Is this the right company for me?

Is this the right company for me?


When I consider doing an interview or accepting a job offer, I’ve always just picked what felt best, but how should a person decide? The money and the job itself are obvious but how do I know a place is the right company for me to work? I’ve made some mistakes and I’d rather not make another! Thanks!

Nick’s Reply

right companyUltimately, this is one of the biggest career questions you must face. I find that people go job hunting mainly because they joined the wrong company to begin with. As you realize, money isn’t everything. And I know you’ll know when the money is right.

I take five key factors into account when I try to help a job candidate decide if a company is right for them.

These are the fundamental criteria on which I think you should judge an employer. Evaluate an employer based on:

  1. its people,
  2. its products,
  3. its finances,
  4. its prospects, and
  5. its reputation.

Define these anyway that makes sense in the situation. You must explore each of these factors in as much detail as you can. (If we have to pick the three most important of those, I think it’s 1, 2 and 5.)

As you make your inquiries, you’ll see that some aspects of this approach are a little touchy-feely in nature, and some require objective research and analysis. This approach requires a lot of something you probably do in your work: talking with people. (See also: How can I find the truth about a company?)

You could fill a book with information about just one company. But you must decide how much is enough.

So I put it out there to everyone: Is this list sufficient? Would you skip over any item? What would you add? How would you flesh out each of the criteria?

Maybe more important, how would you get the information you need to effectively assess whether a company is the right place to work? What questions would you ask?

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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