Research: The more information you have, the better decisions you make

Karen Munro is an independent Career Coach, passionate about working with clients to enable them to make informed career choices.

With so many recruitment agencies out there and massive online recruiters like Indeed and TotalJobs, is it really necessary to research the job market yourself? Don’t they do all the hard work for you so you don’t have to? The answer is no!

Recruitment agencies and online job boards are all about sales and selling prospective job opportunities for their clients looking to entice great employees into their organisations. The sales transactions and commissions paid are entirely based on finding great candidates. So what’s not to love?

There are a number of things to consider here. Firstly, around 80% of the job market isn’t advertised. The ‘hidden job market’ is where most jobs are created through strong and mutual connections, friends of friends, word of mouth, recommendations and possibly an element of luck – being in the right place at the right time. Some advertised jobs may already be earmarked for somebody else!

Secondly, thinking about your current and previous job descriptions, how accurately did they reflect what the job was really like; the environment and working culture, training, and management style? Consider this – do you think all the job adverts out there are equally reflective of what the job is really like? Possibly not.

Research is absolutely essential
It puts you in control. Given that we spend an average 90,000 hours of our lifetime working, it’s important we choose a job that not only provides us financial independence and security, but also makes us happy and gives us respect and a sense of fulfilment.

The value of doing your own research cannot be underestimated; when you are looking for your next career opportunity make sure you are talking to as many people in the industry as possible. Use LinkedIn to identify connections to talk to about the company working culture and management style. Register with online sites such as Glassdoor for independent company reviews by other employees, follow an organisation on social media, attend insight days and careers fairs and also consider asking recruiters and hiring managers questions related to the organisation’s values, employee engagement and growth.

The more you research the industry and organisations that interest you, the more information you will have to help you define your job search. This will help you discover relevant training, forthcoming opportunities and gain new connections. In short, the more information you have, the better decisions you make.

For more information and help with your new career come along to an OA event for Service leavers.