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Whether you’re applying for placements, graduate jobs or more senior roles, it’s important to consider all different aspects of the company and the opportunity – not just the salary.
From working environment to corporate social responsibility; here are 9 things that graduates should look for in a company.
Especially in the early stages of your career, opportunities to learn new skills and develop your career are hugely important. In a graduate job interview, it’s a good idea to ask about the learning & development opportunities that the company offer; whether it’s structured training programmes, courses, the chance to gain new qualifications or the scope to work on a range of different projects.
Equally, you need to know that there is going to be room for you to grow within the company. It’s important to find a company that will help you develop your career; so make sure that you are clear about opportunities for advancement in both the short-term and long-term.
Most people would agree that company culture is a key part of job satisfaction; but getting it right all depends on the kind of environment you feel most comfortable in. If you think you’d be better suited to a more casual workplace, graduate jobs at startups or smaller companies might be for you; whereas if you like the idea of a rigid structure and a more conservative environment, you might be better suited to working at a large or multinational corporation. Whatever your preference, the environment and culture you decide to work in will play a big part in your job satisfaction; and therefore have to be something you consider on your job hunt.
A company’s CSR can reveal a lot about them. Organisations who are socially responsible will generally treat their employees well, and respect their community, customer base and environment; so if you’re looking for a charitable company that gives back, their CSR policy is a good place to start. Ensuring that the company’s vision and values align with yours will also be key to your success and job satisfaction.
Alongside a basic salary, companies will offer a benefits package; including things like a pension scheme, insurance, healthcare and paid sick leave. Additionally, in order to attract the best candidates, companies will often include a competitive perks package, which includes the more fun, non-essential bonuses. This could consist of things such as early finishes, flexible working, work socials, company car, free food, and training budget – all great bonuses to consider alongside your basic salary. The benefits & perks will be visible on the job spec, but if you’re looking for more information, then just ask the employer.
If a company has set up an internal mentoring scheme, it usually indicates that they care about the career development and wellbeing of their employees. In the early stages of your career, having an experienced and trustworthy mentor in the workplace can play a big part in your professional development; so it’s a good thing to look for when deciding on a company.
Job satisfaction isn’t just based around salary, benefits or even your team; it’s also about having a productive work/life balance. In the long-term, maintaining this balance will aid your physical and mental wellbeing, increase your productivity, and help you develop professionally.
Companies who recognise success tend to have engaged, motivated and happy employees; so if the employer mentions an ‘Employee of the month’ vote, or awards for outstanding work, this is a good indicator of the type of company they are – and something to consider on your job search.
A company’s reputation is usually a good reflection of whether or not it’s a good place to work. During your applications for graduate jobs, check out Glassdoor and Google reviews to assess a company’s reputation; and to ascertain whether it’s the right environment for you.
Salary is an important factor when searching for graduate jobs; but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all. In fact, there are a number of other things to look for in a company; that might help you make up your mind about where to work.
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