There are lots of things we tend to think about when applying for a job. Will the work interest me? What’s the salary? How many vacation days? How far away is the office? But one thing we shouldn’t forget to consider is whether the company you’re interested in actually respects your values – because these are the things that will either make you miserable or seriously fulfilled. But since these points are not usually laid out in the job posting, we’ve come up with three areas that can give you a clue:
One word to think about: Integrity. This one may seem apparent – you don’t want to work for a company that has links to child labour or animal testing, or trash the environment obviously. But on the more subtle end of the scale – is it a financial institution that is not always transparent with its clients? Is it an insurance firm that tries not to pay valid claims? Is it a customer service job where the customers are not always treated with respect? These are some of the things to pay attention to before you join the team – they can tell you a lot about the underlying values of a company.
Sure, not all companies have the budget for relaxation rooms and refrigerators stocked with organic juice, but if you believe in fresh air, natural light and plants, and it seems like employees are crowded into a dimly-lit, windowless space, with nowhere to store lunch or make a hot drink, then you may be signing up for long days of headaches, eyestrain, and fatigue. Check for other little clues that match your values – do they recycle? Do women occupy senior positions? Are personal photos allowed on desks? Can employees take breaks to go outside and stretch? Companies should actually be encouraging these things, not just permitting them.
Pay and Benefits
Right now, you might only be interested in whether you can escape for two weeks to Mexico next winter. But take a closer look at the benefits package. What happens if you get injured and can’t work? If you have a baby how long can you stay at home? Is there an option to work from home occasionally? How does the company support mental health? These things will really give you an idea of whether the company values and invests in its employees, or if they’ll see you as just another drone.
Photo credit: The4thMonkey.com