Millennials, This Is What You Should Look for in a New Job•
Searching for a new job can be overwhelming. Since this is where you’ll spend the majority of your waking hours, it feels like everything’s important. Indeed, a lot is important: benefits, company culture, co-workers, management style, advancement opportunities, job duties, location, and many others. But kununu reviews indicate that there are three new job requirements that trump the others:
1. Challenging work
People say they want an easy job. But research shows that people don’t actually enjoy easy work. They choose tasks that are easier if given the option, but they prefer tasks that are harder. They want to feel useful. A recent study found that even thinking about a challenge can “drive high-arousal mood states such as interest, engagement and enthusiasm.” Conversely, passive, low-arousal states lead to dissatisfaction and unproductiveness.
Challenging work is, in short, key to feeling engaged and satisfied. Consider this: among the highest-rated companies on kununu, the average review rating for “challenging work” is 4.06. By contrast, the lowest-rated companies on kununu received an average rating of just 1.54 for challenging work. Contrary to the widespread belief that easier work is more enjoyable, these ratings signify that employees love companies that challenge them.
How do you find out if a future job will be challenging? Ask for a day-to-day job description before you accept any offers. If your future boss or hiring manager doesn’t mention things like analytical tasks, miscellaneous projects and various forms of problem solving, you may be in for monotony.
2. Career development
Companies that offer career development opportunities are a lot like good parents. Psychology research shows that when “attachment figures”—like parents and bosses—are attentive in the right ways, individuals feel comfortable interacting with and mastering their environment. With good parenting, children are willing to take risks, grow, and engage other people and projects with confidence. For both working adults and children, exploration is the foundation of learning, accomplishment and fulfillment.
Good companies will encourage employees to try something they’ve never done before and experiment with different facets of the company. They’ll provide guidance and support along the way. They know that career development makes happy employees, and happy employees make good workers, and good workers advance the company’s bottom line.
Use kununu to search for companies that have high career development ratings. You’ll notice that companies that excel at career development also tend to excel in other areas, too. In fact, kununu’s highest-rated companies overall earned an average of “4” for career development.
To millennials, who were taught to think critically in school and challenge authority, autonomy is especially important. Our ability to take risks and even go off on our own within a nurturing environment is, indeed, the underpinning of career development and success. It comes down to this: You can’t grow in place.
Unfortunately, many workplaces unknowingly squelch employee independence and creativity. Look for hints that employees get “mom-ed” and aren’t allowed to take on creative side projects. You should feel like your employer has your back and offers instruction and support, but you shouldn’t sense Big Brother.
If you’re debating whether to accept a job offer, ask yourself, “Can I explore here?” Define the kind of exploration you crave, whether it’s creative outlets, management opportunities, autonomy or collaboration. Ask the hiring manager to put you in touch with a few star employees. Then ask these employees if they feel like they’re allowed enough independence. If that feels too direct, you can ask questions such as, “What creative solutions have you implemented in your company?” If they can’t think of any, the company’s ideal employee may be a sheep.
Finally, in addition to the above three requirements, define what you uniquely want in a new job. Because they have less experience to draw on, millennials often accidentally search for jobs and perks that other people want—working for Google or Facebook or some hot startup, unlimited vacation and random perks. But chasing what other people want is ultimately unfulfilling: in a study of recent college grads, attainment of intrinsic (internally-motivated) aspirations related to strong psychological health, while attainment of extrinsic (externally-motivated) aspirations related to ill-being.
So before you even start job hunting, gather more information about what you’re looking for, what you’re good at, and what will make you satisfied. Read, journal, get career counseling or therapy, and take personality tests like Myers-Briggs, DISC or Strengths Finder. Ultimately, you’re the one who has to live with the job you choose.
Caroline Beaton (@cs_beaton) is kununu’s millennial career expert. She’s an award-winning writer and entrepreneur who helps ambitious millennials change their habits and behaviors to lead more fulfilling lives. Her writing has been has been featured in Forbes, Psychology Today, Business Insider and many others.