Going back to study involves a considerable amount of commitment, not only with your time but financially as well. Deciding to go back to education will have a significant impact on your life and your pocket but if you succeed, it comes with a number of benefits… Career Progression and Salary If you are looking to progress in your current role or looking to switch roles, then furthering your education can get you there. Many working professionals who don’t pursue a higher qualification often encounter a ‘glass ceiling’ when trying to progress in their careers. Management, strategy courses or an MBA can help you advance further up the ladder. Competitive Edge Obtaining another qualification will immediately put you at a competitive edge. Qualifications are not easily achieved and employers are aware of this and seek candidates who can demonstrate this kind of dedication and ambition. If you and another candidate are evenly matched for a position, that professional qualification can be the edge that secures you the role. Build Professional Relationships One of the benefits of studying is the opportunity to network. More than likely those on the course, with you, are in similar positions to you. Therefore, these people will not only be there to help you through the course work but potentially remain as valuable contacts throughout your professional career. Update your Professional Knowledge Returning to education will keep you on top of new developments and trends within your profession. While you study, you will become familiar with all the new and relevant progressions in your field, which you can then apply to your working life. Personal Development Returning to education can have an impact on your personal development as well. You’ll share your time studying with a student body pooled from a variety of cultural and educational backgrounds. This can help with your social skills and confidence. Often when people study, one of the highlights is the experience gained and the enjoyment of doing something new and meeting new people.
Let's face it, probationary periods are hard. Whether you were unemployed or you moved jobs, you’re going to put yourself under a lot of pressure to succeed in this new position and the added pressure of knowing you’re on trial doesn’t help. Here are some tips that will hopefully help you pass your probation with flying colours. 1. Dress to Impress Firstly, make sure your personal hygiene is impeccable. One of the worst office habits is bad body odour. Secondly, dress smart. Dressing well will impress your superiors and your fellow colleagues. It will also give a little extra confidence while you’re finding your feet in your new job. 2. Timekeeping Traffic, public transport, school runs, they can be a nightmare in the mornings and we’ve all been there, but it’s no excuse to be late for work constantly. Want to make a good impression and pass your probation? Be on time! Even if it means you have to leave earlier in the morning. If you want to make a good impression you have to make real effort and show you are reliable. Bad time-keeping is a pet hate for managers and it’s a definite way to ensure you won’t pass probation. If it does happen that you are late, show you understand that time-keeping and attendance matters and always inform your manager. 3. Holidays and Sick Leave Myth Obviously during probation, you want to make the best impression possible and you don’t want to come across as someone who is not serious about their role. I have read several articles about probation, doing research for this blog and I’ve noticed that a lot of people say you shouldn’t request time off under any circumstances. Probation periods can last between 6 – 11 months and that’s too long a time to not take a day off. Don’t be afraid to speak to your employer about taking annual leave. Ask them what the most important dates on the calendar are that you need to be in work for and request time off around those dates. You should consider one day at a time and not block booking, at least until the probationary period is over. As for sick leave, when you’re sick there is very little you can do. Show your doctor’s note and apologise to your employer for the inconvenience. Employers know when an employee is not taking their job serious and when they are out of work for disingenuous reasons. Be fair with yourself and your employer about time off and you will be fine. 4. Socialise Part of your probationary period is not just to see if you can do the job you’ve been hired to do, but to see if you gel with the rest of the staff and integrate with culture of the business. It can be hard to come into a new place where everyone knows everyone and you’re the newbie but a little effort can go a long way. Go to work social events and ask different colleagues to lunch. Soon you won’t feel like such an outcast and part of a team. This will go a long way with managers as well as your colleagues. 5. Stop Being so Hard on Yourself You were chosen for this job. YOU not anyone else. You applied for the job and out of all the applicants you were chosen for interview and after your interview process, you were the one they offered the job to. So well done. Give yourself a pat on the back for coming this far. It’s so important during your probation to try steer your focus away from the negatives of being on trial and think of all the positives that got you the job in the first place. Cleary your employer saw something in you so why don’t you try see it in yourself? Always remember that probation is for you too. It gives you a chance to see the company and the role first hand and decide if it’s for you. Just as your employer can decide, you can also choose to leave at any time during your probation period. If you are considering leaving, get in touch with us at Sigmar and we can help you find something that will be a better fit.
