The job hunt process is an adventure in itself - an endless sift through multiple opportunities to find ‘the one’.
Among the nerves and excitement, we often lock our focus on the looming red flags - the “no-go” signs that scream mismatch. We’ve all been warned about these - toxic work culture, unrealistic expectations, subpar compensation, and more. Yet, hidden in plain sight are some green flags that hint at a harmonious relationship with your potential employer.
These positive signs help reduce some of the worry that comes along with switching paths, and provide some reassurance that you’re headed in the right direction - that not only is the role suitable for you, but it’s also a fitting partnership. They’re crucial to identify as they help us spot the companies that align with our goals and aspirations, value our contributions, and are invested in our personal and professional growth - factors that could weigh heavier than compensation or incentives.
And while some of it may seem obvious, studies show that 72% of young workers say they’ve regretted a new job after starting!
Here, we lay out a subtle 5-point checklist for you to evaluate any opportunity that comes your way thoroughly so you can navigate the job market with greater confidence. Read away.
#1 COMPANY CULTURE
It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of fancy titles, enticing salaries, and impressive job descriptions. Amidst these tangible aspects, are you missing something that’s truly important?
A company's culture is the heart of its operations, shaping the day-to-day work experience and influencing employee well-being. But to assess it accurately, you’re going to have to dig deeper than the glossy brochures and carefully crafted mission statements.
i) Explore the company’s website and social media platforms to get a sense of its brand personality. Look for testimonials, employee stories, and examples of how the company lives its values.
ii) Seek out online reviews from current and former employees on platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed. These reviews can provide valuable insights into the company's work environment, management style, and overall culture.
iii) Engage in informal conversations with current employees to gain firsthand perspectives on the company culture. Ask about their experiences, their opinions on management, and their overall satisfaction with the work environment.
iv) If possible, attend workshops or conferences organized by the organization to observe how employees interact, engage, and embody the culture.
This is also a good opportunity to evaluate whether the company prioritizes causes important to you, such as Diversity, Sustainability, or giving back to the community!
#2 GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
Career development today is no more about only climbing the corporate ladder and securing a promotion. It’s about constantly reinventing yourself, adding new skills to your kitty, and steering clear of the dreaded monotony that can often set in. It’s about keeping the fire and passion alive which was the primary reason you entered the industry in the first place!
If this sounds important to you, you’re going to want to dig in to understand how your potential employer can offer opportunities for growth - and yes, that can be both professionally AND personally.
By joining a company that prioritizes employee development, you'll have access to training programs, mentorship opportunities, and internal promotion pathways that empower you to reach your full potential.
It’s recommended not to wait until you’re offered the job to ask about growth paths. Seek evidence that the company values career progression during your initial interactions. How long have top executives been with the company? Have they progressed through the ranks? Are higher positions typically filled from within after concentrated training?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
#3 WORK-LIFE BALANCE & FLEXIBILITY
We’re living in times when the hustle culture is encouraged and rewarded. However, when individuals feel overwhelmed or overworked, their physical and mental health can start to suffer, causing burnout.
That’s exactly why it’s important to consider a company that understands the value of a harmonious work-life balance and recognizes that it could lead to a happier, more engaged, and productive workforce.
Once again, don’t wait till you’ve joined to inquire about the organization’s approach toward employee wellness. Ask about the specific policies - such as telecommuting. Observe the company culture and notice if employees are encouraged to take breaks, disconnect from work, and prioritize their well-being.
There has also been a shift recently from focusing on input (hours worked) to output (results achieved). If that concept resonates with you, you’ll want to be on the lookout for this green flag! Believe us - it can make a massive difference to your professional journey.
#4 COMMUNICATION & TRANSPARENCY
Communication is the lifeblood of any successful relationship, and the employer-employee relationship is no exception. Transparent communication nurtures trust, fosters collaboration, and creates an environment where voices are heard, ideas are welcomed, and individuals feel valued. If you’re looking for a long stint with any organization, be sure to look out for this green flag!
In companies that value transparency, decision-making is not a top-down affair. Instead, there is an active effort to involve team members at all levels in the process, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.
They would also have open communication channels, which would provide multiple avenues for employees to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. This can include regular team meetings, one-on-one conversations, anonymous feedback channels, and open-door policies.
You’ll also find that different organizations have their own unique communication styles, ranging from formal and structured to informal and open. While it’s good to encourage cohesion, you should be on the lookout for tell-tale signs that individual personalities are valued and celebrated as well!
Here are some quick tips to assess the organization’s communication style:
Ask questions about it during your interview
Pay close attention to how the interviewer speaks with you. Do they actively listen to your responses? Do they encourage open dialogue? Do they seem approachable and open to feedback?
Observe how the interviewer interacts with other employees during the interview process or in the office environment.
Pay attention to the company's use of technology for communication, such as email, IM, etc.
Research the company's online presence and social media channels
#5 SUPPORTIVE LEADERSHIP & TEAM DYNAMICS
If you’ve heard and agree with the saying “Employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses”, you’ll know why this green flag made the list.
In every successful organization, leadership sets the tone which the team plays to. Here are some positive signs to watch for while evaluating a potential employer.
i) Visionary Guidance: Exceptional leaders inspire. They exhibit a clear vision, offer guidance, and motivate their teams to achieve common goals. Look for signs of mentorship and encouragement.
ii) Open-Door Policy: This allows team members to voice concerns, seek guidance, and feel valued within the organizational structure. You can be open and ask your interviewer how often people can go up to the leadership and speak to them directly.
iii) Mutual Respect: Teams that demonstrate mutual respect, empathy, and support towards each other signify a healthy and supportive work culture - one that you want to be a part of!
While assessing the leadership and team dynamics before actually joining can be difficult, it’s not impossible. Connect with current or former employees, attend webinars or watch videos where the company’s leadership is speaking, have a look at online reviews and ratings, and do some digging into the culture videos or blogs to gauge the personality of the people you’d be working with.
FIND YOUR DREAM EMPLOYER WITH GTX
A fulfilling career is not just about the work you do; it’s about the environment in which you do it.
By looking out for the 5 green flags we’ve mentioned above, you can increase your chances of finding a workplace that aligns with your values and professional aspirations.
At Global Talent Exchange, we carefully curate our partnerships with organizations that prioritize supportive leadership, positive team dynamics, open communication, transparency, and a commitment to important social and community initiatives.
When you register with us, you unlock access to exciting and enriching opportunities that will shape your career path tremendously.