This is a great question. The difficult answer is, you won't know unless you try. However, to best prepare yourself to make an informed choice, I recommend that you identify a short list of things that are important to you in a job. Some of these might be quite basic: does the job offer a living wage and benefits, like health insurance and paid time off? Some might less clear, like, is the company one that you would feel proud to work for (or, at least, not ashamed)? You might also have practical considerations: how long is the commute, or does the job description seem like it would be interesting work? Can you see yourself staying for at least a year, even if you don't like the job?
Since you're posting on this site, I'm guessing that you are at the beginning of your career. Don't fret. Most likely, you hold many jobs over the next 30 years. There's nothing wrong with that. If you can, give yourself some time to find what you really like.
Research about the job and shadow someone that is in the same or similar field.
The best thing to do is find a job that sounds interesting to you by the job description, researching the company and culture and talking to the people who interview you. Come prepared to ask questions that are important to you. If the job isn’t right for you after some time continue your search and get better at identifying what you want to do. Make sure you aren’t leaving jobs after only a short time and also provide adequate notice etc. you want to keep good relationships with everyone you meet, you never know when you might have the chance to work together again.
The aspects that we must take care of when accepting a job, or what we like or value most about a job, from my experience, is to be comfortable with the things you are not willing to put aside, such as flexibility in the schedules , closeness to your home, work environment, and possibility of reconciliation with your family life. Additionally, a salary with which you feel good will make you feel that both you and your work are valued. The boss or immediate supervisor of your work is a very delicate and important point in your life, he will be the one who will propose your next goals, will motivate you to work more and more and better, and will be an ally to make your professional career advance. You should also feel happy with the following question: Is this position within the path I had planned for my career? Do not leave out the opportunities for job growth that exist within the company when accepting or staying in an institution. Finally, I consider it important to evaluate the corporate culture of the company, in the sense of seeing if it aligns with your principles, values, attitudes and objectives.
I hope you help Maximus !!!
I would suggest to get as much exposure to different industries and job roles as you can before you graduate college with summer jobs, internships etc... This will allow you to get your feet wet for a specific industry without committing to a full time job, and will help you better understand if you enjoy doing that job or not. Make sure you have a resume up to date to send to employers. Seek out new opportunities and don't be afraid to reach out to individuals or employers for opportunities or advice.
I would also reach out to peers/friends who are starting their professional careers and ask about their role at their company to gain a better insight of what that role would entail.
Hope this was helpful!
Pierson recommends the following next steps:
Good question! I believe many job seekers ask themselves same question before accepting the offer (or even still think about it after onboard). In fact, it will be much easier if ...
(1) you understand clearly what you want/care most, is it salary ? stability ? promotion opportunity?
(2) you ask question or dig out information tactically during the interview. Sometimes the hiring manager or company will present you a good/promising future to convince you join, but you could find some clues and intelligence during the interview. Trying to understand your future boss & colleague is very very important....are they all very senior and had worked here for long time? why the same position has been opened multiple times within 3 months ? what happen to the predecessors?
(3) do the research ... you could find some experience sharing from the internet about the other people's interview experience or someone shared the real life in that company . The best way is try your connection and see if you could find and talk with someone really works in that company. Seek his/her objective & neutral opinion
But again, the most important thing is (1) you need to understand yourself first otherwise those info you dig out will make you panic and harder to make decision.
Grant recommends the following next steps:
Obviously you are looking for a job you will enjoy doing and you have spent a lot of time training for. As an example, if you study as a chemist then you will expect to be doing chemistry in your job. But I used to train lab technicians and it was common would find my students had degrees in subjects such as English, political science, and history. They never thought they would end up in a chemistry lab but they apparently found it tolerable as many had been employed as such for more than 10 years.
But ultimately I must tell you this is a much bigger question than you might think. Indeed in any one situation whether the job is really "for you" may be simple, the reasons it may or may not be can be of all and many kinds. You might not like the commute, you may find your lab/office may be in a dark basement. You might find your work space is extremely limited. You might find the corporate culture is not to your liking. Worse yet, you may find a fantastic personality clash with your immediate supervisor... honestly these things can happen with no rational explanation! There is so much more! I can say I have found myself in situations where my place of employment was blatantly doing things that were unethical and even illegal. I did not stay with them very long!
But you must also remember often these things are only temporary. Every company I have worked with had morale ups and downs. If you come in during a downswing it may not be pleasant but that does not mean it will last very long. Ultimately it comes to chance and, perhaps, the industry you choose. If your industry is in under financial stress or if it is subject to changes in government etc. it may never get better. As on toxicologist I used work with said "Life is a dice game!"
If you can scope out a potential employer very well before you even go for the interview, you may be able to tell if it is the place for you. Social media may help you with that. Certainly Google or some other web browser will work for you as well. Never apply for a job for which you know nothing about the job or the company ahead of time.
There is likely much more I could say here... lots of personal bumps in the road! I hope you will go into all this with eyes wide open. May you find a wonderful job that suits you perfectly even on your first time!
Dr. R. Detra