Searching for jobs is a job in itself. It can be challenging and time consuming but there are ways of making the task a little easier. If you are planning on finding a new job, Sigmar Recruitment has devised a list of top 5 job searching tips to help you in your pursuit of the perfect job. 1. Get Employers to Come to You Uploading your CV online can increase your chances of being seen by employers. Most job searching websites like; Jobs.ie and Monster.ie allow jobseekers to create an online profile using their CV content. This online profile can then be viewed by potential employers and recruiters. There is also an option when you create your account to highlight specific jobs and organisations you’re interested in and receive email notifications when positions become available. This is useful for any jobseeker as it does the hard work for you and allows relevant job vacancies to come directly to you. 2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile The first thing you should do before applying for a job is ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with all your relevant work experience. Often employers will search for you online while reviewing your CV. It’s important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date as it could be the reason you get called for an interview. Extra Tip: If you are unemployed and don’t have an issue with making your employment status public, you may want to update your LinkedIn profile headline to something like, “Currently seeking (insert type of role here) in (insert location here)”. This will let others know that you are currently job seeking. 3. Target the Right Companies It’s important to know what type of company you are looking for. This all comes down to your personal preference. Knowing what you want will make it easier. Would you rather be; “a big fish in a little pond” or “a little fish in a big pond”? By eliminating the type of companies you don’t want in your search, you will narrow down the available jobs suited to you. Extra Tip: If you know of a company you think you would like to work for, search for reviews of the company online. Glassdoor.com lets you search millions of reviews of companies that are all posted anonymously by employees. This is a great way to get an honest appraisal of organisations you’re considering applying to or considering accepting an offer for. 4. Network Use the contacts you have to enquire about available jobs and get the word out that you’re looking for a new position. Often jobs can be found through people we know so it’s a good idea to get in touch with any relevant contacts you may have. Building on your current network can also give you an advantage in your job search. Attending conferences and job expos are a great way to network and find out about career opportunities. 5. Keep Positive Finding the perfect job isn’t easy and may take time. As rejections start coming in, it’s important to always try to stay positive. It’s only natural for you to feel deflated when things aren’t going according to plan but try to use the rejection as a motivation to work harder. The right job is out there for you and you will find it if you stay persistent and optimistic. Don’t have the time to job search? If you find yourself not being able to find the time to search for jobs properly, you can contact us in Sigmar Recruitment. You can upload your details and CV to our website, create an online profile and one of our 125 specialist recruitment consultants will contact you to discuss potential job opportunities.
Every new year brings the opportunity for new beginnings and a fresh start. If you’re reviewing your current situation and planning your new year’s resolutions, your job could be a great place to start. Considering a new job is a big decision but there are some significant reasons why leaving your current job could be the best choice for you. 1. You no longer enjoy what you do If you’re back in work this week after the new year and you’re miserable already, it may be a good time to start rethinking your current job. On average, the working week is 37 hours and if you don’t enjoy what you do, it’s a long time to spend being unhappy. 2. There is no opportunity to progress in your role Experiencing a glass ceiling in your career can be very demotivating. Working hard every day while being unable to climb a career ladder and achieve your potential can feel very frustrating and it can be especially frustrating if you are seeing other colleagues and friends progressing in their careers. If you’re unable to see an upward career path in your current position, there are two things for you to consider; changing jobs or returning to education to upskill and find work where you can progress. 3. Difficult work environment A difficult work environment can be tough to overcome. Unfortunately, some work cultures don’t always value staff and their morale. If this is the case for you and your work place, the atmosphere can become quite unbearable. If you have tried to speak out about the issue and nothing has changed, a new job in a company with a reputable work environment could be the best move for you. 4. You don’t respect or learn from your manager You don’t always have to look up to your boss but it’s important to respect your superior and feel you can learn from him/her. If the person you take direction from and report to is not someone you have a high regard for, it can make your work life quite difficult. If you feel negatively towards your boss, leaving your job could be what’s best. 5. You aren’t being paid what you are worth Money isn’t everything but when it comes to your job it is very important. It’s crucial to know your worth as an employee and to be valued by the company you work for. If you feel like you are being taken advantage of and your salary is not what it should be, then you may wish to consider a new job that offers a salary more suited to your experience. 