s certainly a beneficial knowledge base to have.
What do previous employees say?
There are many rating agencies online where previous employees can speak to their experience with a brand and maybe even make suggestions about the good and bad parts of their job. This may help you get a feel for how competent a particular brand is at treating its people.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all reviews will reflect your experience, but if common issues are repeatedly brought up then you know this is something to watch out for. It might be, for example, that a job seems to be well paid, have great growth opportunities, and may help you thrive in your role, but many reviewers have suggested that management dismissed harassment complaints. It’s not hard to see how something like this can give you true insight into the position you might be preparing for, and warn you against making any rash decisions.
With this advice, you’re sure to research a job capably before you accept it.