Knowing Your Role and Industry

When searching for a job that is right for you, there are a multitude of things you need to study before approaching your interview, especially when entering a new industry.

For starters, research the job description to see if you really want the role. It could involve something that absolutely does not interest you. For instance, if you are interviewing for a sales role you may want to know the level of travel that is involved, the availability of support to assist in writing proposals, developing presentations, updating CRM systems, and other tasks that take time away from being with prospects.  If you show up to the interview without considering all responsibilities listed in the job description, you may discover deal breakers that waste everyone’s time.  Even if you can do the role doesn’t mean you want it.

Some industries are disproportionately losing talent, others are struggling to attract talent, and some are grappling with both. A recent study by McKinsey and Company indicated that 48% of individuals who changed jobs went to different employers in different industries  Go beyond perceptions of “traditional industries” to learn more about ways that business conditions and technological advancements are shaping how business is conducted.  Determine how your skills can be applied to help these industries in their transformation efforts. 

Make sure that any each position describes a role that you can do. If you are deficient in certain required areas, are you willing to learn? Will you take the initiative to seek out training?  Is this an area where the company is willing to train you?  If this isn’t the best fit after being in a role for 90 days, you are wasting everyone’s time.

Take the time to learn about what the work-life balance/synergy is like, how management is structured, and what growth potential in the company looks like. Use online resources to gain “behind the scenes” insight on what you can expect when joining the workforce of a particular company. Using sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, or Google Reviews can help you get an “under the hood” view of what goes on inside the company. Caution: these can be a bit misleading considering most individuals are more likely to go into these sites fueled by negativity, rather than the opposite approach. Regardless, you can typically get a grasp on what is valued by the company on these sites and see if it’s a good fit for you.