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Three Dimensions of Right-Fit Employment

Asking the tactful questions

He has his shopping list

Job-hunting has something in common with grocery shopping.

Think of two people who enter a grocery store. Both have shopping carts. One pauses at the first display, selects a few of this week’s sale items, then proceeds to the far right aisle. The other shopper glances at an index card, looks up at the signs labeling each aisle, then heads down a center aisle.

Who will be first to the checkout? And who will most likely return within a day or two, and maybe have a list this time?

And… if one job-hunter has clear goals and another is out for a job, any job, it seems clear who has the greater chance of success. When a person knows what would be a right-fit opportunity, they will likely find it sooner and will be happier with it.

A right-fit job search explores in three dimensions.

Explore What You Need

When shopping for a job, have a list. Maybe the list isn’t in writing, but you know what you want and what you need.[1]. You know the difference between wants and needs.

As you consider needs, give thought to more than pay and benefits. Pay goes into your bank account no more than once a week. Benefits matter on those days when you need a doctor or just need a vacation. Worklife happens every workday.

A happy worklife meets your needs for where, when, and how you like to work. Before applying anywhere, know what motivates and inspires you.

Explore What the Company Values

Once your resume graduates from the slush pile, a good company will research you. It’s easy to return the favor. You can learn about a workplace without traveling there, and without sitting outside an office to wait for an interview.

When you know what you need, check out a few companies online[2]. At GlassDoor, you will find current and former employees who have documented workplace pros and cons. You may also learn about hiring procedures and tricky interview questions.

Explore What Worklife Will Be Like

Most people spend the best hours of the best days of the best years of their lives at work. If you accept this job, how do you know you will enjoy those hours, days, and possibly years? You could ask.

The answers may not tell you everything, but you can take a good first step by tactful inquiries during an onsite interview[3]. Consider questions like these:

  • How would you describe your organizational culture?
  • I’m wondering if there are 3 or 4 traits that you’ve found in the best workers here. Could we talk about those?
  • How have you seen the culture here change with the times?
  • May I meet some of the people I’d be working with?

When you know what you need, match that to company needs and values, and know what worklife will be like, your decision has three dimensions. That makes a right-fit.

Have you found a right-fit company? Please share what you did to make that match happen.

[1] How to Tell if a Company’s Culture is Right for You
[3] Questions to Ask at a Job Interview

George Pond

If the internet is like a sea, George is the guy you see fishing along the shore. All sorts of good and bad ideas surface each day. He casts out for career development tricks and tools, hoping to land the best of them to share at

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