6. You’re no longer learning Do you find yourself doing the same thing in work every day? Have you been in the same job for a long period of time and can’t remember the last time you learned something new? Are you bored in work and find every task seems to be more tedious than the last? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, a new job opportunity could be the best thing for you. It’s important to be challenged in your job to stay motivated. 7. You don’t get along with your colleagues Securing a role that you love may not be enough to remain happy in your job. The saying often goes, “find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. However, not maintaining good relationships with your colleagues can negatively affect how you feel in the workplace. There’s a lot more to job satisfaction than finding the right role. As there is a social aspect to work, it’s important to mix well and get along with the people in your workplace. If this isn’t achievable, it may be time to search for a new job. 8. You’re only staying in your job because you’re scared of change Change can be difficult but it shouldn’t stop you from pursuing something new. If the only reason you haven’t changed jobs is because you’re scared of change, then you should make 2018 the year to take a leap and start a new job. Choosing to leave a job is a very personal decision and there are countless reasons why someone would want a new opportunity. It’s always important to go with your gut though and do what’s right for you. If you are considering changing jobs in 2018, upload your CV and let our 120 specialist recruitment consultants help you to find the job best suited for you.
Working as a Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Recruitment Consultant I’m very interested in educating people on a career in the building services industry. I’ve been recruiting in the industry for nearly three years and have noticed a significant drop in the amount of Building Services graduates entering into the workforce. M&E Engineering firms are constantly calling looking for assistance in filling positions they can’t seem to fill themselves. A career in Building Services can be very challenging and rewarding with several different types of positions available in the industry. It combines a flair for design and problem solving along with dynamic working environments in Ireland and abroad. According to the CAO, points for a place in Building Services have been relatively low over the last few years which is surprising given the job opportunities. What is Building Services? Building Services Engineers are responsible for designing and installing energy systems in buildings. These systems include heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, water supply, fire protection, power, lighting and data communication systems. They work alongside architects and other engineering disciplines to design, develop and manage new technologies that impact the economy, utility, durability, and comfort of buildings. Working in Building Services Building Services Engineers can either work on the consultancy (design) side or the contractor (installation / commissioning) side of the industry. Both require knowledge of Building Services but are different in terms of day-to-day activities. Working for the Consultant – Design, Flair & Problem solving. Meeting with Clients. Tender / Concept design. Research new designs, technologies, and construction methods. Design calculations. Layout designs / drawings. Simulations. Working for the Contractor – Dynamic, Hands on, Commercial. Installation of M&E services. Commissioning of M&E services Interpret technical drawings and schematics. Environmental, Health and Safety on site. Provide feedback to design engineers on Client problems. Quality assurance. Careers & Opportunities Working as a Building Services Engineer there are several areas one can specialise in ranging from Residential / Commercial projects such as apartment complexes, offices and retail units to large Industrial / Pharmaceutical projects such as food processing plants, power stations and manufacturing facilities. As well as these projects happening in Ireland, there are plenty of opportunities in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and also Africa. Projects in the Commercial sector use conventional HVAC systems however above is a photo of the mechanical services in a Pharmaceutical plant. Plants like this have a higher demand for air, water, steam and other hazardous materials hence the larger and more specialised equipment. Salary Information Position Salary (1 – 2 years) € Salary (2 – 5 years) € Salary (5 years plus) € CAD Technician 25 – 27 27 – 30 30+ BIM Modeller 25 – 27 30 – 35 35+ Revit MEP Modeller 27 – 30 30 – 40 40+ Mechanical Design Engineer 25 – 28 35 – 45 50+ Electrical Design Engineer 25 – 28 35 – 45 50+ Mechanical Project Engineer 25 – 28 35 – 45 60+ Electrical Project Engineer 25 – 28 35 – 45 60+ Mechanical Project Manager N/A 40 – 60 70+ Electrical Project Manager N/A 40 – 60 70+ Software Building Services has come along way over the years in terms of the software used by engineers. