The average worker spends about 15% of their entire life working - that's over 30% of the hours between the ages of 20 and 65. Whatever stage you find yourself at in your career, choosing the right company or organisation to work for can seem like a daunting proposition.
The process of finding your dream employers begins with having a strong understanding of what it is you actually want your next job to look like and then finding an organisation that fits the profile. Here are some of the things you should be asking yourself as you begin to evaluate the potential options:
Naturally your performance at work will be much higher if you're passionate about what you're actually doing day-to-day. While two employers may advertise for the same position or job title, the look and feel of each job will often vary dramatically.
Look at who the firm's clients are; dig deeper into the products and services they offer – could you see yourself being a passionate advocate of these? What will your responsibilities actually be day-to-day? What interesting challenges will you face?
The working hours an employer offers are important to review. Employers who offer flexible hours can be greatly beneficial to both the employee's professional and private life. A less rigid job structure gives you the ability to work at times of the day when you are most productive and also allows more opportunities in your personal life.
What clothes make you feel most comfortable? What type of setting do you work best in? These may seem like superficial considerations, but numerous studies have suggested links between these factors and a person's state of mind. It's important to assess whether the employer offers the right working environment for you to flourish.
Values aren't always at the top of a candidate's agenda when it comes to sourcing potential employers, but it's important that you don't end up compromising on ethical considerations that are important to you. What are the values that you hold most dear – is it enough for your employer to respect these or do they need to be actively involved in this space? This alignment of values and ethics can set a great foundation for a working relationship.
Your professional development is obviously a key priority and the opportunities you have in this space will ultimately shape your long-term future within an organisation. A recent study shows that 32% of professionals felt professional growth opportunities to be the main motivating factor in committing to a particular employer. Researching the company and speaking to people will help you determine whether or not they have the ability to help you learn new skills and grow professionally.
Finding the perfect employer means first knowing who you are and what you want. The better informed you are about your needs and priorities, the better placed you'll be to recognise the right situation when it appears. So try doing some career assessments on your motivations, temperament and workplace culture preferences, for example.