Here’s something they teach you in college: Finding a job is important. Here’s something they don’t teach you: finding the right job is even more so.
For many of us, graduating from college heading into the working world looks something like this: You spend a few months (or more than a few) interning for little or no money at a place that doesn’t feel quite right, but due to the incredibly scarce job opportunities out there, you accept their full-time offer because, well, what choice do you really have?
Sound familiar? It probably does, especially if you are trying to break into fashion, an industry that continues to uphold the myth that any job in the field is a good one, as long as you have a foot in the door. But we talked to a hiring expert—Lauren Gohde, the director of Transformation and Culture at Philips Electronics—a huge company that’s constantly hiring (they also happen to own 3D printing company Shapeways!)—who says that’s just not true. “We’re at work more hours than we are any place else,” Gohde said. “It’s more important than ever to find your fit.”
Gohde sat down with StyleCaster and shared 5 key pieces of advice to help answer the age-old question “what job is right for me?”
1. Identify what you want—and value—in a job.
Take a look at yourself and see what your core values are. Get a good sense of these values (for example, creativity, teamwork, or integrity) and make sure the employer you’re seeking has a culture and environment that’s a good fit for you. The actual work is important, but so is the company’s culture. Are you at home in a loose start-up environment, or do you tend to do better in a more corporate company? These are things to consider when seeking a job.
2. Look back on former experiences as an education in yourself.
Ask yourself: Have I ever been in a role that I wasn’t happy in and why? How did you feel? Those questions will help pin down your feelings, your happiness, your performance, and will educate your job choices.
3. Utilize all the resources you have to learn about potential employers.
When you’re thinking about joining a company, do all the research you can to triple-check it’s a good fit. Go to the website, speak to a mentor, and try to connect with current employees for the real scoop.
4. During the interview process, be honest and forthcoming.
Really be honest and transparent about what it is you’re passionate about. Say, “This is a passion of mine, and I would love to be able to bring that into the office with you.” Make sure that this is a part of your dialogue with a potential manager and your co-workers, and stress if there is anything happening in the local community that you think should really become a part of that culture. This way, you’re immediately beginning to make that marrying happen, instead of waiting for permission that it’s okay to bring your passion to work with you.
5.. Above all, don’t sell yourself short.
Don’t take a job just for finding a job’s sake. Make it a win-win for yourself, and for your future employers by holding out for something that’ll be right for you both.