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the most talked about / required package in the industry with it being used by both consultancies and contractors. It describes the process of designing a building collaboratively using a system of computer models rather than separate sets of drawings, this helps reduce the risk of errors through integrated design, engineering and fabrication workflows. Below is an image of how a coordination issue between the structural engineers and HVAC engineers was resolved long before the construction phase began, saving precious time, manpower and money. Before BIM, this issue may only have been spotted when the mechanical services were being installed and this issue would have been sent back to the consultants to reroute the services. Most companies nowadays will have BIM as a requirement on their job specifications however, if you have never used it before there are several types of courses available to do. Other software used in Building Services includes: Revit MEP IES Navisworks AutoCAD Dialux Hevacomp Having worked on very exciting roles with extremely innovative and dynamic companies, I find it hard to believe that there is not more of an interest in Building Services as a career. If you see yourself as someone with a flair for design, an interest in energy systems and good at problem solving then why not give me a call to discuss the first / next step in your career.
The market for newly qualified accountants is the busiest it has been in my five years working in recruitment and you will certainly have some good options available to you should you decide to leave practice. The first job you take outside of practice is an important decision to make, and it is a choice that you should put some serious thought and consideration in to. What kind of job would I like to do? As a newly qualified ACA accountant the experience will be attractive to a variety of different employers. Rather than just having the mind-set to take any job that is not external audit, decide what kind of jobyou would genuinely like to do. There is the option to move into financial accounting/financial reporting/financial analysis/internal audit etc. jobs. The first job you move into outside of practice may shape your career for the next 3-5 years. Given the amount of time you have spent studying, working long hours etc. in external audit, it is important that you move into a job type that you will genuinely enjoy and hopefully stay in for a number of years. What kind of industry would I like to work in? If you have spent 3-4 years working in audit you will have first-hand knowledge of companies in a variety of industries. Think about companies that you have audited that you would actually like to work for yourself and then target a job in a similar organisation. If you decide to continue your career in Dublin you are lucky in that there are a number of large employers in most industry sectors including Banking, Insurance, Funds and Multinationals. Even Irish owned SMEs and start-up companies are starting to hire again. It will be easier to secure a job in the industry sector that you audited but some companies will see that your skills are transferable and will offer you an opportunity to change sectors. Speak to your recruiter about which companies will give you this option. Should I stay working in practice beyond my training contract? Whilst a significant percentage of accountants working in audit will want to leave practice as soon as their training contract expires a lot will want to stay working in practice. This can be a good option for some candidates. You can progress to managerial level, manage larger teams and be exposed to more senior stakeholders in a variety of different companies. This will be advantageous to some candidates in the long term. However if you are not going to be exposed to anything new by staying on in your current role then it may be better to move on. There is also the option to move to a different accountancy practice on completion of your training contract. Big 4/Top 7 audit firms are always looking to hire good auditor seniors. Changing accountancy practices may give you exposure to new clients and may give you an opportunity to audit clients in a different sector than you are used to. If you qualified in a Top 20 practice it may be a good idea to get a year experience in a Big 4 audit firm if the ultimate aim is to get a role in one of the big multinational/financial service organisations. What is most important to you in a new job? All candidates will have different motives for leaving practice. For some they will want to join an organisation big enough whereby they can constantly progress and develop over the next 5-10 years. Others will prefer to go into a role that will offer more variety and more of a mental challenge. For some newly qualified accountants after spending three years working 60 hours a week they will just want a job that will allow them to finish work every day at 5pm. Whatever your motivation, there will be different options available. If using a recruiter be honest with them and this will result in you interviewing with the most appropriate companies for your skill set. Also speak to colleagues