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
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?"
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?