Hi Dylan - great question. Before joining my first job, I had a few important questions I wanted to make sure I had an answer to:
- As an employer, how is the Company investing in my personal and professional development? Am I going to be learning something every single day at my job, or am I going to be doing repetitive tasks day-in and day-out? I knew before starting that I enjoy a challenge and I wanted whatever firm/Company I work for to do more than just give me a paycheck - learning each day was important to me, and that's something I wanted to make sure my Company had the resources to provide that to me.
- Is the Company flexible when it comes to work/life balance? Most of us don't shy away from hard work, but I also wanted to make sure the firm I work allows me to "disconnect" when I'm on vacation (barring pressing deadlines).
- Where does upper management envision the Company will be in the next 5 years? It was important for me to be at a firm that is continuously growing, whether from a technology perspective or a people perspective. I wanted to be at a firm with an ever-evolving work environment that keeps me engaged and interested in the field I was going into.
- Is there an opportunity for me to switch roles easily within the firm? I wanted to work for a firm large enough that allows me to explore different avenues for my career. I knew that I wanted to be at a place that did not make me feel "stuck" in one spot - having that flexibility to move/explore different groups during my career at the firm was extremely important.
The list of questions I listed above were important to me and my working style. I strongly suggest creating a list of items that are important to you/your personality/your working style. When you go in to interview - make sure you ask those questions! Always remember, an interview is not a one-way street - you should be assessing whether the Company/firm you potentially will be working for is a good fit for you as well.
Harleen recommends the following next steps:
- Create a list of items that you believe are important for you to have as someone entering the job market. What work environments/working styles fit your style and personality?