New on the Job
You’d written a killer resume guaranteed not just to get you noticed, but make you shine. Your cover letter was on point. Your interview outfit screamed ‘professional and perfect for this position.’ The interview process? Oh, yeah! You knocked it out of the ball park with the first one and then rounded the bases for the home run with the second interview. You ensured with every move you made that your prospective employer knew you were the one they needed to hire. You were flawless and now they’ve made you an offer. You should jump on it immediately, right? Eh, maybe.
Before You Sign
Here’s the rub: you’ve demonstrated that you’re perfect for them, but are they perfect for you? When you research a job before applying, part of your due diligence should always include your investigation as to whether the company is a good fit for you. It’s not enough that you’re perfect for the job, the reverse has to be true also or it’s not truly a perfect fit. Don’t stop at salary requirements, either. You need to delve into some of the intangibles, too. What is the workplace culture like? If you’re a person who needs order, a relaxed go-with-the-flow kind of environment isn’t going to work for you. Ask about internal promotions, opportunities to cross-train, and in-house mentoring programs, as well. If you know someone who works there already, see if you can speak to them off the record about things like the workplace culture, any unofficial ‘rules’ of the job and whether or not they’d recommend working there to their best friend.
Your Best Foot Forward
It’s not enough to do your job well, you also need to be able to get along with the people in your working environment. You don’t need to find your new life-long best friend at your new job, but you need to be friendly and approachable right from the very beginning. You’ll need to find out who’s the best person to go to with questions and what differs about the actual job from the interview information. Spend some time getting to know your new co-workers, too. Asking generic, safe questions about their personal lives helps people believe that you care about them beyond just what they can do for you. If they believe that, they’ll be more likely to think positively about you and more likely to help you when you need it.
The perfect job is the balance of you being a great fit for the company and the company being a great fit for you.