If you’re stumped on what to look for in a job, here’s one piece of advice: it’s not all about the Benjamins, a.k.a. a good starting salary. For those of you just starting out in your career, it’s sometimes more important to work for a company that have programs in place to help you on your career path.
So what types of things should you look for in a company? Soon, Experience will roll out its annual Best Places to Work for Recent Grads list. Winners were selected because they truly invest in young employees, because let’s face it, most people just graduating college are still trying to figure it out. So, companies who foster an environment that encourages exploration and offers mentorship are winners in the eyes of Experience.
While Experience had their own criteria for selecting a company for Best Places, here are 5 things to keep in mind when considering a job with a new company:
1. Career Growth: Right now, it’s all about getting experience and building your resume. Try to find a company that will let you do the job that they hired you to do, but will also let you take on other projects that are outside of your day-to-day responsibilities. Even if you end up hating that “thing” you wanted to try, that’s an experience and something you know NOT to pursue anymore.
2. Training: Never stop learning! Once you graduate, don’t pass up the opportunity to stuff more information inside of your brain… especially on a company’s dime. Look for companies that offer tuition reimbursement, leadership training seminars, workshops, etc. It will make you more valuable to the company, and will help you climb the ladder.
3. The company mission: This is a biggie. Try to find a company that provides product and services you believe in. When that happens, you’re more jazzed about your job and won’t count the hours in the day. Heck, it will be midnight, and you won’t mind drafting up your latest idea. On the other hand, if you are considering a company that has a rather boring product/service, then see if they give back to the community and are socially responsible.
4. Mentorship: Working with someone who is older and wiser is a great way to learn the ropes of a new company. Mentors are a great resource to have when it comes to navigating through your career. Perhaps they’ll be gracious enough to tell you their mistakes so you can avoid them!
5. Salary and Benefits: This comes last when you are starting out. You would think otherwise since you have student loans to pay, but if numbers 1-4 is fulfilled, this is just the icing on the cake.
The five tips mentioned above are just some factors to consider as you begin exploring your career options. Use them as a guide when you start interviewing and of course, have your own set of criteria.