Why job can be like marriage

April 20, 2008
Filed under: Coach's Corner — Tags: , — jonimar @ 5:00 pm

Q: I interview for jobs that look great until I get into them and usually end up hating them within a year. How can I ensure I make the right choice this time?

A: Couples tend to spend more effort on the wedding than they do on the marriage. Similarly, candidates can get side-tracked by the thrill of landing the job without considering the day-to-day role.

Take an honest inventory of what tasks you love to do, the type of environment you thrive in, and the career goals you are aiming for. Then search for organizations that meet your criteria.

Many candidates just focus on their role; however, a company’s culture influences everything it does.

Research the company’s business practices, industry reputation and track record. Its website, marketing collateral, and annual report provide insight into its attitude, values and work style. Get firsthand information from past or current employees about what it’s like to work there. Ask suppliers or customers for their perceptions and experiences.

The interview contains a wealth of information for the astute candidate. The questions indicate what’s important and how employees are evaluated. Before leaving the session, ask questions to determine how well you fit together. For example, what characteristics do they value most? What investment will they make in your professional development? How do they support work-life balance?

At the short-list stage, ask more specific questions about the expectations and work style of your prospective supervisor, team and role. A job is like a marriage. Short-sighted choices that leads to divorce can be costly.

Originally printed in The Province on April 20, 2008.


One Response to “Why job can be like marriage”

  1. Elisabeth Slanke-Meetoos on September 23rd, 2009 9:10 pm

    Brilliant article! So simple and convincing. An advice many would benefit from: employers, employees and those who plan on having a relationship. Really, is it the role “I” want or the daily tasks and the culture of the enterprise/the family?

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