Looking for a new job is a a gut-wrenching and stressful time in anyone's life. You have either thrown or been thrown into a pit of uncertainty. Even with a strong network of contacts the process is filled with doubt.
In my career I've spoken to numerous recruits at all stages in their careers. Some patterns have emerged, and I will share those with you here.
How will I know the company is the right fit?
How can I appear confident going into the interviews?
What should I ask the company?
How do I know if I will fit in there?
Should I do 'X' to appear more marketable?
And the list goes on.
Tipping the scales back in your favor
I find it strange that so much of the recruitment process is centered around the candidate presenting themselves to the company. Today's competition to acquire and retain talent evens the scales and puts some much deserved power and decision-making in the job-seekers pocket.
The questions YOU should be asking
There are questions new recruits should be asking before taking the plunge (and risk) and dedicate a significant part of their lives to a cause. I took a little time to make a simple excel template you can use when starting that scary new journey.
As the holder of the talent you are entitled to know some things:
who are the leaders, the board, and your co-workers?
If the company is venture-capital funded, how long until the money runs out?
How do employees in the company work? What tools to they use?
What will my work environment be like? Is it open-seating, cubicles, or hot-desks?
Again, the list goes on.
So here it is, an excel sheet of the high-level things that any company should be able to answer quickly and with certainty. It should not expose any proprietary information or secrets, so sharing should not be an issue. Filling this out should is an excellent exercise for anyone wanting to get a better feeling for the fit, culture, and ways of working in a company. In my opinion, this kind of information should be posted as a page on every company's career and recruitment pages. Many have good pages, but it often does not go far enough. Photos of pizza parties and kayaking trips just just fodder for Instagram and offers no greater understanding of the day-to-day life in the company.
Note, this is a work in progress. Maybe I should turn this into a collaborative document we can update together in GitHub? Please share your thoughts.