Finding a job is hard; finding one you like can be even harder. There are many workplaces where the skeletons in the office closets don't come out until after you've signed on the dotted lines and started orientation.
If you're looking for your next job, recommendations from peers might help narrow down good options. Start with Glassdoor's 10th annual list of the 100 best places to work, as ranked by employees. Getting an opportunity at some of these companies and organizations might seem like a long shot, but considering what people who actually spent time there have to say about it may help ground you. Glassdoor community expert Sarah Stoddard suggests that job seekers do their research — fact-based and anecdotal — before applying.
To start, she advises that people learn whether certain companies fit their specific skills and needs as employees, and vice versa. Do they offer flexible schedules, unlimited personal time off, or a 401(k) match? Your priorities change as you move through life and work, and ideally, you'll get the benefits that make it possible to focus on the job at hand.
After that, Stoddard says, take inventory of your skills. "At Facebook, the No. 1 Best Place to Work in 2018, we know they value skills over experience — their priority is to match you with a job that plays to your strengths and will offer strong career growth opportunities," she explains. "So, if you find out you don’t have all of the required experience, that's okay — this is your chance to prove you truly understand and connect with a company's mission and culture, and that you have identified how you can help move the company forward with your unique skillset."
The elements of a company's culture aren't always obvious or straightforward, but talking to current and former employees, and asking good questions during an interview can help. Another thing you can control is your own narrative. If you make it to the interview stage, Stoddard advises being authentic and honest about what you can bring to the table.
"Even the most brilliant individuals won't be completely successful in a role without being able to relate to the same mission and values as those around them at work."