How do you know if you’re a good fit for a employer or a program or if an employer or program is a good fit for you? Here are a couple of things to consider:
- Culture: Think back to all the encounters you have had with the potential program or employer. Think about the e-mail correspondence. Think about how you felt at the interview—not how you did, not how your performance was evaluated. Also, think about how everyone else was acting during the event. Did you like the responses? Did you feel uncomfortable? If you judged them on their performance, what grade would they get? Also, keep in mind that office visits can give you further information if the organization is a good fit or not—go to office visits to help you decide.
- Priorities: Part of finding the right fit is knowing your own priorities. Create a priority list before the recruiting process even begins. Write down what matters to you: Flexible schedule? Location? Team culture? Open to ideas? Future career opportunities? Rank them. Match the ranking against what you think the job can offer you. Also, be mindful of what you are doing now that affects your future career transitions.
- Take an Inventory: A right attitude can be the first step in being part of the good fit. Do you have a habit of talking about what irks you to anyone that will listen? If so, this could easily disrupt a team dynamic and distract from the work you do. Consider what you can give before you judge what you get.
- Ask Real Questions: You have an opportunity during interviews and office visits to get as much information as you can before having to make a decision. Do you care about the management style of your direct supervisor? Do you want to know how work is evaluated in the organization? Ask! Many times your authentic questions show your sincerity and real commitment to the potential program or employer. And guess what? That is what makes you a good fit!
Dawn Shaw is a career consultant in MPA Career Services at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin.
Courtesy of the National Association for Colleges and Employers.