How to find out if you really want to join a company

Much of the history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. (Thomas Sowell)

We have a local Fortune 1000 company that has a reputation that makes top local people avoid the company.  That company spends a lot of money on relocating people from out of town.  However, some people love working there.  So how do you decide? Is it a good company for YOU to go to work for?

How to research a company

First off, Google the company and find out all you can about it.  Check out the company website too.  Find the easily accessible information first.

Now start asking people you know.  You can occasionally ask coworkers, but don’t interrogate them weekly about a new company.  Find other people who work there as well as those who used to work there.  If you only ask people who left, you may get a very skewed picture of the company.  The people who left the company, left for a reason.  The people who stayed there, stayed for a reason.  Find out the reasons for both.

If you start hearing a lot of people say they stay for the job security then believe them.  Don’t assume the place reeks for job advancement unless the people you respect who left say the same thing. In other words, believe why people say the stay.  Believe what people say about why they left if you really respect their work and teamwork.

Whether you are using a recruiter for this particular job or not, ask a few recruiters what they think.  You would be surprised what recruiters find out about companies.  We talk to a lot of people who want to quit from, or move to, any given company.  We naturally sift through gossip and sour grapes to find the truth.

Find out what you need to know about a company before the second interview starts.  Be prepared to give a quick “yes”.  If you have your doubts about the company, be prepared with tough questions.  Find out whether you really want to go there or not.  Be ready to “just say no.”

Something to do today

Start talking with people about companies long before you even start to look for a job.  Asking questions is called business intelligence.  Be intelligent.

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Coming up

The jobs on my resume

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