Doing Your Homework: Why You Need to Do Research When Searching For Your Next Opportunity

Ready for your next career move? Your first step should be a heavy dose of research. By doing your homework, you can focus on your ideal opportunity and avoid stumbling into a career-hindering error.

After all, mistakes are common in professional life. One study found that the average American makes nearly 120 mistakes at work each year — or more than two screw-ups every week.

Most of these errors are small and easily fixable. But what if your biggest mistake comes when you take your next job? That can cause serious career damage.

Those kinds of missteps are more common than you think. More than seven out of 10 young workers (72%) report regretting a new job. That kind of career error can be avoided by having a better understanding of the market and your position in it.

With that in mind, here are some reasons why it’s important to do your homework when seeking a job, as well as some tips on how to get the most out of your research effort:

Why You Should Conduct Research

Before you commit serious effort to a research binge, you should understand the value you can capture through the process. This will help inspire you as you proceed. At the same time, a firm view of the benefits will let you target your research effectively.

With that in mind, here are a few reasons you should gather information as you search for your next opportunity:

Select the Right Opportunity

How do you know if a job is right for you? To know this crucial bit of information, you need to understand your options. By building your knowledge base, you can target the right positions for you. At the same time, you can accurately set expectations for things like salaries and benefits.

Increase Your Chances of Landing a Job

The data you dig up in a well-run research process will make you a better candidate. You’ll impress your prospective employer with your knowledge of the company and the industry. As a result, you’ll raise your odds of landing the positions you pursue.

Inform Your Long-Term Planning

Any job you accept sends you down a particular path. One position often leads to the next — finding the perfect opportunity can open up significant horizons in your career. To make the right choices, you need as much information as possible. Research can help you focus on the best places to put your time and effort.

How to Conduct Research for a Job Search

Now that you understand what you can gain from research, it’s time to jump into the process. Here are some places you can turn to conduct a successful info-gathering effort:

Job Descriptions

Think of how murder mysteries work. The action starts at a crime scene, with clues spiraling off from there. In this metaphor, the job description becomes the scene of the crime: the place where you can begin heavier research.

Look for spots in the job description that point to avenues of further study. This includes the company offering the position, product names, and technical details.

Your Network

Ask around to the people in your network. As many as 85% of all jobs get found through personal or professional connections. As such, your web of contacts becomes a crucial way to learn about opportunities.

More than this, though, your network can provide general information, either about the broader market or about specific employers. Gather as much data as you can about your job search and uncover any advice people are willing to give.

Employer Review Websites

As you get closer to an offer from a potential employer, learn what other people say about the company. The rise of resources like Glassdoor grants you an insider’s look at a company, even if you don’t personally know anyone connected with the organization.

Learning about Specific Companies

Most of the resources listed above can provide help at any stage of a job search. As you narrow your focus to individual employers, you can complement those resources with more company-specific ones. This will help you become a better candidate, as well as give you the insight you need to decide whether to accept a potential job offer.

Here are some of the ways you can research individual companies:

  • Company Website
  • Social Media
  • Press Stories
  • Company Management

Need Help Searching For Your Next Opportunity?

Finding the right job means gathering as much information as possible. A top recruiter, like ABLE Associates, can become a crucial tool in that process.

Contact ABLE today to get the guidance and insight you need to take your career to the next level.

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