I was talking to a candidate last week about her experience and what she was looking for in her next role. Like most lawyers she was able to very accurately describe the type of work she wanted to be involved in, whether she wanted a large or small organisation, the amount of court exposure, the next step on the ladder, the development regime etc. It was when we turned to the subject of the wider work environment that she started to struggle. My questions were essentially all related to how she wanted to feel at work each day?
The biggest single factor in how we feel at work each day is how we feel about the people we work with and in particular how we feel about our boss. That is a loaded question for me these days as I am effectively my own boss, but I think everyone out there in the world of work has pondered the virtues and failings of their boss at one time or another, and I would bet good money on the fact most of these musings have come at the end of a day or week when said boss has made you feel bad about some aspect of your job. It is human nature that we tend to dwell on the negative, whilst largely allowing the positive to pass uncelebrated.
As a recruiter we are trying to find the best possible fit between the candidates we work with and the roles we are instructed on. Finding the right work is the relatively easy part, finding the right work environment is far harder and we often relying on candidates attempting to describe quite abstract concepts. One of the most enlightening ways I have heard it expressed is through a description of the ‘best person you have ever worked for’ and I would urge all those about to embark on a job search to give it some thought. It will help you paint a picture of what you enjoy, where you thrive and how to get the best work out of you – what employer doesn’t want that information up front?