Duke MMS Student Blog
Personal Job Search: Finding the Right Fit
There are many factors that go into a job hunt, and looking for a job is often a painful and tedious task that requires great patience. It’s important to find a job that meets your needs as an employee and as a person. It’s sometimes tough to find that match, but it’s out there somewhere. So I thought I would share some of the points that are on my career checklist:
I definitely want to have a job that pays well. Who doesn’t? But there is a fine line here for me. I don’t care about making gigantic sums of money as much as I care about being able to live comfortably and have a certain lifestyle. I have spoken to several investment bankers over the course of my job hunt, and as a result, I have ruled out the possibility of being an investment banker because of the long hours and frantic work environment. I have similarly ruled out day trading for the same reasons. Both of these careers are extremely lucrative, but there is no way that I would be able to sustain that type of lifestyle, given my personality and work style. I also know that being a career volunteer in the Peace Corps is not going to provide the life that I want for myself.
It’s important to know what you want in a job, but it is equally important to know your limitations when searching for a position. Pay scale often indicates the number of hours and the type of work that you will be doing.
This seems to be important for some and unimportant for others. Since most large companies are located in cities and urban areas, you need to be aware of what you are comfortable with in terms of living conditions before you apply for a job. I know that I do not want to live in an area like Manhattan because it’s too crowded for me. I have always wanted to live in California, but I have never been there. Before applying for a job there, I should visit the area and see if I really like it.
When you are looking for a job, keep the location in mind, because it will ultimately have an effect on your overall mentality and health outside of the office. You won’t like your work if you are miserable at home, and vice versa.
I think this is a point that a lot of people miss when they are on the job hunt. Every company has their own way of doing things, and you may really dig their way or you may not. Read over the company’s website and pay attention to its structure. I recently saw a financial services website that listed the interests and favorite books/movies of its employees. This was a minor detail, but I felt that it indicated that the company cared enough about their employees to ask those questions. That made me feel more comfortable with the company and its corporate structure. Some firms are almost completely based around lifestyle and culture, since that is what drives them. When looking for a job, try to be aware of how companies feel, and not just what they are telling you. Being a part of the right culture can make all the difference.
This one is hard to keep in mind at a relatively young age. In our 20s, we aren’t really concerned about healthcare and retirement and stock packages. But these things are going to play a long-term role in your life and career, and if you are in the job market you should be thinking about benefits.