Summary: Find out how you can present yourself to employers to keep up in a competitive job market.
Question: With a highly competitive job market and more jobs being lost involuntarily, what are employers really looking for in potential candidates? Would they rather hear, “I’m looking for a role in a company that has longer-term career-growth potential,” or “I need a job and am willing to tirelessly work long hours to achieve company objectives.”
Answer: Both. If employers can have it all, they will take it.
A sound approach is to start with an awareness of your own work orientation and play to your strengths. If, for example, you are indeed looking for longer-term growth potential, research companies and seek those with a future that looks promising and a work environment that reflects a development culture.
Clues that a company is committed to the longer-term growth of employees include: orientation for new employees, strong management-training programs, an expectation of and support for continuous development, a web-based career site, regular performance appraisals, mentoring, talk of retention of key talent, and inclusion on a “best company to work for” list. While your company of choice may not present all of these options, a combination of a few of those mentioned is an indicator that the company is committed to developing its employees.
Because the two scenarios you presented (long-term career growth and working long hours to achieve company objectives) aren’t mutually exclusive, you are likely to encounter employers with both sets of expectations. The key is to align your goals with the goals of an organization that will provide roughly the balance you seek.Do Career-Minded Grads Stand a Better Chance at Getting a Job? by Andrew Ostler