Don't Apply for a Job Unless You Have These 3 Questions Sorted Out

  | Thea Millard


Ever since the first years of our life, we are faced with a seemingly harmless question – “what do you want to do when you’ll be a grown-up?” Still children, our minds drift off to a realm of endless possibilities. Superheroes, firemen or policemen are the usual answers for boys, while girls opt for doctor, teacher or other more mature positions.

However, our first innocent choices do not matter at all when compared to the simple process of instilling into our minds the necessity to have a role in society. Through our prime socializers, the family, we are taught that every member of our expanding community has a certain job ascribed. Teachers teach, policemen keep us safe, shopkeepers sell things, doctors make us better and so on.

This broken-down thought process does not occur to us even when we reach adulthood. Then, it is all about possibilities, education, prospected income and future opportunities. Most people discard personal wants and aspirations for the cold and hard reality of facts, usually limited to a CV and a job description. Others hope to achieve happiness in their activity. Society taught us that we need to have a role and that not having one is equal to failure. As such, we rush into activities which may not suit us at all. Before accepting or even applying for a job, you should figure out what your answers are for the following 3 questions.

1. Do I need this job or do I want it?

The difference between needing and wanting a job is paramount, but it escapes most people. A fact of life is that few, lucky individuals get to work in a field they love, with people they look up to, doing something they think is meaningful. Most of us, after a few weeks or months of searching and going to interviews, are ready to accept anything thrown at us by a possible employer.

We start to imagine the benefits of a safe paycheck and of working for that particular firm. The next step is worrying about a career path, qualifications and duties, office relations, workload and schedule. We put in balance the pros and the cons, breaking our lives down into income and expenses, paychecks and bills, hours spent working and time we can save for family.

However, these considerations miss the main point – do I need this job or do I want it? If I merely need it, it means the job is not in any way related to something I would love to do for the rest of my life. Doing it would be driven by needs, the time doing it – joyless. Conversely, if I want the job, I will be willing to give up several benefits just for the sake of doing it, because it is something I love. The difference between the two could not be greater and you should answer this question before applying for any job.

2. Where will I be in 5 years?

Usually a favorite of interviewers, finding the answer to this question is a prime indicator of whether you should apply for a job or not. Working for 5 full years in a company means giving years of your active life to the assigned goal of the firm.

Aside from the time you will be losing personally, with important family events missed due to pressing deadlines or meetings that lasted more than expected, you need to consider your career path as well. A high-paying, dead-end job may seem undesirable despite its initial offerings.

Signing up for a job is a commitment that almost every morning, you will be waking up earlier than you would wish only to dedicate most of your day to a goal. For that reason, it should be a goal you believe in personally.

3. Does the workplace culture suit me?

Employers usually stress the salary and other elements of a job, but other dimensions of working at a company are just as important for your level of happiness. Workplace culture is one of these factors.

A healthy and pleasant work environment can boost employee happiness and productivity, compensating for other downsides such as late hours. Conversely, an insecure leader who fuels animosities and pressures his team can make the paycheck seem not worth the stress.

The identification of the workplace culture can be tricky. Most bosses don’t pay any mind to such HR-sounding terms and so they do not strive to improve it. Some offices naturally have a good culture of cooperation and understanding while others are hard to bear, much less work in. Your ability to deal with both situations should be a factor when making the decision to apply for a job.

After answering these 3 questions, you can confidently send your resume for the position you desire. Not only have you found a role in society, but it is one that suits you professionally, personally and mentally.

Author's Bio: Thea Millard is a woman with a great passion for Digital Marketing, Branding and Business Management. As a Career Counselor, she provides vital advice, information and feedback to people who need a job that suits them or suits them better. Being an enthusiast for Digital Analytics, Thea constantly keeps an eye on the Google Analytics official blog and Avinash Kaushik’s Occam’s Razor, those being just the websites she visits on a daily basis.

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