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Apparently we spend 90,000 hours at work in a lifetime – and that’s a long time to spend stuck in the wrong job. This was the issue with my last job. I spent what felt like 90,000 hours staring at the clock above the door willing it to get to 5pm. When my reporting line changed to someone who had less experience than I did, and contributed nothing, it was the final straw. But where next? I knew I needed a new challenge, something that meant I spent zero hours looking at the clock. However I had an added challenge – I was an expat and I wanted a role that meant I could go home!

I’d been away from my home country for four years, which added a layer of complexity to my job search. Most companies saw that I was outside the UK and decided I was ineligible to apply or too expensive to hire. I needed to do my research to find out who were the best companies to work for in the area I wanted to be in and take it from there.

But as every company wants you to think of them as a great place to work how do you make your mind up as to who is a best fit for you? These were the sites I turned to:

Indeed

Indeed is the world’s number one job site with over 200 million unique visitors every month from over 60 countries. If a job is online, you will find it on Indeed. Users can search jobs posted on thousands of websites and employers can post roles directly to the site. In addition to searching open roles in your chosen area you can read company profiles and reviews. This made it super-easy to see who was hiring in my target region, rather than searching lots of individual job boards.

Glassdoor

Glassdoor is one of the fastest growing jobs and recruiting sites containing company reviews, CEO approval rankings, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more – all provided by employees past and current. It was here that I got a real feel for the working culture of the places I was applying to.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 530 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. You can search for companies on LinkedIn and find out company information, recent news stories, live vacancies, find out if you have connections that work there and follow a company to get news and content direct to your news feed. I knew LinkedIn well so not only searched for jobs here but I reached out to my own networks to see if they knew of any roles coming up that were not yet advertised.

Social Media

More and more companies are showcasing themselves on social media. Following a company on social media can provide access to real life employee stories, video content, corporate news and more. Trying checking out their employer brand channel such as #Lifeat[insert company] or #[insert company]careers. I ended up following lots of companies I found via Indeed to keep up-to-date on what they were doing – it was great interview prep too as I felt like I really knew these companies.

Great Places to Work Lists

There are many organisations around the world that compile lists of top employers. This include Great Places to Work, Top Employers Institute and Universum’s Most Attractive Employers lists.

Company Website

Obviously best way to learn about a company and to search open vacancies is to look at their own careers website. Some sites also allow you to sign up to their Talent Community which ensures new roles are emailed directly to your inbox and helps recruiters to find you more easily. After I applied for my role at SAP via LinkedIn I scoured the careers site. I wanted to know absolutely everything I could and was so excited to get an interview at the place I had quickly realised was THE best place for me.

My Advice for Finding the Right Fit

Once you have researched companies, found vacancies and applied for jobs, make sure you continue your fact-finding at interview stage. An interview should be a two-way process. You need to understand if the culture of this business is as right for you, as much as they want to find out if you are the right candidate for them. If an employer has been making claims around diversity or female leadership, ask them what strategies they are employing to deliver on these promises. If they advertise they are flexible employers, ask what this means within the team you are applying to.

Keep an open mind. Don’t let one bad review cloud your judgement. This is why, when researching a potential employer, you should use multiple sources. No one is 100% happy in their job 100% of the time so take on board the bad reviews, but use them to further your research and ask more questions. Unless of course all the reviews are bad!

Follow the places you want to work. If there isn’t a suitable vacancy at the time you want to look for a new role, you can follow that company on most sites to continue learning more about them and find out about new roles as soon as they are posted. Job board sites allow you to sign up for job updates, and following a company on social media is a great way to keep up-to-date with what they are doing.

Now you know where to start your search it should be easy to find an employer that supports you to thrive and develop – I have been with SAP just over a year now and it feels like 5 minutes!

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