Across the country, there have been celebrations honoring graduates from all levels of education. Some may feel a relief; an understanding that their education is complete, learning is over. This could not be further from the truth. With today’s rapid changes in technology, including hardware, software, devices and so on, it is more important than ever to continue learning throughout your professional life. New skills will need to be added to our arsenal of ability as well. While college is considered to be the signal that one is prepared for the real world, in order to maintain it, we need to do whatever it takes to stay on top.
It is never safe to assume that we are done with education because it truly never ends. We are always going to need to learn new topics in order to stay on top of our industry and refine skills. Learning can be as simple as reading industry publications, practicing current skills (such as typing), taking an online course, reading related topic books to taking courses toward an advanced degree.
We must understand that we are all students in life and we need to keep learning in order to remain useful in the economy today. This advice is not only useful for finding a job and holding it, it’s also useful for personal development. We live in a world where we are taught in a structured environment, and the problems that we face are becoming less and less structured. Teaching yourself to learn and learn constantly for personal and professional development can help you succeed in the professional world.
As you job hunt and search for your next career opportunity, you may be asking yourself, “Is this position the right fit for me?” Beyond the company, the salary and your expectations, will the grass be as green as you think it is? How can you make sure you are taking the next BEST step for your career?
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, there are two types of fitness for an employee entering a new organization: Person-Job Fit and Person-Organization Fit.
This concept suggests that a person must have certain core competencies for a particular position in order to perform the job to a satisfactory level. Often times when candidates look at job postings, they get attracted to the company name and the job title without taking an in-depth look at the core competencies required for the position. In most job descriptions, there are two types of competencies: essentials and desirables. The job the hiring company is seeking to fill cannot be performed without the essential competencies and the desirable competencies can be used to differentiate candidates. If the organization allows, ask if it would be possible to job shadow or ask someone you know who does a similar job to help validate whether you’d be a good fit for the position. To set yourself up for the maximum chance for success, make sure you have the Essential AND Desirable core competencies. To gauge whether you’d be a good fit, take an honest look at your values, personality, expectations, interests, goals, abilities, knowledge to see how they stack up before applying for a position.
Are you a good fit for the COMPANY and not just the position? Taking a look at your own personality and values and seeing how they line up against the company’s overall mission and operating philosophy is an important step to getting your foot in the right door and not just any door. When applying and/or interviewing for a position, research the company website and find out their organizational values and philosophy towards employees. Ask meaningful questions on the management style and opportunities for advancement within the company. Remember, you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you.
Before you begin assessing these levels of fitness for an opportunity, take some time and find out what’s important to you professionally. Make a list of five to ten key characteristics that are important to you and objectively rate them against a job you are considering. You can use the following list of questions to help get you started:
- What salary are you expecting?
- What’s your true passion?
- Will you enjoy the work?
- Will the job provide maximum satisfaction?
- Is the company close to family?
- Will the work be in demand in the future?
- Is there advancement opportunities?
Finding your dream job can be challenging and sometimes even unrealistic. But if you take the time to logically evaluate an opportunity before jumping in, your chances of success will be greatly increased!
Source: A strategy for evaluating