With my final semester at IU winding down, I am happy to announce I am officially employed! I recently accepted my offer to work for Groupon in Chicago! I am so excited and thankful to be working for a great company with not only a great structure and reputation, but also an awesome company culture. If you are not familiar with Groupon, there are a lot of young employees working in a fast paced environment…seemed right up my alley. Now that may not be what everyone is looking for in their future work environment, so I wanted to give you some tips on what to look for on your own job search to find your “fit”.
The beginning of any job search starts with RESEARCH. While you don’t have to know every last detail when you initially apply for a job, you should know the basics such as what the company does and what the position entails. As you get further into the interview process you should look deeper into the company. One of the best ways I found was looking up the company on glassdoor.com. Glassdoor has everything from company reviews, to salaries, and even interview tips. It was a great tool for me when I was going through the interview process to get an inside look of what other candidates or even employees think of the company. It also helped me weed out companies that seemed great on paper but according to the majority of the reviews people thought it was poorly managed or had an unpleasant working environment.
After I did a little of my own research I began to ASK MYSELF “what are the things important to me in a future job?” For example, in most of my past internships I worked every single weekend however when looking for a full time job I decided I wanted to have a typical Monday-Friday workweek and be able to take the weekends off. Another huge factor was being able to have an approachable supervisor. The final thing I hoped to find in my post grad job was the ability to move up and advance my career. Again, everyone is different so these may not be your top three “fit” characteristics, but take the time to think about what those are for you.
Once you’ve figured out what you want in a company you can begin to ASK OTHERS. I first did this during my phone interview. When I was given the opportunity to ask my own questions, I made sure to throw in the question “What is the company culture like?” Other great questions to help you get a feel for the culture and how you can fit in are, “What do new employees find challenging about this position?” or “What is your favorite thing about working for ________?” All of these questions show your interest in the company and will help you gage what working for the company is like from an employee perspective including challenges you may face. When I was invited to the Groupon office for a final interview I continued my questions, but this time I tried to make it more personalized. I asked things like “What drew you to Groupon?” “What were transitions you went through to get to their current position?” or “Where do you see Groupon going in the net 5-10 years?” These questions helped me see what an employee sees in the company as well as where they see the company going. Their responses not only let me know that people are able to move up within the system when they put in hard work, but I was also able to hear first hand some tangible ideas they had for the company’s future instead of the typical “I think we will see some growth” answer I got from other companies. For me, that was one of the main things that made Groupon stand out.
The final thing you can do to see if a company is the right fit for you is to OBSERVE. Get to your interview early (but not too early! Typically 15 minutes unless they specify otherwise) and take this time to look around the office and see how people are working and interacting. If you want to sit quietly at a desk but people are rushing all over in a fast paced environment, that company may not be right for you and vice versa. If you want a good relationship with your supervisor/CEO but they are never in the office, maybe there is another company that is a better fit. You ultimately know what type of environment you work best in so keep an eye out for those things while you are on sight. I loved the open layout of the Groupon office and how everyone was so accessible. Being able to see the employees interact with one another while on the job helped me realize that I wanted to be a part of the Groupon team.
While I may not be a professional on the topic, these steps helped me find my “fit” at my new job with Groupon and I hope they can help you find a job that’s perfect for you!
Emma Koehler is a senior at Indiana University. She plans to graduate in May 2015 with a degree in Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management. Emma hopes to work in the hotel industry upon graduation. She is excited to share her own internship experiences and ideas with readers!
Categories: Career Advice
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