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Career Advice

Better Company Atmosphere or Higher Paying Job, that’s the question? Guest post by Susanna Cha

This is a guest post by Susanna Cha, currently writing on behalf of Guardian Jobs. Find graduate jobs in education, public sector, charity, marketing, arts and heritage, and social housing and care on Guardian Jobs.

Better Company Atmosphere or Higher Paying Job, that’s the question? Difficult decision, right? I thought so too. Before going into this, I would like to share the techniques that I used in finding a job….

Background; Ever since I started my MSc in International Marketing Management, I knew that I eventually had to find a job that would suit my interests and my education. During the course, I had attended many job hunting lectures that explained how important it is to know your unique selling point in order to sell yourself on paper.

Tip: Being aware of your unique selling point is crucial. My unique selling point is that I speak three languages fluently. When thinking of your unique selling point, try to think out of the box and don’t think about the general communication, organisation and planning skills. What is it that you do best and is unlike others?

After a couple of months studying Marketing, it became clear to me that I wanted to work in digital marketing and therefore decided to obtain an extra certificate next to my MSc in Direct and Digital Marketing from the IDM. The reason why I did this is because a CV needs to stand out. There are many job seekers that have completed a MSc course, fewer have got a certificate next to his.

Tip: It’s not a bad idea to specialise in a certain area that you are good at. Recruiters will notice this when they read your CV and you have a higher chance of getting an interview! Plus, if you are already good in that specific area, it won’t be difficult to get a certificate for that, just put the effort in it.

The Job Hunt: Once I graduated, the job hunt began. As I was unsure of the country where I wanted to work in, I subscribed myself to recruitment websites in different countries. I am originally from The Netherlands, so I used Dutch recruitment websites as well as English one’s like Guardian Jobs. I eventually applied for three companies in the Netherlands but unfortunately didn’t make it through to the next stage. I believe this was due to my lack in confidence when it came down to the actual interview.

Tip: I therefore believe that it is good to apply for many jobs at the same time even if you don’t necessarily want to work for company X. Gaining the interview experience will boost your confidence significantly so just use them as practice material.

After these rejections I did become a bit nervous because I was unsure how long it would take me until I would have a job. I continued my job search, created job alerts and uploaded my CV to as many recruitment websites that were decent. Before I knew it, I started receiving calls from recruiters that asked me if I was interested for different kind of jobs. Unfortunately I didn’t like any of the jobs they offered me an interview for, so the job hunt continued.

Besides using recruitment websites, I also researched a bit myself and searched for digital marketing agency lists in the area where I knew I wanted to be in.

Tip: If you know the type of role you’d like have and the sort of industry you want to work in use search engines and type in the kind of industry or companies and the area you prefer to work in. In my case this was “digital marketing agencies Leeds”. This is a good method to use for job hunting, as some companies don’t advertise their vacancies outside of their own website.

This approach helped me a lot because I was able to find three companies that were looking for recent graduates. I e-mailed these companies my CV and was invited for all three of them. Surprisingly, after the interview, I also received job offers by all three companies. I believe that the previous interviews definitely boosted my confidence as I was more prepared of the kind of questions they would ask. Anyway, I was facing a difficult decision…

The deciding factor: It was easy to rule out company X because this company “only” offered me £15.000 per annum. Besides that, the product did not appeal to me either. Then, I needed to decide upon company Y and Z.

Company Y: When I walked into company Y, everything was quite strict, not welcoming and very formal. I had to prepare a presentation for the interview and decided to include some of my personality in it. I made a small joke but to my surprise, the faces of both interviewers remained strict and formal. The salary was all right, £17.000 per annum and the office was only 5 minutes away from my house.

Company Z: Company Z was a completely different experience. When I walked in the office, I was kindly greeted by the receptionist and was offered a cup of coffee. During the interview, I felt very comfortable and the interviewers seemed really nice. Unfortunately, Company Z “only” offered £16.000 and was a 30 minute bus drive for which I needed to pay an additional £80 per month to bus tickets.

The choice was not easy but I eventually decided to go with company Z due to the company atmosphere. Personally, I find it more important to work in a nice environment as opposed to a higher paying job. I am still working for company Z, and I am still very happy with the choice I made.

 Tip: If you find yourself in a similar situation and unless the salary differences are huge, I would suggest you to take a company’s atmosphere into consideration. Even if you receive £50 more per month, it is so important to feel welcome and to be happy when going to work. I hope my story will help you in the process of choosing one company over the other. Good luck with the job hunt!

Thank you Susanna for your guest post and we hope to have you back at TheEmployable at a later date.

If you would like more career top tips CLICK HERE. 


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