The Analyst: Picking the Right Job

Hey everyone, happy Thursday! This is a friendly reminder we are just one day away from the weekend, so keep grinding! This week’s blog post is all about making the right decision when it comes to selecting a job or lab in school. It’s been a couple years since I’ve had to select a lab but I can definitely give you some advice about picking the right job. Check out some of my suggestions below:

One huge factor for me when choosing my next job is LOCATION. The distance you travel to and from work can greatly determine if a job is a good fit. You don’t want to work so far away from home that you end up spending more than you make. Whether taking public transit, Uber or personal driving- these costs can add up, so check and get a rough estimate for how much it’s going to run you to get to and from work daily. If you choose to drive to work be sure to see if there is a parking lot and if it costs to park there and include it in your cost estimate. Not only money, but travel time is a great reason to do research on a company’s location. One of my previous jobs was located in Tyson’s corner, VA. I quickly started disliking the job because my commute time varied from 1-2 hrs each way. Sure the money was good but I was spending 12 hrs a day on work when I’m only getting paid for 8... time is money, you do the math.

Ok so we’ve checked location and everything seems reasonable enough to work, what do I look at next? I always like to ask, “what’s the work ENVIRONMENT like”? Are employees pleasant at work, or is there a lot of in-fighting? Your job should be a source of income not a source of stress. Positive company culture can motivate employees to work hard and stay in that position for longer! A good way to get the inside scoop on company culture is asking “why did the last person who held this position leave? Did they leave any documents or continuity guidelines on how they did their work before they left? Make sure you are made aware of what type situation you’ll be stepping into before it’s too late.

I also like to do a little digging about the managers leadership style. Is the manager a micro-manager, always following up behind my work, or are they more laid back and give their employees more autonomy to complete their tasks. Depending on what type of person you are this could be a huge indicator of if the job is a good fit or not.

Generally I inquire about what opportunities for growth are presented at the job and if the management team promotes within or if they usually hire those leadership and higher tier positions on the outside. This is a great question to ask because you don’t want to waste your time bettering a company that does not want to invest in you. Another good indicator of if a company is willing to invest in their employees is if they offer any on the job training or tuition assistance or even student loan forgiveness. Some jobs offer loan forgiveness if you work at the company for an extended period of time. This could potentially save you money and headache in the long run.

But don’t stop asking there, follow up asking what the benefits are like including 401k plans, health insurance and PTO/ holidays. Of course we all want to know what the pay rate is but as you get older it’s important to find out about additional benefits- particularly health insurance. FYI, after you turn 26 you cannot be on your parents health insurance anymore. So enjoy it while it lasts!

If you are deciding between a couple job offers weigh your options and consider these questions. It could help so you’re not job searching again sooner rather than later. Enjoy your weekend scientists!

-The Analyst