Article in Hindu Opportunities

5 golden rules for finding your next employer

WHEN it comes to making the right decision about choosing an employer, no one wants to make a mistake. Yet, with an average employment expectancy of 2 years (for IT) and 3 years (for non-IT), it appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to finding the right employer.

A career consultant has five golden rules for evaluating a prospective employer.

If most professionals were to be asked as to why they were changing jobs, the answer will most likely be: "We have a better offer." I believe this to be the number one mistake people make when they move.

Choosing your employer should never be based on monetary reasons alone. Though one needn't agree with this, there's profound truth here. Money alone should not be the basis for employment. Rather, money is the result of a good marriage between an employer and employee. When the other ingredients are right, money will automatically follow.

To reiterate, you can't build a relationship on money alone. You need a lot more.

Here are five questions you must ask yourself if you're serious about finding and keeping a good employer.

Do you share a common philosophy about work and life with the prospective employer?

Why is this so important? Because work is the basis of your employment. Does your employer believe that work is more important than after work? If working for 18 hours is the company norm and you believe in a 9 to 5 job, then here is a big mismatch. Does the company strongly believe in growth? If not, how will it meet your growth aspirations? You and your employer need to grow together not grow apart.

Does the employer treat you as a person, as an adult?

Or are you just a cog in the wheel ? Are you just a means to an end (of the employer)? Are you yet another matrix and a number in the HR department? Do the current employees trust the employer? These are very important questions. We should want to go to work everyday because we are wanted. If no one cares and every one believes that you are totally dispensable, then that's the day you start looking for a change. Today, we don't expect the entire organisation to recognise each and every individual. We however, expect the small team or group or department where your work to recognise you, your work and contribution.

Who are your immediate colleagues and can you relate to them?

Both the organisation and the individual are ‘courting' each other during the hiring stage. You see the best of each other. I often tell my new hires, ‘Let me tell you the worst about our company and you tell me the worst about you. Let's discover (and it will be a pleasant experience) the positives after we join.' It is important to research and understand your boss and spend sometime with prospective colleagues before you accept the offer. In my opinion 80% of the job satisfaction comes from the way you are treated by your boss and colleagues.

Do your colleagues work on their personal growth on a regular basis? Are they serious about improving themselves? What do they do with their free time? Are they materialistic? Usually a materialistic person is not someone whose top priority is teamwork.

There are essentially two types of people in the world. People who are dedicated to personal growth and people who are dedicated to seeking comfort. Someone whose goal is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead of doing the right thing. You need to know if your boss or colleagues are of this type before you pick up the offer.

How does the employer treat his women employees?

The treatment of women employees indicates the culture – how refined and modern it is. Are women employees only at the bottom end of the ladder? Does the company treat women as equals not only at the time of promotion but also at the time of delegating tasks? Does the company recognise the special needs of women like flexi time, maternity leave etc without compromising on the output expectation?

In short, evolved companies, which understand women better, understand YOU better. They will treat you as a person and not as a commodity.

How does the company tolerate mistakes?

Does the company punish those who make mistakes? If yes, it would be a company of bureaucrats, because every time you take a decision you are running the risk of making mistakes. In fact, empowerment is the power to make mistakes. I do not include blunders in mistakes. I do not include habitual mistake mongering either. Many companies sideline those who fail. Some are even witch hunted. Good companies however ensure that mistakes are pointed out to the people and a corrective action plan is worked out .The learning from the mistakes are circulated to prevent others from repeating it and thus get on with life.

T Muralidharan,

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