How to Know if a Job Opportunity is a Good Fit
Maybe it’s the Virgo in us, but we love loveeeeee to preemptively work through a problem that doesn’t yet exist. When it comes to job hunting, we often find ourselves wondering if working at that business will be one of the best things that have ever happened to us or a life lesson we’ll learn way too late. And this is all before we even send in an application.
Here are a couple of tips that we pass along to you:
Figure out what you want, assess how long it’ll take to get it, decide if the sacrifices are worth it
It’s not the most poignant or poetic tip, but we heard it when we needed to, and it resonated. Your most valuable asset is your time, so spend it wisely. That salaried position you’ve been offered after years of freelancing? Sure, it comes with a lower salary than desired, but you’ll get managerial experience and reviews say that the people are chill to work with. Try to negotiate benefits (stock options, PTO, etc), determine roughly how long you’d be willing to stay before leaving, and accept the position.
Figure out the three things that are important for you to have at your new job and use that as your barometer when deciding whether to accept or decline.
Our three are: kind coworkers, growth potential, and salary. We have yet to get all three at once and often settle for just two, but this has helped us make decisions faster. Determine your three and don’t settle without cause.
We recognize that people and experiences are different so there’s no one rule that works for everyone. There are folks who may actually love an open floor plan and be ok with a company that doesn’t do a 401K match. We encourage research prior to starting or even applying for a new job. Try using the reviews on Glassdoor and FIELD (because it’s by POC, for POC) to get a better sense of what it’s like to work at a particular company. You can also ask around because chances are someone knows someone who has worked there before or has heard about an Instagram account sharing stories of the behind the scenes.
Bonus: Already at a job at a job and trying to get a raise? You make the biggest salary jumps by switching companies, not roles within a company.
We don’t recommend frequent company jumping, but if your reasonable requests for a raise are going unheard, it’s time to look elsewhere. How to ask for a raise? To start, research the average salary for your position in your area. That will give you a concrete “reasonable” figure to pitch. Next, put it in writing. Write a statement in which you ask for a raise and then bullet point your contributions to the company in the time you were there AND in the last six months. Sit down with your supervisor and talk to them. Pass them a hardcopy. After the conversation, send an email recapping the verbal conversation and attach that same statement as a PDF (so they can’t say they never got it/ lost it). In the meantime, start looking for another job and be prepared to leave in X time if your request gets denied. If the company can’t see your value when it’s in black and white, they are never going to.