You have always known this is coming. Some of us put it under the rug until it can no longer fit, some face it head on, some are simply overwhelmed, some just understand it. When it comes time to select a job, no matter if you are 16 or 35, you need to set a standard for yourself. An understanding of criteria set by you, yourself is just as important as applying for the job in question. Now all you need to understand is what you should come prepared with and what you should expect from the job you want.
When considering what you want with a job, there are an endless amount of questions you can ask yourself, but there are some that need to always be answered. Let us start with a really important one: is this an environment you can thrive in? Many people have their own personal workflow which helps them complete their assigned tasks. Although it is growing more popular in the American office, you are still going to run into management styles that are not as loose with how they allow you to complete work. When in the process of looking for a job, you need to be blunt and honest with yourself and decide whether you can work the way someone wants you to work or if you need an environment that will allow you to choose how to make it to points A to B.
Now for the big elephant in the room, how much do you expect your salary to be? Many employers will ask you this when you first sign up for the job, and even though it may not be as elastic as some would want it to be, you need to sit down and budget yourself to see what you need to be making. If you need a certain amount of money to stay afloat every month, you need to ensure that your paycheck will cover all expenses before you move on to it. Once you have ensured that your pay will cover everything you need, now you can consider your wants. Do you want to travel on your time off? Buy the newest phone for that year? Eat out? These things need to be considered as well. And even though with a strong budget you can achieve certain goals, nothing will help it more than simply making more money.
Another great question you need to ask yourself is what are your passions? What do you enjoy? Of course you need to strive for a job that will allow you to use your skill set, but one consideration many people ignore is if they enjoy what they are doing. Most of us should be familiar with the phrase “if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This is something that we need to consider more, especially in the era we live in now. We live in a very comfortable time of the world’s history, which brings luxuries such as choosing a career path you will honestly enjoy, so take advantage.
One final question to consider is, where do you see yourself in the future? Take into consideration short and long term goals. Think of what you expect after a year, five, ten, fifteen, years from now. When focusing on a year think of how you grew in your position, what you learned, the things you messed up on, the moments and work that you enjoyed. Strive for greatness and do not settle for less when thinking about your year in reflection, point out your great moments, but sit on what you can grow on. No one is perfect, no one will ever be, you do have room to grow, so keep an eye out for how you can be better. Then when you start thinking long term, take more than work into consideration, bring your personal life into it. If you start working fresh out of college, you’ll be twenty-one, twenty-two, maybe twenty-three, your life is just starting then. But when you think five or ten years from then, you have some huge milestones that may come knocking on your front door. You may get married, you may have kids, you may even have tragedy come for you faster than others. On top of the milestones, consider your mental health. Are you happy? How could you do things better? Did you make the correct decisions? One concept that is always harder to accept is that we can never go back. What’s happened has happened, but we can learn from that. Adapt your situation from your reflections. Make your losses wins by coming back stronger.
So why create a personal set of rules for yourself before applying for a job? To set a personal standard for yourself. If you carve out what you expect, then the decisions you make will come involuntarily. You know what you expect out of yourself and the institution you will bring your talents to. By understanding what to bring to the table and what to expect from the place you will work, you will only make yourself a better worker.