where to work

The Australian - The Deal - - First Up -

This is less about geography and more about tim­ing, net­works and the na­ture of the in­sti­tu­tions. First, let’s con­sider geography. Ever since Richard Florida wrote about cre­ative cities, the value of buzzy places with di­verse pop­u­la­tions and great life­styles has been re-writ­ten. Luck­ily, Sydney and Mel­bourne make it on to the list but Brisbane and Ade­laide aren’t far be­hind.

Ur­ban plan­ners also stress that within cities there are eco-sys­tems of peo­ple and ac­tiv­i­ties that cre­ate net­works and op­por­tu­ni­ties. Most cities are de­vel­op­ing ar­eas known as de­sign val­leys, IT al­leys and bank­ing dis­tricts and be­ing in those ar­eas might land the next con­tract or the next job.

Age is also a ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion for de­cid­ing where to work. In the decade post-ed­u­ca­tion, many take the op­por­tu­nity to have a port­fo­lio of work, in­ter­na­tional stints and, in­creas­ingly, en­tre­pre­neur­ial ven­tures. Ex­perts point out that most start-ups are run by peo­ple in their 30s but it makes more sense for those in their twen­ties, when re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are less.

Be­tween the ages of 30 and 50 years, many will look for steady jobs with big­ger in­sti­tu­tions. For both moth­ers and fa­thers, work­ing for a large or­gan­i­sa­tion with fam­ily leave and flex­i­ble shifts is im­per­a­tive when chil­dren are young. By the time, you’ve reached 50, steady work is less im­per­a­tive so small busi­ness, start-ups and port­fo­lio work be­comes pos­si­ble again.

Get­ting the right fit be­tween you and your em­ployer is front of mind for many. Re­cruiters nom­i­nate three char­ac­ter­is­tics that peo­ple look for when ap­ply­ing for a job – rep­u­ta­tion, ca­reer tracks and work/life bal­ance – and while man­age­ment books are full of ad­vice on align­ing val­ues, it’s so­cial me­dia that will tell you how a com­pany really per­forms.

When try­ing on an em­ployer for fit, there are a few cru­cial ques­tions to ask – is it a di­verse work­place in gen­der, age and eth­nic­ity; how trans­par­ent are the pro­cesses, par­tic­u­larly with wages and pro­mo­tions; how sus­tain­able are the oper­a­tions and how much flex­i­bil­ity and au­ton­omy does the group of­fer?

A few other things to keep in mind – is it a growth in­dus­try or not; does it have in­ter­na­tional of­fices; is there a pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment pro­gram and, even, how likely is it to be takeover tar­get? Don’t be too im­pressed by Fri­day af­ter­noon neck mas­sages.

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