How to choose an employer when developing your career plan

Written by on September 5, 2017

Choosing the right employer is a “critical” decision when you are designing your career outlook and assessing your geographical market for opportunities.  It is a process that can have devastating results if the wrong decision is made.  You must be strategic in your approach and commit time to conducting your due diligence or research before putting your job seeking plan together.

Try your best to get to know your potential employers before you target them.  Too many professionals have left assignments disappointed and over all deflated about their experience with an employer who didn’t meet their employment expectations.

Making the wrong decision can have the following effects on your career:

  • You leave the company under less than honorable terms. (Biggest issue to worry about because it could affects your references)
  • Develop a negative attitude and fear of going all out to shine as a workforce professional.
  • You’ll be constantly looking for the next best thing and not focusing on being your best.
  • Your bad experience will leave a professional scar that can shorten your professional growth.
  • Can develop a bad attitude toward working for other companies.
  • You will not see the company as a conduit for success, but only as a paycheck.
  • And you will always look for something bad to happen instead of having a positive outlook.

Today, too many professionals have made career ending decisions because the organization chosen was “NOT” a good fit for them professionally.  “All job opportunities are not good job opportunities”.  Don’t let a down economy lead you in to a bad working scenario that can stain your reputation.

I have developed some organizational areas to consider when choosing your next employer.

  • Are they a start-up or very Small Business (SB)?  It takes a special professional to excel within a start-up environment.  Most small businesses are very lean and practicing lean methodologies within the operation.  SB’s are still the fabric of America.  Many of them are the shining stars of a downed economy, but most have a tough time making it through without making many sacrifices.  Make sure you have the expertise and abilities to work within a system that may not have all the support resources available to you.  Also, make sure you know and fully understand their target markets, resources and financial status before you accept the offer.
  • Have good leadership & Management.  Inquire about the leaders within the company.  Where they worked, experience leading others and successes in the industry.  Big or small, leadership can offer a lot to the employees.  Good leadership can expand your industry knowledge, offer opportunities to grow professionally and ultimately advance your career internally or externally.
  • Have good communication channels.  Great companies have the ability to communicate up and down the internal communication channels.  This falls within the leadership of the company as well.  Leaders must be able to fluently transfer knowledge and information to its staff and staff must be able to feel comfortable to do the same.
  • Understand their MVV (Mission, Vision and Values).  Know the company direction.  Get a feel for what matters most to the organization.  Is it all about money, or do they actually have a strategic plan that fits your value system.
  • Career Development initiatives.  Will the organization train you to become a valued added resource, or do they only want your skills to get them through the existing projects.
  • Financial stability.  Can they afford to pay you for your services?  Do they have the resources to grow the organization without straining the company.  Have they ever been in financial trouble or publicly identified as a dead beat company.
  • Are they too big for your expertise?  Some professionals don’t work well in fortune 50 or bigger firms.  They get lost in the numbers and loose focus on career development.  Big organizations are well oiled machines that have layers of structure and complex communication channels.  Your version of growth may or may not match the big business version of career growth.  Candidates who select big business can also get complacent or fail to focus on their career map because it doesn’t fit within the organizational vision.  Seek mid-cap companies if your career plan requires flexibility or aggressive growth to succeed.
  • Consider starting your own company.  In some career maps, you may be required to have extensive experience with the total operation, leadership or management.  Your transition may be a good time to make the plunge as an entrepreneur.  Test the waters to see if you are financially stable enough to give it a go.  Owning a company, developing & selling your product service and managing your own personnel is the best experience you can have as a professional.  If you are not successful as an entrepreneur and required to go back in to the workforce, you will have expertise that only business owners possess.  That will be valuable to any employer when looking for personnel to take their company to the next level.