Creating a Dream Job Checklist

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to look for in a job. Do you want to be a part of a small team or a large company? Do you prefer a relaxed atmosphere or something a little bit more formal? We’re here to help simplify the process. To figure out your perfect work environment, just remember the ABCD’s of finding a job, explained below.




What’s your desired vibe? When you walk into a business, do you want your first thought to be “Wow, this looks impressive. Must be prestigious!” or something more along the lines of, “Wow this place looks so fun! They must be laid-back!”


Another good clue is the way the employees are dressed. Business suits tend to be more on the “prestige” spectrum while jeans more on the “laid-back.” That’s not to say that a company who wears jeans can’t be notable or do good work, but they will typically have a different management style than a company that requires business attire.


Both atmospheres have their own merit, and both can make employees happy. It’s really a matter of determining what you’d prefer.




Many young professionals entering the job world are afraid to ask the question “What is the pay for this position?” As a result, employers are able to walk over them, lowering the pay without the new employee ever realizing. Don’t ever be afraid to ask about the pay. In fact, it’s one of the important deciding factors in landing a job.


Of course, sometimes it’ll be necessary to start at the bottom, and that means a lower pay. However, low pay at one company might be significantly different than at another company. It’s always important to know your options to be able to compare them.


That also means it’s important for you to decide whether you value a higher paycheck or a better environment, as they don’t always go hand in hand. For example, many students enjoy working for non-profits, where the work is almost always little to no pay. Prioritizing can help you pick the best options for your place of work.




How do you work best: in collaboration with other people or on your own? Depending on the company, each will have a different view about whether teamwork is encouraged or even available. For example, many engineering positions can wildly vary from almost always working on a team to build something to almost never seeing another person to program something.


If you know that you want to be part of a team, be sure to ask about that in your initial interview. Knowing the format of work in a space is another good way to determine if it’s the right fit for you.




Although it might be a smaller factor, how close or far a company is to where you live is still something worth considering. Sure, you can move or commute. But sometimes the extra costs associated with trying to get close to your job cancel out any extra pay benefits the job might provide.


There’s also something to be said for convenience - it’s always undervalued until it’s gone. It might be helpful to draw a geographic boundary and look for jobs within it. It’s fine if you have to go outside it, but it also provides a helpful reminder as to how far away an office actually is.


If you’re trying to decide on your perfect job, keep in mind the ABCD’s (Atmosphere, Benefits, Collaboration, and Distance) of job hunting. Figure out your preferences, and narrow down options to reflect them. Knowing what you want and actively looking for it will help you to be happier in your job.



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