Finding the Right Employer (It’s okay to be picky)

Looking for employers and jobs is somewhat like looking for a significant other. It’s vaguely like dating where you need to know as much as possible about the other person (the employer) in order to know if you’ll be happy and successful in the long run. When looking for the right employer, you need to start taking into consideration important factors that can later impact your career.

While past internships and work experiences are a great way to start figuring out what you like best in the work office, there are other factors to take into consideration: In what kind of work environment do you excel? In what type of atmosphere are you most productive? Do you work better with certain people?

There are several other factors that go into finding the right employer:

  1. Employer reputation– Are they well known? Will this organization help open doors for you later on?
  1. Growth potential– It’s common to apply for entry-level positions (that’s how you get your foot in the door!), but does this company have opportunities for you to move up? Will you be able to take on more responsibilities and climb the career ladder?
  1. Security/benefits– Is this company still going to be in business in 5 years? 10 years? What benefits can the company provide for you (i.e., retirement, health insurance, etc.)? But also keep in mind benefits like flexible schedules and holidays. Benefits often lead to overall satisfaction and a happy work-life balance.
  1. Work environment/organization mission– Can you imagine yourself happily going into work and not minding if you have to stay late? Would you feel comfortable at your job due to the people and atmosphere? Also, does the company culture and leadership match the values and ideas you hold valuable?

It’s a lot to take in and consider about an employer, especially when you start to feel like you can’t be too picky when it comes to applying for jobs. But to help make your searches easier, there are plenty of resources to help you figure this all out:

  1. Organization’s website/social media– Check out their “About Us” and “News” website sections to see what the company is up to. Also see if the company has LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Seeing how they interact with people and what they post can help you get an overall sense of the culture.
  1. TU’s Career Mentor Database– You can connect with TU alumni working at companies you’re interested in to conduct informational interviews.
  1. Websites that review companies– Check out Vault and Glassdoor to read reviews from people who work there.
  1. TU Cook Library’s Guide to Company Research– This guide has valuable resources for conducting company research.

The best way to find out what you want from a job is to get out there and work…now is the perfect time to start an internship or even an on-campus job. Student employees can look forward to National Student Employment Week (April 13-19) here at Towson University when we show them just how much they are appreciated in our offices. This is also the perfect opportunity for student employees to reflect on what they value and need in a work environment.


And finally you can learn about other students’ work, internship, volunteer, and overall leadership experiences by checking out the Career Center’s #TUinfinity campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Tell us about your experiences using #TUinfinity for your chance to win weekly prizes, including a grand prize $500 gift card!

Shelby Hillers
Career Peer Advisor
Career Center


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