Finding the right workplace is more important than finding the right position. Know the questions to ask to find the perfect place to work.
It’s hard enough finding a job in today’s economy, but finding the right job for you can be even harder. It’s rare to find that job immediately, particularly for members of GenY facing competition for entry-level jobs.
If you haven’t found that job yet, you’re probably faced with the question: Is it more important to find a good position at a company that’s wrong for you, or a position that isn’t right at the perfect company?
If it’s a company that appreciates your hard work, reflects your values and rewards success, take the latter option. In the long run, you’ll have more opportunities to develop your career.
For GenY, picking the right workplace is often more important than the position itself. (Click here to tweet this thought.) Picking the wrong company can breed dissatisfaction and restlessness, even if you like your job title. As a Millennial, you might take a more holistic look at your work environment and how it fits into your life.
But finding the right company is harder than you think and can require asking gutsy interview questions. Here are five questions you should be asking companies to help you figure out if they’re a good fit for you:
1. What do you think of my generation?
If your boss believes the bad press about GenY (they’re lazy, self-centered and narcissistic), there’s a good chance they won’t see you as an important asset. Find a workplace that sees GenY as an integral part of their growth strategy.
There are employers who realize GenY has had the valuable experience of navigating technological paradigm shifts — from the emergence of the Internet and social media to the transition to mobile platforms and the explosion of connected devices.
Your experiences have made you especially adept at thriving in the digital economy, and you deserve an employer who realizes that.
2. How do you approach work and community involvement?
Punching in and punching out isn’t enough for someone who’s community-minded and world-conscious. While making money keeps the doors open, it’s important for employers to realize they need to do more.
What’s your prospective employer doing to make the community and world a better place? Look for a company that doesn’t just pay lip service to giving back. How well is it engaged in charities and community organizations? What volunteer opportunities does it encourage?
3. Do you have a Millennial in your upper-management team?
If the only Millennials you see when you interview at a company are getting coffee or gophering for sandwiches, this is a bad sign. Look for a company with a young vibrant workforce and management that gives GenY big challenges and titles like VP, COO or CEO, not Assistant to the Assistant to the Assistant Regional Manager.
A company that believes in the potential of your generation will have your generation leading their teams and divisions.
4. Is there an office community, and how do you support it?
Your job will be a big part of your life. You want to excel and work hard to make yourself indispensable to the team. But you don’t want to be in this alone, and a vibrant work community is important to liking your job, feeling part of a driven group and being happy.
What is the company doing to make work a community? What events, potlucks, field trips, ugly sweater days and coaching or mentoring programs do they have?
5. Will I have the opportunity to advance and make money?
As much as we may not like to admit it, making money plays a big role in our decision about where to work. And even if you don’t care about it now, someday you may have a mortgage, medical bills or a family that’ll require money. Make sure there’s a path for you to advance and make enough money to have what you want.
Many prospective employers want to hear this — they need to keep the revenue coming in to keep the doors open, and your desire to make money shows your drive to succeed.
It’s always hard to get everything you want from a job, but hopefully these pointers help you find the best job and fit for you. Remember to stay humble, but also realize that you’re a valuable commodity and you should be working for employers who recognize it.
Bobby Campbell is a successful entrepreneur with a deep understanding of how to leverage disruptive technology to drive business growth. He’s the founder of several leading digital media companies, including AdKarma and Division D. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.