My resume is a bit sporadic. I spent a decent amount of time working in the news industry before jumping through a few corporate public relations departments. Each time I switched jobs, I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for. I just knew I wanted something different.
It wasn’t until I landed my gig at Eckel & Vaughan that I realized I was looking for the right fit. I wanted to be part of a company that was doing important work. I wanted to work with people I actually liked. I wanted to be excited about my clients. While some of the things I was looking for are specific to Eckel & Vaughan, there are others that span across employers, industries, and professions.
If you’re trying to find the right fit for the next move in your career, here are four key factors to consider:
1 Management Style
What kind of management style do you thrive best under? I personally enjoy a more autonomous work environment. But I like having a safety net and knowing I can turn to a co-worker or supervisor anytime I have a question. If you’re the kind of person who feels better when someone can double-check you every step of the way, then look for a place where multiple layers of approval are the norm. If you prefer to be left to your own devices, look for a place that encourages autonomy.
2 Professional Development
No one wants their job to become stagnant. I can directly attribute some of my career movement to the fact that I felt like there was no room for growth at a company or that goals and professional development were little more than a “check in the box” for managers. Eckel & Vaughan offers personalized three-year growth plans for each employee. And when they say personalized, they mean it. I had multiple sessions with my manager and a partner to determine my strengths and weaknesses, where I could improve my skills, and where I could share some of my strengths with other members of our team. That kind of attention is hard to come by, but if you look hard, you’ll find it.
One of the best (and most terrifying) parts of the interview process at Eckel & Vaughan was meeting with nearly everyone before being offered a position. This scared me at first, but then I realized how valuable of an experience it was. It was an incredible opportunity to ask the people who worked there what they thought, what they looked for in a co-worker, and what it took to be successful. Even better, I got to spend some personal time with potential colleagues, giving me a chance to weigh them into my decision making.
4 Network Input
I asked everyone I knew if they knew about the agency before I accepted the job. If your network has great things to say about the company, then you’re probably headed in the right direction. If they’re warning you to stay away with red flags waving, listen to them. After all, you trust these people for a reason.
You’ll notice none of the things on my list include perks, salary, or swanky offices. I’ve found those things are nowhere near as important as the culture. If the company offers you double your current salary, but sends you home crying every day, the perks aren’t really perks.
In the end, it’s about making the decision that’s best for you. That takes some self-reflection, knowing what kind of management style you thrive best under, and knowing what you need from your co-workers. Figure all that out, and you’ll find your fit in no time.