Always a leap into the unknown
Many industries are now suffering from a shortage of labour and head hunters are used more and more often to fill positions, and not only the managerial ones. Even if a job offer sounds attractive at first, changing jobs is not something that should be taken lightly.
“Changing jobs is always a leap into the unknown,” says Career and Organizational Psychologist at MPS Päivi Montgomery.
Montgomery published a book this year entitled “Työnhaun psykologia”. The idea of the book is to help job seekers understand the employer’s perspective on things and how they should talk about their skills and personality.
Montgomery believes that anyone considering changing jobs should first clarify their personal values.
For example, you could ask yourself if career progression is important to you. How about being able to influence your duties, responsibilities and working methods? Do you have demanding hobbies or a family that affects your working hours?
In addition to your values, you should also take a look at the employer's values. Montgomery points out that in some workplaces, values are nothing more than empty words.
That is why Montgomery urges everyone to ask value questions that are as concrete as possible during recruitment.
“For example, if one of the values is equality, you could ask what exactly the company has done this year to promote equality.”
In general, Montgomery encourages everyone to ask a lot of concrete questions during the recruitment process: Would I have specific working hours? What is your take on employees who have to go and pick up their kids from daycare at 16.00 every day? How do you look after people's wellbeing?
Montgomery also urges job seekers to ask questions from the current and even the former employees of the company. You can search for employees and contact them directly on LinkedIn, for example.
Employee experiences can also be found on Glassdoor, an online service dedicated to this purpose. However, Montgomery warns that some reviews can be biased if the reviewer harbours bitter feelings towards their former employer.
As a general rule, you should always take what other people say with a pinch of salt.
“If an employee has previously worked in a highly hierarchical culture, they may find their workplace quite unconstrained. But someone else may feel that the same place is extremely restrictive. There is no one, absolute truth.”
Montgomery also reminds us of our superpower.
“You should listen to your intuition. It's not always magically right, but if it warns you about something, you should stop and think about why that is.”