As I made my way through college at Texas A&M, one of my biggest fears was “How am I going to find a job?” and even more so, “What if I don’t find a job where I like my coworkers and company?” Luckily, A&M, like most universities, provides many opportunities to gain employment through career fairs and networking. The most important question you should ask yourself when talking to a company is, “How will I fit in the company?” People often overlook this because they are concerned with their wages or where the company is located. I believe that having a successful and happy career depends on whether you fit well with your company and its culture.
It can be intimidating going through all the interview processes, but it’s important to remember that you are also interviewing them. People prefer different types of work environments. Some work best in a very strict, focused environment, while others may choose a more laid-back setting. Many companies always have activities going on beyond work. This is through intramural sports teams, workout challenges, social gatherings, and company tournaments. Usually, they aren’t mandatory; however, ask yourself if this is something that would appeal to you. Regardless of which setting, social compatibility among coworkers is crucial. Engineering constantly requires you to work as a team member, which means working with your coworkers to achieve one goal. If you have the opportunity when looking at potential employers, try to gauge how the other employees interact with each other. It can provide a good idea of how the company’s social environment is, and you can decide if you would fit well working within that environment.
Another thing to look for, if it suits you, is a family-oriented company. Some companies are so large that their employees can become “just a number.” This isn’t always the case; some companies treat everyone like a part of the family. Positive work environments are indispensable. You should never settle for a company that you wouldn’t feel comfortable working at for the next 40-50 years. Yes, work is work. That does not mean that work can’t be a happy place. A company’s morals often shine through how they treat its employees. It is imperative to keep in mind how your potential company’s morals align with yours. One of the dominant topics throughout college is practicing good ethics. That continues into the workforce. A successful career largely depends on you and your company’s ethical values, so their congruence is paramount.
As you ready yourself for graduation and the next step in your life, remember that you should enjoy your job and company. This is the beginning of a new chapter; while it is an adjustment, you must get up every day looking forward to going to work. There will be tough days, but I believe that if you truly found a good fit, the good days will outweigh the bad!