What to Look For When Choosing Your Next Company

Usually when you start out looking for your next position we tend to worry more about the annual salary, benefits, vacation days, traveling or the drive to and from work; however, while all of these things are important there are a few more components of a company that could make or break your new position regardless of the glamorous (or not so glamorous) salary, benefits, and perks.

Here are few things to look out for beyond the stereotypical items listed above.

First, what does the new company offer? Meaning what is it they are selling, how do they generate revenue and bring in the money to actually pay your salary.  If you are currently unemployed a job in general could be a great thing regardless of what they sell, but a job can be very temporary if you take the wrong one and you will quickly find yourself back out on the search engines looking for the next best thing. Take some time to look into what the company is offering, what products and services they are selling and see how aligned you are with the offer. Are you passionate about it, skilled at it, do you know a lot about it or at least have a desire to?  While this may sound basic, believing in and loving what your company does will help you move up the ranks faster. Start off on the right foot and assess whether your new potential company and you truly are the right fit.

What’s their mission?  Most companies have a mission statement and while they vary in their use and implementation of it, it will still give you a good idea of what the company values.  If you know your values you can easily see how you and the new company may or may not agree on how situations are handled. Understanding the company’s mission statement helps to understand the foundation upon in which the company was built, and  hopefully you can add to their mission and help share their message as well.

How’s the company culture? The culture of a company varies greatly from one to another. Some offices are fun and creative while others are more serious and independent. While culture is hard to ascertain without being enmeshed in it, ask as many questions as you can about the office environment and the energy of the employees. You might find that some company cultures do not fit with your style and personality, leaving for a very unhappy employee.

How’s the turnover rate? If you want a position and a company in which you can grow and advance, take a look at the turnover rate of the company. Unfortunately, some companies have a “burn and turn” mentality – where they hire and fire fast just to fill the positions without thinking about the long term. To these companies it is more important that the have someone (or anyone rather) to do a job than having the right person at all.  They simply burn through new hires leaving a constant rotating door in the human resources office. If a company’s turnover rate is extremely high, it’s okay to question what’s going on within the company culture to create this and which leads us to the last thing to consider.  

How does the company feel about their employees?  While not all companies honor creativity and independent thinking like Pixar where employees ride around on skateboards, have a movie theater, café’s and other spaces that encourage creativity, it does show you how Pixar feels about their employees. Not all companies can afford the luxury of providing high class services and perks to their employees, but they can value them enough to think about their employees as a part of their “customers.” When employees are happier they perform better and treat customers better which in turn leads to higher revenue and greater profits for the business. Take a look at what, if anything, your new potential company does for its employees.

Overall, be sure to check out “all” of the company before deciding to take a new position. You want to know that you fit in and they fit with you and your desires as well.  You may not get all the perks and benefits that you want, but taking a smaller salary to have a great company culture, and an employer who really cares about you could mean all the difference in the world when it comes to waking up every day and loving your job!



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