What Do You Need? What Do You Want?

In my last entry, we talked about Marilyn and how her efforts to find a new job were thwarted when she turned the focus of her interviews to her needs rather than those of the job and the employer.  This time out I want to reiterate and expound further that you should not ignore your own needs in your job search.  When you’re looking for work, you must ask yourself: What are your personal needs and considerations for acceptable employment?
Certainly there are many people searching for work who will probably take the next job offered to them. Others job seekers believe they can be choosier and are very deliberate in their searches.  But for a large number of job seekers, there are an extensive number of considerations beyond just bringing home a paycheck that must be part of the decision making process.  The acceptance of an offer of employment from a particular employer is a choice made by you, the job seeker, based on your individual needs.
While some of these personal considerations should not be brought up during interviews, a job seeker would be well served to think about all the factors that are important to them.  And although you may not get everything or exactly what you want, the right combination of concessions and compromises will have a direct impact on your comfort level with your new employer, as well as your productivity.
Among others, here are some questions that job seekers should be asking themselves: 
What do you want from your employer?

  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Do you prefer management and leadership to be hands-on or do you prefer to work autonomously?
  • Do you want to work for a large or small company?
  • Does the company have the tools, software, or hardware that you are most comfortable with?
  • Do you prefer to work from a cubicle, on an open floor, or do you require your own office?
  • Do you want to work for a start-up or well-established business?
  • Do you prefer the employer to be located in an urban highrise or suburban office park?
  • How far and long are you willing to commute?
  • Will you be able to telecommute to do your job?
  • Are the hours flexible enough for your daily personal needs and routines?
  • Do you need company-paid, partially subsidized or a customized cafeteria-health benefits plan?  What other benefits are a deal breaker for you?
  • Will you need tuition reimbursement?

I must again stress that a job candidate should not instigate discussion of these issues, particularly not during a first interview situation.

But here are some other considerations that could affect your decision to work for a particular company, or not:

  • Is there an on-premises cafeteria or decent local eateries and coffee vendors to satisfy your tastes for food and beverage?
  • Is parking readily available?  Is it employee paid or will the company provide a space for your vehicle, motorcycle, or bicycle?
  • Is the parking area safe and well lit?
  • How close is the job to banking, shopping, schools for your kids, and other services that you need?

And what about the myriad other extras?

  • Are gym or health club memberships offered?
  • Can you get vouchers or discounts for taxicabs or public transportation?
  • Will the employer provide you with a vehicle?
  • Does the company provide monetary and/or logistical assistance for moving and relocation?
  • Will the employer set up mortgage or rental assistance?
  • Will the employer provide assistance finding employment for your spouse?

Admittedly, some of these considerations may not (should not?) be deal breakers for some job seekers, but for others, such perks may be negotiable.  Much will depend on the level of the position, the candidate’s years of experience, and their comfort discussing these matters.
Keep in mind that in the current state of our economy, it is an employer’s market where many employers have a lot of candidates from which to choose, and you may not be successful in negotiating all the perks you want.  The ideal situation may not be as readily available as you would like.
But before you say yes to an offer of employment, make sure you think about all the little things that are affected by that decision.  Understanding what you want and what you need before saying yes, could save you a lot of headaches down the road.
For more tips about  successful interviewing,  job search and career development issues,  please search this blog and visit:  hanklondon.com