in years above you in practice who have left to join companies in industry as they will be able to give you first-hand information as to whate roles outside of practice really are like. Get your CV updated Until you interview your CV is the only document you have to describe your skills and experience. Despite all the resources available to candidates (CV templates, CV advice online etc.) some qualified accountants still cannot prepare good CVs. Your CV should do you justice and describe all relevant experience you have built up over your training contract. If you are unsure about CV layout or what to include then speak to a recruiter directly and they can help you with this process. In general your CV should be clear, concise, easy to read and very informative (facts and figures). If you have trained in audit list the different clients you have audited and describe their size (turnover, number of employees etc.) and industry sector. Recruiters see hundreds of CVs from Big 4 candidates every year and most CVs look very similar – what distinguishes one from the other is the different clients that you have worked on. Your audit clients will also be the first thing employers will look at when reviewing your application along with your educational record. In certain cases your recruiter may get you to tailor your CV for an application to a specific role – this will significantly increase your chance of securing an interview. Meet with a recruiter Meeting with a recruiter in person will be much more beneficial that just having a phone call with them. At an initial meeting you can have an open and honest conversation around what kind of job you actually want. This should result in you only being put forward to jobs you would be genuinely interested in rather than being submitted to ten different jobs just because your skill set is desired by the client. Applying to jobs of no appeal to you is a waste of the recruiter’s and the client’s time and does not reflect well on you either. By meeting with the recruiter at the beginning of your job search you will also distinguish yourself from the other hundred candidates coming out of training contracts at the same time. A good recruiter will also be able to match you to a company environment that will suit your personality as well as your skill set. Don’t wait for someone to approach you – be proactive and contact a recruitment consultant yourself. It is nice to be approached about a job and feel as though you are being headhunted for a specific role, however often the recruiters with the most jobs for you will not have the time to search through LinkedIn for hours to find suitable candidates. By registering your details with a good recruitment consultant you will ensure that you are kept aware of all suitable job opportunities that may arise. Even if you are not looking for a role immediately the best way to find out about good jobs is by having a relationship with the recruiter that will be speaking to these companies. Also, recruiters that have worked with companies for a number of years tend to be able to influence clients into meeting candidates that they have met and can personally recommend. By applying to a job through an agency you should be able to gain a competitive advantage over applicants that apply directly. Your recruiter will be able to give you advice about the company, the work environment, the hiring manager and also be able to conduct interview preparation with you. They will also be able to keep you better informed of the timelines involved in the process and will be able to ensure the hiring manager makes a quick decision if you are interviewing with a couple of different companies. What salary can I get? Naturally the salary you attain in a new job is an important factor when making your decision about what company to join. Luckily as a qualified ACA accountant in Dublin you can expect to receive a good salary in the current market. Companies in different industries pay different various salaries so have a look at salary guides for an idea of what you may be eligible for. Sometimes companies will offer lower salaries at first but with a view to increasing your remuneration and benefits as you progress whereas other companies will offer a higher salary initially but will offer no salary increase or no room for career progression over the next three years. Be open minded regarding salary and listen to the advice of your recruitment consultant as well as from fellow colleagues, managers etc. The first job you take outside of practice is an important decision and taking a short term view in terms of salary expectations may not be the best move in the longer term. Also, in reality a couple of grand difference in salary is going to make little difference to your monthly take home pay. Should I take a contract job? A lot of candidates will only consider permanent jobs when looking to change. Whilst this is understandable in some circumstances (mortgage application etc.), ruling out contract roles can seriously limit your options. The majority of large multinational or financial services companies in Dublin tend to offer contract roles initially. In general these tend to be permanent in all but name and will be extended beyond the initial fixed term contract. Again your recruiter will be able to offer you advice around which companies will make you permanent and which ones won’t. I plan on going travelling after my