It's All About You: Considering Yourself in Your Job Search
A job search is full of multiple considerations:
- What are hiring companies looking for? Are your skills in demand? Which of your past experiences are the most relevant to current openings?
- What is best for your family priorities? Do you need to find a role fast to support dependents? Do you need to look for roles closer to family?
- What does the job market look like during your search? Are there a lot of opportunities in your area? What companies in your field have the most promising outlook?
The most important aspect is one you may be neglecting: yourself. A job is about more than the hiring stage. Current expectations keep people a position for at least two years, and research shows that you are more likely to advance in a position you enjoy. This becomes a lot easier when you consider what you need and want out of a role during your job search. In February, we hosted a free workshop on how to find your ideal industry role by reflecting on your priorities and needs. In case you missed this event, this blog will introduce some key takeaways and a tool for you to try!
In Biotech, the major considerations unique to your qualifications are the skills and experience you bring, what you value/the mission you want to contribute to, the products that are in demand and needed in your field, and the compensation you are looking for. An ideal role would align perfectly with all of these for you, but you may need to prioritize some of these over others so you can be more flexible in the offers you consider, while still landing a role you love.
To help you examine your priorities, we are sharing a STEM-centric Ikigai chart. A concept for finding happiness in work and life, the exercise examines the intersections between what will bring you fulfilment, what will benefit the world, and what you can be compensated for, to prioritize what you need versus what you want. By applying your criteria for an ideal role to this chart, you can decide what you are willing to compromise on and what is a necessity for you in a prospective job offer.
You can place most jobs on the Ikigai chart before you even submit the application by examining a few public resources:
- The Job Description: This will give you information on the specific role, you can include the responsibilities as well as the top skills that are being sought for the position and are likely to be the most used skills.
- The Company Website: This should tell you which products the company is focused on producing or pursuing. You can also read how the company describes its mission and values to see if there is a close alignment with what you value and want to contribute to.
- Industry News: A quick search of any news or press releases from the company can help you learn more about the company’s values and long-term product plans as well as red flags that would dissuade you from applying.
In the excitement of getting an interview or an offer, remembering what you need out of a role to be happy and advance in your preferred career path will help you make the best decision. A job search is usually long and tiring and getting an offer can feel like one you should immediately accept. However, remembering yourself and prioritizing the considerations that are most important to you can help you identify the right offer for long term job satisfaction and professional success, not just the first offer.
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