Experts: 4 questions to ask to find out if you’ll be happy in a new job
Now is the perfect time to look for a new job. There are almost twice as many vacancies as there are job seekers. Employers are scrambling to fill staff and retain the workers they have, and potential recruits are now filling positions where they can afford to be more demanding.
It really is a candidate market.
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As employees jump into the “big resignation,” in search of opportunities for more rewarding work and better pay, many of them – younger workers in particular – are discovering that the supposedly greener pastures n were not what they expected.
According to a recent survey by The Muse, 72% of millennial and Gen Z job seekers said they were surprised or regretted that a new job was very different from what they were led to believe.
Recruiters and hiring managers can be part of the problem. Understaffed and desperate to fill vacancies, proper due diligence can give way to a crisis approach of hire now, assess later.
Remote work and hiring can also make it difficult to get a sense of what a job is really like, as it has become more common than ever to sign up without ever having set foot in the offices of a business or meet someone face to face. Additionally, remote work tends to create a void in the office culture, which has serious implications for an employee’s sense of well-being, says Dr. Shonna Waters, vice president of alliances and partnerships. strategies for BetterUp.
“With the rise of remote work,” Waters said, “it’s more difficult to create a sense of belonging with co-workers and fully participate in the company culture.”
She added that the importance of this culture – which represents the shared values, attitudes, behaviors and norms that make up a work environment – should not be underestimated in its impact on day-to-day experience.
According to BetterUp’s recent report, “Connection Crisis: Why Community Matters in the New World of Work,” 43% of employees say their organization isn’t doing enough to help them feel a sense of connection. They also found that employees who have few friends at work are 61% more likely to seriously seek employment outside of their organization.
“It’s a big deal and maybe a reason why we’re seeing the workforce exploring new job opportunities at such high rates,” Waters said.
So how can a job seeker avoid that surprise and regret before it hits? Experts say the questions you ask a potential employer in an interview are key. The right questions not only help you stand out from the crowd, but the answers you get provide a signal when it comes to determining whether you will truly be happy.
Here are four main questions that our experts suggest you prepare with.
1. What kind of financial wellness benefits do you offer?
Mindy Yu, chief investment officer for Betterment at Work, says it’s important for job seekers, especially recent graduates, to consider job value beyond salary or signing bonus .
“Pay attention to financial wellness benefits in your compensation package and make the most of them,” she said.
This includes their matching contribution to your 401(k), any wellness benefits, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and employer-sponsored emergency funds. .
For recent graduates or young workers, Yu also says it’s worth asking about student loan management solutions. Some employers may offer financial counseling and debt repayment programs, or even contributions to a student loan program.
“While they may seem like a small amount compared to salary,” Yu said, “these benefits cannot be underestimated when (people) consider setting themselves up for long-term financial success.”
2. What does your company do to foster belonging?
A strong culture of connection will make your work experience more fulfilling. Waters says high membership rates have been linked to better job performance, an increased ability to innovate and make clear decisions, and better overall mental health.
On the other hand, isolation at work is likely to lead to more stress, burnout, anxiety and depression.
“Job seekers should want to hear from people they interview that the company is flexible in the specific needs of workers as realistically as possible,” Waters said, “(and) that business leaders team create space for employee relations and that there is a plan to immerse new employees in this culture so they can foster a strong sense of connection and be set up for success.
3. How will my success be measured?
It’s important to understand how employees are evaluated and rewarded when they start a new job to make sure their expectations seem clear and reasonable, Waters says.
Related or follow-up questions might include things like, “What do you expect of the person in this position in their first 90 days? » This not only shows you’re results-oriented, but asks for details about what they want from you right away.
Candidates can also ask interviewers what their top performers do differently.
“It’ll show the hiring manager that you’re thinking outside the box,” Waters said, “but also give you a good idea of what qualities they value and ultimately reward.”
4. What are you looking forward to working on right now?
To go beyond the carefully crafted job description and benefit lists, seeking out personal anecdotes from your interviewer is a good way to get a better sense of what everyday life might be like, Waters says. She also suggests asking about the team leader’s management style to find out if it matches the way you like to work.
“Many employees now value health and well-being over financial compensation,” Waters said, “so applicants may want to ensure that the work environment, expectations and benefits are a good fit with their larger priorities in life.”
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