Finding The Right Job Fit As You Restart Your Career
Finding the right fit for you job is critical, especially if you are a career re-starter. In fact, we all know how important it is to find the right fit – with your friends, your job, even your clothes, and definitely your shoes!
When the fit isn’t right, it causes friction. If you’ve ever been in a job that turned out to be the wrong fit, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
You Will Find Where You Fit
Recently I had a job interview that I was excited about. When it was over, I picked up my phone and saw a message from the Calm app (I really ❤️ the Calm app!) that said “You will find where you fit.”
So while I definitely cannot take credit for this little nugget of wisdom, I am sharing it with you as a reminder of how important it is to find the job and the company that feels right to you.
Let’s stop trying to fit ourselves into someone else’s mold and start being ourselves all the time. Let’s interview and be our best selves, and also be honest about the environment in which we will do our best work. This is how we land in a situation where we can thrive, do great work, and be appreciated for our unique gifts.
If it’s not the right fit, we’re not going to live up to our full potential.
As I go through my own job search, “you will find where you fit” has become a sort of mantra for me. It’s reminding me that not every job and company are right for me. But it also reminds me that the right fit is out there, and I know I can find it.
How To Find The Right Job Fit
There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of finding the right job fit for you.
Know What You Need
If you’re going to find the right job fit, you must be able to articulate what makes a good fit for you. This is going to be different for everyone, so spend the time to ask yourself a few questions that will nail down what you want and need in a job. Journal your answers to these prompts so you can refer back to it throughout your job search.
Here are a few thought questions to get you started on finding the right job fit:
- What is the work environment in which I can do my best work?
- Do I want to be in an office full-time? A few days a week? Or do I need a work from home arrangement?
- What is my ideal manager like? How could they work with me to bring out my best?
- How would I prefer to interact with my teammates?
- Am I most productive when I can work solo or do I thrive in a collaborative environment?
- Do I enjoy a competitive work environment?
- Am I willing to take risks at work such as taking on a big project, trying something new, or speaking up to propose a new process?
Look For The Clues That The Job Is The Right Fit
Once you are clear on the environment you need to thrive, you can look for clues that indicate a job is a good fit for you in job descriptions and on company Careers pages.
If you know you want a collaborative environment and the job description talks about competing for sales awards or recognition, you may want to move on. Likewise, if you are risk-averse in a work setting and the company places a high value on innovation and pushing the envelope with new ways of doing things, this is going to be a mismatch for you.
Use Available Resources
Check websites like Glassdoor.com for company reviews to get a feel for a company’s culture. Take these with a grain of salt, but also know that a large amount of reviews saying the same thing is a signal that there might be some truth there.
Tap into your own network by telling friends what type of job and environment you are looking for. People you are friendly with might share your same values and give you an inside scoop on a great workplace they know of. Finding the right job fit gets easier when you can talk to people about their work environment to discover what it’s really like to work there. Check out our Networking 101 if you need tips on this.
Ask the Questions To Find The Right Job Fit
When you are interviewing for jobs, have a list of questions that will help you determine if the culture and workplace expectations will be the right fit for you.
Adapt these questions to ask about your best-fit environment:
- How is failure handled here? Are people rewarded for trying new things, even if they don’t always succeed?
- What is the expectation for working in-office versus remote?
- What is the hiring manager’s management style?
- Has her team experienced much turnover during the last year?
- How does this team work together? How do they work with other teams in the organization? Can you give me an example of a recent team collaboration?
You know what a good fit feels like, so pay attention to the signals you are getting in the interview. Does the manager seem like someone you could productively work for? Are people happy to work at this company? Does the mission resonate with you?
Every decision we make involves some kind of a trade-off. Be conscious of the trade-off you are making when you evaluate a job opportunity and check in with your gut to make sure it’s right for you.
I hope you find where you fit and love it there!
If you need more tips on returning to work after a career break, check out our Job Search Greatest Hits.