Job research is part of the preparation to seeking a job, but why is it important? What are you preparing for when you have yet to begin your job search or scheduled that interview? Well, initial job research gives you several advantages. You grant yourself the opportunity to explore your choices, narrow your options and take your pick.
A variety of careers exist, but most of us do not know beyond our immediate experience or knowledge. With research, you can define various jobs and determine the distinct differences between similar ones. Read a job description and find out if the duties listed are what you thought they were. Not all responsibilities are going to be listed under the job description and tasks won’t strictly adhere to the standard of that position. There may be commitments that you are not aware of. Figure out what it is specifically that you want to do.
What are the prerequisites most frequently listed under your intended field or the values of your desired employer? Job research will tell you the education level and work experience you need in order to be considered for a position. Whether you are a student, looking to change your career or are seeking for your next job, among many other things you may learn that you should do more volunteer work in the field or need to network. Enlighten yourself and conquer the smaller details. With prior research, you are aware of the challenges and allow yourself to plan your steps ahead.
What are your goals and what is most important to you when you are looking for a job? Are the conditions surrounding the job in line with your preferences and personality? A few things to think about when you are doing research: salary, work hours, location, benefits, advancement opportunities, job outlook and the values of the company. Find out whether the average compensation and flexibility of hours for a specific job will support your lifestyle. Evaluate if you have adequate transportation for the distance you have to travel and learn the values and business practices of the company. Researching about the conditions and environment of a job will let you measure your compatibility and the many factors that can determine how satisfied you may be. You’ll never know one hundred percent if a company or job is the perfect fit for you, but you can try to knock out the misfits early on.
So now that you know that doing job research is beneficial to you, where do you actually begin? Searching the web can be a start. Look at online job boards to learn more about job openings and positions. Read a company’s website. Get an outsider’s perspective by paying attention to the local and national media and community relations. You can observe how long a company has been in business, if progressive business initiatives are being introduced and whether there have been growth as well as setbacks. For hands on research you can talk to current and former employees.
Another great resource available to you is staffing services as they will have contact with many unadvertised positions. Many companies also only use staffing services to fill their openings. It is an opportunity to have one interview with a recruiter for potentially dozens of job openings. Consider temporary or temp-to-hire positions that will allow you to gain experience and at the same time examine your preferences and compatibility. It is a great “try before you buy” strategy when it comes to job seeking. Read more about here working with recruiters here.
Do as much research as you think is necessary to learn what you need to know about a job and prospective employer. It will always be in your best interest to find out as much as you can about what’s available to you and what you can do before you make a decision. In a crowded market of competent job seekers and critical employers, grant yourself extra useful knowledge to put yourself ahead, find opportunities and determine the best position for you