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Home » Career Resource Articles » If the Shoe Fits�Take the Job!

If the Shoe Fits�Take the Job!

Expert Suggestions on Preparation for Computer Based CAT-09

If the Shoe Fits�Take the Job!

- by Kathleen A. Davis

If you are planning to graduate from college in this spring, chances are you have been interviewing at your campus career center during the last few weeks. Many of you are getting ready to go on second interviews; maybe you have even received an offer or two. Soon you will face the toughest decision you have made since deciding where to go to college: which job should you take? Take the one with the best "fit"!

To figure out whether there is a good "fit" between you and the job, you have to ask yourself some basic questions about yourself and your prospective employer. The fit depends on how well the jobs meets your needs and how well your skills and abilities meet the employer�s needs. The employer will make a decision and extend an offer to you: now it is time for you to make your decision.

Make a list � write out the factors that are important to you in a job. Consider the ten factors listed below and then add or subtract from your own list. Examine each factor through the questions listed � and then ask "does this job fit me?"

  1. Projects: what kinds of projects will you work on? Will you work on one project at a time, or multiple projects? Are the projects long term or short term? Will you work on a project long enough to see the end result? Is it important to you to be able to see the project as a whole, including the result? Or will you be content to do the work without a big picture understanding?

  2. Clients: will you work with internal and/or external clients? What kind of exposure will you get to the end user of the project? Is it important to you to meet the client or not? To have continuing contact with the client?

  3. Training: what kind of training will you get from the employer to do the job? What kind of training will you get to stay current in your area of interest? Are the answers to these two questions different? Does it matter to you if the answers are different?

  4. Work Environment: How formal or informal is the environment? Hectic, fast paced? Will you have the opportunity to have flex time, or to tele-commute? How many hours a week does the employer expect you to work? Will you have the freedom to wear casual clothes? What is a typical day like at the company you are considering?

  5. Travel: Does the job involve travel? How frequently? If you are expected to travel every week, what will the impact be on your family? Friends? How do you feel about the possibility of only being home on weekends? How well do you function when your daily routine is disrupted � as it would be if you are living out of a hotel room?

  6. Managerial Style: How much freedom will you have to plan and organize your own work? How structured is your potential new job? Does the degree of structure feel comfortable to you? Will you get the support from your manager that you need?

  7. Career Path: What position(s) can you move to next? How long do new hires generally stay in the same job? How quickly do people get promoted? Are mentors available?

  8. Recognition and Rewards: What kind of feedback can you expect from your new manager? Is there a formal performance appraisal system? How often will you be reviewed? What do you need to do to get a raise? How often will you have the opportunity to get a raise? What other ways does the employer reward its people?

  9. Benefits: What kind of health insurance coverage does the employer have? How much vacation and /or sick time are you eligible for? If you do not use the time by the end of the year, will the employer let you carry it over to the next year? Will the employer give you the option to "sell it back" in exchange for cash?

  10. Salary: Is the salary competitive when you look at other jobs you are considering? If the salary is lower than you might like, are there trade offs such as an employee stock purchase plan? A higher sign on bonus?

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