When you’re in the middle of a job search, it’s natural to be drawn to big brand companies with products you enjoy as a consumer. In fact, many people determine upfront a shortlist of companies they would be “willing” to work for. We refer to this as the “Disney Prince” pitfall: a job (or person) you see from a distance seems to have all the qualities that would make you happy and fulfilled to live happily ever after. It is natural to do this, but it’s not the right approach if you are looking for the right professional and personal fit.
Here are the top three ways to get to know your future job without succumbing to your Disney Prince.
1. Identify Which Factors Make You Happiest at Work
When you think of what’s going to make you happy at work, your reasons for being attracted to certain companies might be off-track. You might use your experience with the product to judge the work environment of the company. But this last little to no bearing to what it’s like to work at a place. You’ll have to do some research on the history, work environment, pay history and culture to get a feel for what it’s like as an employee.
OK, but what if you’ve read an article about a company’s culture and decided it’s perfect for you? That’s a good start for some foundational work first. Culture is extremely important – don’t get us wrong – but it’s not the first step in evaluating what you should do.
2. Understand The Industry and Fields
So then where do you start? With the big picture—industry and fields. In other words, field describes very broadly the kind of work you’ll do and the industry whom you’ll do it for.
Industry is the major source of revenue for a company, such as entertainment, healthcare, or transportation.
Field is the umbrella that holds several specific functions together like:
- - accounting contains public accountants, auditors, and forensic accountants
- - marketing includes market research, brand management, advertising, promotions, and public relations.
But in a nutshell, your research should involve talking to people in these industries and fields and getting first-hand experience from them.
3. Do Market Research
When you’ve narrowed down your options, you should then focus on function. If working in the field of marketing in the transportation industry is one of the possibilities, what might you want to do: brand management? Advertising? Public relations?
Once you’ve decided on the function and a few industries, that’s when you should begin researching companies and what it’s like actually to work for them. At this point, you may very well find that some of those Disney Prince companies still make the list, as well as some surprise companies join the list.
Getting the Job
At ArcVida, we guide clients through successful career transitions. Our innovative programs help job seekers understand what makes them happiest at work, when they've made their best decisions, and who to connect with within their already existing network. Learn more about our programs and how we can set you up with your Disney Prince.
Published on 2/1/2022