But how do you weed through those offers and ensure you land in a position where you will be truly happy and fulfilled?
Know What You Want: The first step, and one that is vitally important, is knowing what you want from your career. That may sound simple enough, but the reality is, knowing what you want is about more than just money. Sure, we would all like a bigger bank account, but for most people, there are other factors at play. What are your priorities? Do you want to live in a certain area? Or do you need flexibility on the job? How much do you care about the freedom you’ll have in your position? Or about the team you’ll be working with? You can’t make a reasoned decision until you’ve taken the time to really explore what you want.
Ask to Tour the Facilities: When interviewing at a location that seems like it could be a good fit, ask for a tour if all seems to be going well. Not only will walking around the organization give you a chance to talk a little more informally with the hiring manager, it will also further express your interest in the job, and give you some insight into the work environment. Pay attention on that tour, both to how happy or disgruntled the employees you pass seem to be, and to whether you could picture yourself there.
Talk to Your Network: The network you’ve built up over your years of engineering is probably your best opportunity to gauge what to expect from any organization you might be considering. Reach out to the people you know and find out what they think, either based on their personal experience or stories they’ve heard.
Trust Your Gut: Ultimately, just like falling in love, you’ll likely know when you’ve found “the one.” Once you interview for that job that has your heartbeat racing with excitement, trust that gut feeling and don’t look back.
One last word of advice: don’t just chase the shiny objects (the big name firms or extra dollar signs). Yes, those things have appeal, but they won’t necessarily equate into on-the-job happiness. Make sure a job has substance (room for growth, quality corporate culture, happy employees, etc.) before taking the plunge. Accepting is a long-term commitment, not a one-night stand.