How to Know If a Job Is Right for You

Searching for a new job is stressful. Between resumes, cover letters, interviews, and sample assignments, it can leave you feeling a little lost at sea. And, unfortunately, getting a job offer isn’t necessarily the end of your worries.

After all is said and done, you still may be left wondering, “Is this job right for me?” 

Luckily, there are a few things that you can do during your job search to help you find the perfect match and instill confidence in your decision to accept a job offer. 

Before you start thinking about whether or not a job fits your needs and wants, it’s important to determine what those needs and wants are!

And, for that, you need to look inward.

There are many aspects of a job aside from the work itself that you should consider before starting your job search. To find a position and employer that’s best suited for you, think about what you value most when it comes to these five aspects.

Compensation and benefits

Perhaps one of the most important things on your mind going into a job search is salary and benefits. One survey found that the second most common reason why people reported turning down job offers was that the salary or benefits package didn’t meet their expectations. 

Before you start looking at postings, you should have a good idea of what salary and benefits you’d like to receive. Whether you’re using what you got at your previous job as a reference point or going off your cost of living, it helps to have a concrete idea that can help narrow down your options. 

Company culture

Though compensation is important, for many jobseekers nowadays, money isn’t everything.

In fact, recent surveys show that 65% of millennials value company culture more than high income. Perhaps you’re looking for a workplace that centers around collaboration and teamwork. Maybe you’re looking for a playful work environment. You may find that you thrive with structured and methodical work.

If this is something you want to place emphasis and priority on in your job search, think about what exactly you’re looking for in a company culture-wise. Think about and compile a list of the core values that you’d like to see in a company. Later, when you’re researching employers, refer back to your list of values and see which ones closely align with your ideal culture. 

Job flexibility

Do you want to find a job position that allows you to travel and work? Are you hoping to work for a company that offers flexible hours so you can drop off and pick up your kids from school? Do you prefer to come into the office occasionally to collaborate with team members? 

For some, job flexibility is a must; for others, it is just an added perk. Consider what you’re looking for in terms of flexibility and how important it is for your job search. Luckily, more and more employers today are offering remote work options and adaptable schedules to accommodate those who feel more productive from places other than the office.


Losing a sense of inspiration at work can leave you feeling drained, unmotivated, and lost in your career. According to research, nearly 70% of people say they define their purpose through work. Most yearn for their work to be meaningful and to make some sort of difference in the world. 

If purpose beyond making money is a motivating factor for you, you’ll want to find an employer that can help you fulfill this. And a job doesn’t need to be saving lives to be meaningful. There are numerous ways to get this in a job, whether it’s finding an employer with a philanthropic mission, a company that provides a beloved product or service, or a role that allows you to connect with people in a positive way. 

Growth opportunities

Many companies take pride in their efforts to help employees grow in their careers. You can find employers that offer educational opportunities, allow employees to network and learn from other departments, and help employees get promoted within the company.

If advancing in your career is important to you, it’s important to find an employer that will foster this and not let you sit stagnant for years.

How to know if a job is right for you

Once you have a solid understanding of where your priorities lie, you can match them to job postings and companies.

To do this, you’ll evaluate job descriptions, research the companies, and ask the right questions when it comes time to interview.

1. Look further than the job title.

Job titles aren’t standardized, so don’t discount a job just because the title isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. Some recruiters may tack on flashy words or titles to get more applicants. The only way to know what a job will consist of is to read the full description.

2. See if your skills align with what they are looking for.

Every job posting should have a list of skills that are required for the role. It’s important to have most of the abilities and knowledge that they are looking for— especially when it comes to hard skills. However, some requirements may be more flexible than others. Though criteria like a college education may not be negotiable, the employer may allow you to learn some skills on the job.

3. Look for any other indicators that the employer and position match your priorities.

Some employers will include a little blurb about their company in the job description. They may describe the workplace culture, perks and benefits, or salary range for the position. 

These descriptions can be a good indicator of whether or not the employer will meet your needs. For instance, an employer might say that the position is remote-optional. If flexibility is one of the most important factors for you, this job may go to the top of your list. 

4. Make sure the expectations and responsibilities are reasonable.

You can usually pick up on some red flags from companies just by reading the job description. If the list of responsibilities seems too demanding or unrealistic for one person, carefully consider applying. 

5. Research the employer.

After you’ve looked at job postings, research the company to decide whether or not an employer is a good fit for your personal and professional life. There are several places that you can turn to in order to find more information.

  • The company’s website 
  • Their social media
  • Articles in local news, national news, business journals, or forums
  • Your network or people you may know that work there
  • Employer reviews on an unbiased review platform

Should you decide that an employer is a good match, your findings can be beneficial in the interview process and help you better understand how you can apply your skills in the role.

6. Ask questions during your interview.

The job interview is one of the last chances you’ll have to assess your fit with an employer before you’re offered a job.

Use this as an opportunity to ask specific questions and learn more about the position and life at the company.

There are several areas that you can inquire about—  the role, company history, job expectations, and company culture, just to name a few. For example, if flexibility is important to you, you can ask questions about how the company supports work-life balance.

Some of your questions will likely be answered during the interview, so make sure to come with several in mind.

Do your due diligence

Finding the right fit takes work. The good news is that a little introspection and research can go a long way!

If you’re considering taking a new job, consider whether it aligns with your priorities. And remember— there may not be a job out there right now that is 100% what you’re looking for. The goal is to find alignment on the things that matter most to you.