“Why are employees constantly leaving?” is a common complaint heard by managers. There are few things more disruptive to a business than a good employee walking out the door. Leaving employees often blame their actions on the company, the job market, the economic situation, or something else, not understanding that the problem is the mindset… the way jobs are viewed nowadays.
Jobs have ended up being things people do not want, but need to do in order to support themselves. Most employees who decide to leave a company and look for a new job do so out of frustration and disappointment rather than a desire for betterment and new opportunities. So they take what they can find, are satisfied at first, but end up leaving the new company for the same reasons. And the circle continues.
Is it possible to break that circle and, more importantly, when? The answers are “yes”, and “how about now”.
Take a 360-degree look around. How many times did you smile while turning? Does the way your office is arranged leave you delighted? Are the pictures on the walls inspiring, do they make you think or are they disturbing? If you were smiling, how many of your colleagues smiled back?
Now, think about when you came to work. Did you get to the office easily or did you just lose two hours on the way because the company is at the edge of town? Was your office neat the way you left it yesterday, or was everything messy and all over the place because there’s no cleaning crew or your colleagues don’t respect privacy?
Not too many people think about their workplace, focusing on the job they have to do and letting everything pile up until it bursts. But this is something to try and improve where you work right now and definitely something you should look for during an interview for a new job.
The people you work with are an integral part of those eight hours you spend every day earning a living, something you should be very careful about when accepting a new job. But you only get to know the people you work with after you’ve got the job, right? Well, not really. You meet the first person you’ll work with when you shake the interviewer’s hand. You can see if he looks tired and overworked or fresh and ready for a new task. You can hear either passion or apathy in his voice when he talks about the company.
You can judge the truthfulness of the interviewer’s responses to your questions and feel whether you’re being rushed, or if he really takes his time to know you because he cares what kind of person joins the company. As long as you’re calm and observant, you can learn a lot from your interaction with a hiring manager.
And why not meet the actual future colleagues? You want to see who you’ll be working with and, while a 15-minute visit is not nearly enough time to get to know someone, a team that’s full of contempt straight from the get-go is not hard to see. Most times interviewers overlook this easy, powerful and transparent way to show a potential employee what they would be missing if they decided to join their company. And you’d also have the chance to see if you like the way this company decorates its interiors.
Most times you’ll meet your direct manager during the interview phase. If you don’t, you definitely need to ask for a meeting before you accept to work for him or her. Have a casual conversation, ask questions about your colleagues, who they are and what makes them special, ask questions about the person you’re speaking with, how they got there and where they’re going. Liking or at least accepting your boss is a must for a pleasant working environment.
It’s hard to change jobs and harder to find something that suits you—a company you can easily consider your home away from home for however much time you spend there. And, while luck is definitely a factor, you can increase your chances with a bit of courage, calm and observation.
Amanda Wilks is a Boston University graduate and a Contributing Editor at Job Application Center. She has a great interest in everything related to job-seeking and career-building advice and loves helping people reach their true potential.