training contract ends On completion of a training contract or within a year of qualifying, a large percentage of accountants will go abroad to travel or to work. Depending on your personal circumstances you may be better off staying in your current practice for six months before going away whereas in the majority of cases it may be good to try and get 6-12 months industry experience before going away as this will make your CV look more marketable when you decide to return to Ireland. Of course this is dependent on individual circumstance and jobs on offer. If I fail my FAEs? If you fail your exams you will still have a significant number of options available to you. The first thing you should consider is whether you plan on repeating your ACA exams the following year. If this is the case, the best option will likely be to stay working in practice as no company in industry will offer you the amount of study leave that you will get in practice. If you are unhappy in your role maybe consider joining another audit firm that will offer a new environment and new clients to work with. A good option for a lot of candidates is to change to ACCA. This is still a prestigious qualification that will be hugely beneficial to you over the course of your career. You will be exempt from most exams and should be able to qualify within a year. The exam format is much friendlier to people in full time jobs than ACA exams are. The majority of accountants that train in industry will undertake ACCA exams rather than ACA ones. If you want to stay doing ACA maybe consider taking a contract role until next summer and then take a couple of months off to study for your FAEs once again. You will still have lots of options available to you to move into industry. You have the same amount of work experience as those that are qualified and your skillset will still be in demand to employers. You may not command the same salary that qualified accountants can but you will still get a good package. You will also have a year’s experience in industry (rather than another twelve months in practice) and when you qualify next year you should be able to command the same salary as your work colleagues who pass the exams this year. If you have any questions on your present position or are interested in roles that Sigmar has on offer please contact our team – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01-4744600.
One of the most common questions we get asked by recent graduates or people looking to alter their career is about working in Digital Marketing. It is the Holy Grail for a lot of people coming out of a business/marketing qualification and is one of the mostly highly competitive spaces to go into when searching for work. It is difficult to get these positions but not impossible. First of all why do you want to work as a Digital Marketer? Are you techie, a nerd or a geek? To be successful in this space you need to be passionate about the tools you are using to reach the people you are trying to target. This is a space that moves so fast that knowledge gained can be redundant within 6 months and if you don’t have the desire to keep pace you will get left behind. Keep embracing new technologies, be an early adopter and don’t fall by the wayside. Now that we know you really want this career let’s see how you can gain an edge against your competition: 1. Get a qualification. You are going to need a qualification in marketing with a strong focus on digital in it. If it’s not in the title then mention the digital courses in your education. Any additional courses you can do for free in your spare time should be mentioned – Companies want you to be good with software packages like Hubspot – download it and play around! 2. Build an online presence! You are applying for a digital role so you need to have a digital presence – Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter – all should be up to date and active (especially Linkedin as this is the first place a recruiter or hiring manager will look). Blogs, digital portfolios or anything that shows contribution or activity online can be an effective tool. You want to stand out so blog about something you are passionate about! 3. Specialise in something. Social Media, Digital Content and e-Marketing are probably the 3 biggest areas within Digital Marketing and if you can show that this niche is your gig then you will fare better in applying to those roles. 4. Work experience This is the tricky bit. Most employers want to see some experience on your CV so where possible do internships and ask for work while there. Also look at volunteering to improve the online presence of local clubs or businesses – do they have a Facebook page and can you increase the amount of likes they get? 5. Mention all of this on your CV! As a recruiter I don’t have time to read a cover letter from every applicant so if the info isn’t on your CV then I won’t see it. Be clear and concise but make sure I see – education, digital experience, and digital skills. The key thing about getting work in digital is to realise that the person you apply to will immediately check out your online presence and level of activity. If I am looking for someone to publish content online and you can show that you do that on a regular basis you should be a step or two ahead of some of your rivals. None of the above will guarantee you a job in digital marketing, but it will certainly set you on the right path!
