How To Ensure Your Career is Stellar
The comedy “The Office” resonated with viewers by depicting the dysfunctional situations that arise all too often in the workplace. But when you get stuck in an absurd employment situation in real life, it’s not quite as funny. Knowing how to do the legwork before you’re even hired, and what not to put up with at your place of employment, can help keep your career from turning into a tragedy.
A survey of college career services found that in the opinion of professional guidance counselors, one of the biggest impediments to students finding their place in the job market is failing to take advantage of the resources at career centers. The best way to avoid unhappy employment is to make use of the tools that are available to you to plan your career. Instead of spending your spare time on campus hanging with friends, grab your laptop, do some brainstorming, and invest some time in your future professional life. Talk to a qualified guidance counselor. Use the tools your career center provides you with to discover your aptitudes and skills and identify options. You’ll then be on your way to set career goals, develop a plan, write an effective resume, research companies, and get assistance making connections with employers and recruiting agencies. There is an endless supply of guidance out there– you just need to take the first step.
Benjamin Franklin said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This applies to avoiding unprofessional employers. Before accepting a position, practice due diligence by researching the company and screening them, taking on the attitude that you’re interviewing them, as well.
Look up information about the company’s corporate history and reviews. How long have they been in business? How is their reputation? Do they have any complaints against them?
Notice how professional their recruiter is in approaching you, in asking you questions, in answering your inquiries, and in extending you offers. Do they openly provide you with their contact information and corporate identity and location? Do their questions sound like what you’d expect from a serious employer seeking quality employees? Have they carefully screened your resume? Are they clear in responding to questions about salary, benefits, policies, training opportunities, and other areas? Do their proposed terms of compensation sound realistic for the job description and your work experience? Do they tell you why the position you’re applying for is vacant?
Evaluate their follow-up procedure as well. Do they contact you promptly? Do they document everything in writing? Do they require the necessary paperwork from you for issues such as taxes, insurance benefits and security screening? A professional company will cover their bases, while an amateur operation will skip over essentials.
Bullying Bosses and Abusive Co-Workers
Unfortunately, it’s possible to get hired by a good company but still end up working for a bad boss, or in a department with a negative atmosphere. US News suggests minimizing this risk by taking steps to screen your prospective boss if you get the opportunity. Know what types of personalities you work best with, and who you’re likely to clash with. Keep an eye out for warning signs during interviews. Ask your potential supervisor about their management style. If possible, try to talk to other managers and workers.
If, despite your best preventive efforts, you do get stuck with a bullying boss or abusive co-workers, take appropriate steps. Know your rights as documented in your employer’s policies and in applicable state and federal law. Know what procedures to follow in the event you need to complain. Document any behaviors you may need to reference later, including any witnesses. (3)\\\
Orson Welles began his career as a Shakesperean actor before becoming an ostracized Hollywood director and ending up doing commercials. He once summarized his career by stating “I started at the top and worked my way down.” Avoid getting stuck in a dead-end job by having a definite career plan and knowing how the position you’re applying for advances it. Is this a job you’d want to do your whole life? If not, what position would you like this job to lead to, and at which company? Knowing this going into your job hunt will help you land a position that serves your career goals.