5 ways to tell if a job will make you happy

As marketers we may be great at spotting opportunities, but are we good enough at recognising them for ourselves?

The job hunting experience rarely feels like the matchmaking experience it should. 

Naturally, we see “success” as getting the job, but a LinkedIn analysis showed that marketing roles had the highest turnover of all departments.  

What if the job is not the right one? And how do you avoid discovering too late?

1. Know your needs

What is important for you in the next chapter of your career?  Your career stage, family life or financial situation may impact all of these. Your choices for the next few years doesn’t have to define you forever: today’s desire for a high salary to buy a house may be replaced by tomorrow’s desire to work flexible hours and pick up kids or parents from appointments. What matters is that you know what you need from your job now, and what tradeoffs you are willing to make.

2. Prioritise your growth

One of the top reasons people leave their jobs, according to Harvard Business Review, is lack of growth or progression. Be clear on where the growth opportunity will come in this new role; not just in the first year but beyond that. Is the organisation growing? Is the boss sticking around? Are there opportunities to move sideways? Is there a culture of growth and development that will encourage your growth? 

3. Join for values

Not on the corporate website. How do the leaders talk on Twitter or LinkedIn? What does Glassdoor say about the experience of working there? Can you find out what their clients or agencies say about them? How do the interviewers talk about the company values? Are they even written down? Then compare these impressions to your own values and personality. You can even use online tests like Zigzag’s Culture Assessment to diagnose whether a team is a good fit for you.

4. Identify the purpose

Many companies have become great at connecting their purpose with their employee experience, not least with the help of marketers.  But for some, their purpose is either a commercial goal or a phrase on a creative brief. That may matter to you, or may not. But consider whether the company’s ‘why’ is enough to get you out of bed on a cold winter morning.

5. Respect your own journey

Where could this job take you on your career and life path? The old idea of “career ladders” is now woefully out of date as “jobs for life” have largely become extinct. But that does not mean that purpose and planning aren’t important. How might this role and company contribute to your own purpose and ever-winding path, even in ways you had never imagined?

Knowing whether a job is right for you is tough. Especially when a redundancy or financial pressures might make any job appealing

But today, when the barriers between work and home are more blurred than ever, it is important to consider ‘success’ not just as getting the job, but as being fulfilled in it.

About Zigzag

Zigzag is a marketing talent platform that aims to put human potential at the heart of recruitment. Zigzag matches marketers and jobs based on skills, knowledge and personality traits; reducing the number of applications for candidates and companies, and increasing the quality of the interaction and the success of new employees.

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