Contracting work is certainly becoming more and more common in Ireland today, and it’s not just in IT. In Financial Services we are seeing a growing demand for contract employees, particularly in the fund servicing industry. Below are several pros and cons to contracting to help jobseekers make an educated decision on their next appointment. Many individuals are open to the idea of more short term, project based work but it depends on whether or not this would be a suitable option for them. Sigmar recruits for a wide range of contracts for a number of clients nationwide ranging from project manager/business analyst implementation roles to operational positions so the sky is the limit in terms of finding a contract positions that would suit you. The premise of this article is not to persuade people to adopt contract work, but to weigh up the pros and cons of contracting and hopefully open up a few minds in the process. Mostly geared towards the fund servicing industry, professionals from other sectors can take some value from this. Looking at the table we see some good arguments on both sides of the coin. What it really comes down to however, is the individual. Depending on your situation certain points will carry more or less weight. Like, for example, if you’re planning a family or looking for a mortgage, job security and benefits (maternity leave in this case) contract working would not be your best option. Before considering contract employment in your sector though, it’s important to understand the market first. Research trends, and identify the skills that are in demand. A good starting point is checking out salary surveys which are published annually by credible recruitment agencies. Sigmar's Salary Survey 2017 gives expert insights into the market, reviewing trends and offering insight into how things are likely to unfold over the year ahead.
As an old saying goes you cannot fit a square peg in a round hole so before you take that job offer, ask yourself- ‘Is this company somewhere I can truly picture myself?’ You need to work in an environment that you look forward to being in everyday, an environment that inspires you to do the very best you can do. A positive company culture that suits you will drive your passion to succeed whilst fueling your ambition and determination to climb to the top of whatever cooperate ladder you belong to. Otherwise, it will be the cause of you wishing with every bone of your body as the 7am alarm buzzes on dark winter mornings, that you could go back to sleep. Here’s some things to do see if you are aligned with the culture of a company you may be looking to work for: 1. Do Your Research Find out as much about the company as you possibly can. Have a creep around their website, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Accounts or threads on boards.ie or Glassdoor can also be very useful for behind the scenes gossip but be very wary of them and take them with a pinch of salt as they are anonymous comments and we have no idea as to the honesty, profile or past experiences of the commentator. 2. Values & Goals Values determine behaviour and decisions so it is important that an employer’s and an employee’s values match. If you do not agree with the values the company complies by, the work load and even minute tasks will prove to be difficult for you. When we as employees cannot comprehend or agree with the values of a company the decisions we make will be out of alignment with the company’s current practices and that will cause a whole lot of extra work and stress, which nobody needs. Your vision for the future should also match where the company aims to go. There is no point accepting a job when you have no interest in what the company itself is aiming to build. 3. Work Environment If you are not fortunate enough to know someone already working there, use your interview to assess the work environment and way in which the company works. Some of you may be social butterflies who can work in an open plan office chatting the day away whilst still meeting your goals and deadlines. More of you may prefer a quiet space where you can put your head down, get your work done and scurry off before having to interact with anyone. Also do not forget that in your interview the employers are also assessing whether you would be a good cultural fit for their company or not. Some questions you could take the opportunity to ask the interviewers may include: If you could describe the company’s culture in three words what would you say? Are the work hours strict or do you offer flexibility? If lucky enough to get this position what type of office environment would I be in? Is there reward structures or incentives in place? How would you describe the work culture on this team? 4. Social Does the company’s present culture fit in with your lifestyle? Perhaps everyone in the office is an avid sports fan but you cannot tell a football from a tennis racket, or maybe the only out of work activity on offer is drinks in the local bar on a Friday night when you need to be at home with the kids. If social activities are important to you to get to know your colleagues and to also help you meet that work life balance that is congruent with positive mental health you need to make sure the social benefits and activities the company works around suit you and at the very least appeal to you! Finally let me tell you to listen to your gut! You more than likely got a feeling from the interviewers, present employees you passed in the hallway or even the receptionist at the front door as to what the atmosphere in the company is like and if you received warm, welcoming vibes that’s usually a good sign. Think about what you want, what type of workplace will work for you and just go find it! Maybe you are looking for flexible hours, need incentives to reach targets or seek a social club to build relationships with your colleagues, either way the company with the perfect culture for you does exist. You just have to relax and take the time to find it. So now, when offered your next position instead of accepting it right away based off its six figure salary (hey we can dream) take the time to consider is it really a good fit for you?