by Wayne John
When we first entered the workforce, many of us didn’t have a lot of options. We just needed to either get a job or get started on some kind of a career after college or trade school. Bills were coming in and we didn’t have the luxury of time to do the due diligence and research of what was going to be the best option decades later.
Before the internet, research was done in person, in libraries, and by word of mouth. It actually took effort to investigate companies and their reputations. Now, a few clicks of the mouse and one can find just about anything positive or negative about a company. Blogs, websites dedicated to rating companies (and bosses); along with instant tweets and posts are a part of our everyday existence.
As jobs are (slowly) starting to become more readily available in our industry, potential employees are doing their research to determine the best moves for their careers. There is a word that is becoming increasingly popular with job-seekers; and that word is ‘options’. Good people can mostly determine their own fate. They no longer ‘need’ to settle for a position in which it isn’t ‘right’.
Exploring companies and their management teams are now commonplace with prospective applicants. Again, with the wealth of information out there for the taking, it is irresponsible and probably foolish if one doesn’t do their best to learn as much about a company before pursuing them.
The article title is two-fold: ‘Who do you want to work for?’ This could be a specific company or a targeted manager with a great reputation or history of making things happen for their teams. Next comes ‘Why do you want to work for them?’ The short but complex answer is what a company can do for YOU now and in the future. You already know what YOU can bring but does it make sense? Does the company have a reputation of quickly promoting their top performers into a role that you want? Or is there a history of slow yet steady progress?
The major factor of course is time. While no company can dismiss an applicant based upon age, a potential employee is the only one to take into account their own age, where they are in their career and how much time (honestly and realistically) that they need to work (or until the lottery kicks in). The vantage point from the 25 year old is much different from the 45 year old; and therefore much more critical to the 55+ age bracket.
Leaving a stagnant job for one that has the prospect of more glory is always a strong option. But what about leaving a large company for a smaller one? Maybe being a part of an organization in which decisions can be made immediately is more appealing than one in which it takes weeks or months to arrive at a conclusion. A smaller company will allow their employees to have a much greater and noticeable impact. People can sometimes get lost in huge companies where it is sometimes difficult to get noticed; unless that is the goal!
The multi-billion dollar companies are very attractive for many reasons; both economic (wages, pensions, etc.) and multiple career growth opportunities. But the lesser-known companies typically allow their team to remain under the radar; all while meeting and exceeding reasonable goals. And besides; isn’t it always more fun to take away a large order from the ‘big guys’?
Those with the ‘fire in the belly’ will ultimately choose a company in which compensation, career growth and visibility all go hand in hand. It may take time but a little patience will serve up its rewards. (The writer, Wayne John, is CEO of Electrical Career Specialists, Inc. ECS is a specialized staffing and recruiting firm exclusive to the electrical wholesale distribution community. www.ecs.jobs, email@example.com, 888-474-4327).