Have you ever been asked what kind of job you were looking for? It’s a common question that we hear all the time, but do we really know how to answer it? If your first instinct was to call out something like “I’m looking for a fun job” or “I’m looking for a job where I can make more money” then you’re not alone. Sometimes it’s hard to articulate exactly what we mean. Sometimes we don’t even know the real answer. Not sure what I mean? Allow me to explain.
There are three type of jobs:
- Jobs we can expand our knowledge
- Jobs where we can make a difference
- Jobs to be comfortable in
So which kind of job should you be looking for? It depends. Ask yourself where you are in your career journey, and what your personal plans are.
Jobs we can expand our knowledge
Jobs we can grow from are the jobs that teach and challenge us to learn and grow in new areas. Sometimes that looks like finding a job right out of college and then staying focused in that specific area to develop expertise. Or maybe it means that you choose to grow from changing jobs every couple years to learn from different managers, companies and business areas.
If this sounds like you, here are some questions you can ask during the interview:
- What is your management style?
- How long have you been in this role?
- How would our working relationship provide regular feedback?
- What type of training or continuing education opportunities are available?
Jobs where we can make a difference
Jobs where we can make a difference are jobs where your experience and perspective are brought in to change or improve a situation, department or entire company. In this situation, you will be providing the growth for the people you may work with or manage. These opportunities can be in a start-up, a merger, a reorganization or when new leadership may be brought in.
If this is the category that you find yourself in, here are questions you can ask during the interview:
- What goals do you have for this role in the first 6 months? 1 year?
- Where has the department struggled?
- How will you evaluate my impact and results?
- What is your time frame for results?
Jobs to be comfortable in
Jobs to be comfortable in are the jobs you may want to be in for a couple of years or longer. You may stay in a role for a variety of reasons. The most popular reasons are you may love your job, manager, the people and the company. People also stay in the same job for long periods due to life circumstances. Maybe you have an ailing parent or child or struggle with your own health and really need the stability your current job provides. Maybe you’re going through a separation. Regardless, you just want a job to show up for and the ability to leave your work at the office when you’re done.
If this is where you are, here are some good questions to ask during the interview:
- How will this position be evaluated?
- Describe your management style?
- How do you feel about someone staying in the same role for 3-5 years?
- “I know I am over qualified for the role but let me explain why this role makes sense for me now.”
To get the right job you have to first know which job you’re looking for. Everyone is at a different stage in their career and their career goals are likely different from your own. Invest the time in yourself to understand what is right for you so you know what to look for and more importantly, which questions to ask.