What I Look For In A Job

If you’ve followed me on social media for a while, you’ll know if I’ve done a lot of contract work. What comes with that is a lot of job hunting. The hardest thing about job hunting is that the variables I look for are not the variables that are advertised.


What I Look For In A Job


What I Look For In A Job


Basically, I want to be challenged, busy, able to work how I want to and have colleagues I can talk to maturely when I want to.


Micro-managers make me want to push people off of the top of tall buildings. Open plan offices are hell for introverts. Even with headphones.


But how do you know where you will be working? How loud your workmates will be in the open plan office?


People view these things as petty or unimportant in the recruiting process. They are really critical for me. Unfortunately I’ve never found a good way of covering these topics in a pre-employment stage. You just have to guess and hope.


What do you look for in a job?


20 Replies to “What I Look For In A Job”

  1. At a couple of interviews I’ve done in the past I actually did ask whether it would be possible to have a walk through the area I’d be working in if I were to be successful in getting the job. It’s not always possibly but sometimes I was able to do this and it gave me a better idea of the layout of the workplace and also the vibe of the workplace.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      You know, I’ve never really asked. I have been shown around a few times and that is a really good way to get a feeling of how staff feel about their bosses and any red flags that might come up.

  2. Great question. I look for trust. I look for an employer who gives me a task, and trusts me to get it done (or trusts me to ask questions if I need to). I look for flexibility – I look for a place where getting the work done to a great standard is more important than where and when that work is done. And I look for great work. Work that I can be proud of, for organisations that I’m happy to be aligned with.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      The details of where and when are really becoming irrelevant I think, but people clutch to them so much!

  3. My looking for a job is totally different to your looking for a job, simply because I’m looking to build someone something as my job. So in the ideal client I am looking for mutual respect, trust and understanding, and the fact they pay well, will certainly help 🙂

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Haha yes, clients that pay would certainly be a great factor!

  4. I’ve only ever worked in retail so my workplaces were all much the same in terms of layout. I mainly want to make sure the boss has a personality I can get along with when looking for a job, because otherwise I’ll end up hating my job so its pointless. #teamIBOT

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I am so not nice enough to work in retail haha. Every time I’ve tried it has been a pretty dismal failure. A good boss really does make or break a workplace.

  5. I have never had to work in a shared space..oh actually I have…its called a classroom! However, I have ventured into other workplaces (uni, voluntary organisations) since leaving teaching and to be honest, I didnt feel comfy in them. Guess I am a schools-forever person but fortunately I am now retired…Sigh. Good luck with your on-going ventures (adventures?) Denyse

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I could never be a teacher haha. How do you hide from the students? 🙂

  6. I look for a friendly boss and colleagues and people who like to be part of a team. Lately, I’ve worked in open plan offices so that’s all I know, but as noise levels go, they’re much more preferable than a classroom of five year olds which was my “previous” office!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      That just confirms I would be the worst teacher ever if classrooms are worse than open plan offices 🙂

  7. It’s always hard to figure out when you go for an interview. But yeah, I hate being micro-managed and would like my employers to trust me to do my job. My current manager actually seemed like she was micro-managing me the past two months and it was frustrating. But we had a chat yesterday and I put some of my requirements/what’s stressing me out without explicitly saying I thought she was micro-managing me and came up with some good alternatives. Let’s see what happens in the next few months. If the micro-managing continues, I’m out.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It’s good that you got the opportunity to have a chat and work together.

  8. I’m a teacher, so there is a lot about my work that will be common no matter what school I’m at (classrooms, outdoor learning spaces, working with a teaching partner). A school tour is always nice, if the school is new to me. And the questions I ask in my interviews are things like how the school supports its teaching staff to develop their professional skills, and I ask what makes a successful teacher in THAT school. In my first school I was able to learn so much about the colleagial culture from the responses to those questions, and I knew without a doubt it was a school in which I wanted to teach.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I like to ask the interview panel why THEY like to work at that company (or team or whatever is relevant). It’s a good one that throws people.

  9. When (if) I go back to the corporate workplace and work for someone else, my main things will be autonomy, a willingness to accept new ideas on the part of the firm and the opportunity to mentor.

  10. Great question, Vanessa. I don’t think employers realise that the interview is as much about the candidate sussing out the job as it is about them finding the right person. It should be much more of a two-way street. When I think about it, though, I always ask. I always have lots and lots of questions about what I’ll be doing and how I’ll be doing it and who I’ll be doing it with. I have never thought to ask about where I would be doing it, but that one is now on my list. x

  11. I’ve only had a couple of jobs but what has been important to me once I was in the job is people who are easy to work with and management who know what they are doing. I worked at a family supermarket at one stage and the brother, sister team who were in charge had completely different ideas on what worked. The brother was happy for us to get on with it and do what needed to be done because we were the ones who worked in the store all day. However the sister used to come in and throw around instructions that made absolutely no sense. For example one Saturday she made us mop the entryway during our busiest period while it was raining. It was pointless!

  12. Flexibility and understanding. I need to work around my family or have someone understand that my family does come first. Which doesn’t mean I won’t work my butt off, but that there will be times when I need to look after my kids.
    I also need purpose. I can’t just work for nothing.

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