Resource Center

Job Fit

As you think about preparing for and choosing a job you will want to make sure that it "fits" you right. There are lots of things to think about before you take a job.  We have given you some JAM (Job Approach Model) to help you find the right job fit for you.

A very important concept to think about when you are exploring career opportunities is the "job fit" or how the job suits you.  You know how clothes need to fit properly on you for you to look good and feel good? Well, a job has to "fit" with you to make you look good at what you do and feel good too.  With clothes ,you can change very easily until you feel good.  

Now, a job can be changed also, but not as easily as clothing and it is much more disruptive to your life, as well as the ones around you.  When you go to make a clothing choice, you have a pretty good idea about what works for you. You take the time to try different choices before you buy and you may even ask the opinion of a friend, family member or sales person.  

TeachingKidsBusiness.com wants to help you develop some steps to take when considering a job so that you make the right choice for you.  We realize you may not be going for a job tomorrow, or for the next 5 to 10 years, but it doesn't hurt to start thinking about this stuff and asking other people what they think, while you are developing your skills for your future career. 

The concept of  the "Job Approach Model' (JAM) will help you consider a number of steps in investigating a job. The word JAM was chosen from the idea of jam and toast, as they go well together like you and your job should.  This concept helps you think in advance of taking a job  vs. learning the downfalls while on the job.  It will help you prepare yourself by helping  you recognize the things that are important to you and the things that you expect from the company you might work for. 

 Once you have a framework to assess companies, it is easy to explore many choices.  You will find the e-Mentoring Profiles helpful tools that will assist you in understanding how other people have decided on their careers and how they would advise you to prepare for yours.

More Important than Money

An important thing to keep in mind is that a "job fit" is much more important than the  money you make.  Money is an important part of most jobs, but don't let it be the only deciding factor.  If someone tells you that a certain job is for you because of the money, benefits or perks, ask them why it pays so well and what things they have to sacrifice to do the job. They may be happy about the money, but are they really a happy person that you respect and want to live like? The key is to find a great job that pays great money and is the right fit for you.

As you spend time thinking about & investigating career choices, consider some of the following questions and talk to people.  Some of the questions may not have a lot of meaning now, but over time you will understand them and find that they are very useful in preparing for your career and choosing the right "job fit."

How to Review a Company by Using the JAM Approach

(Job Approach Model)

Let's take a number of steps from the following four major categories:

1.

The Work

Can you do the work? Will you enjoy doing it?  Will it challenge you?  What responsibility will you have? Will you get to do what you love to do? Will the work prepare you for the next step in your career? (You have to start somewhere.)

2.

Management (people you work for)

How will they treat you?  Do you trust them? Are they good managers? Can you learn from them? Do you have anything in common? Will the management provide enough coaching and feedback?  How will they help  you do your job?  How will you know that you have done a good job?

3.

Work Environment

Will it be fun?  What are the people that work there like?  What is the office space like and does it fit your style?  Are the working hours flexible?  What will be the level of skill development? What is a typical day like?  Would you feel comfortable working in their  office setting? How do people get along together?

4.

Organization Characteristics

Is the company successful? Is the company respected by employees, customers and the industry? Are the salary and benefits packages competitive?  Will the organization be competitive long term?  Do you believe in the organization's products, services and mission statement?

How to Use JAM Approach

Determine how you will use all of this information to access a company or to figure out if the job is the right fit for you.  You can also be thinking about a number of questions that will help you get the needed answers.

You may want to assign a number from 1 to 10 for each of the four categories  above. If 10 is the high number and there are four categories, your best match would be (10 x 4) or 40 points.  You could compare a number of companies with this simple rating system. You may want to assign a number to each of your questions. We have 27 sample questions in our JAM.  You could assign a 1 to 10 rating for each of the questions and add up your answers to rate the job.  You can make this more complicated, by using higher rating marks for things that are more important to you.  You will find that if you take the planning time and ask a lot of questions using the JAM, that you will know if the job is right for you without doing a lot of math.

Activities

Here is something to help you practice the "job fit" approach

1.

To practice JAM and have some fun with it, you may want to try it at home on some jobs that you are asked to do, or on some jobs you are thinking of doing. Interview your Mom and/or Dad with number of questions to rate a job that you will do for them.

2.

Ask a parent, guardian or family friend to work through this exercise with  you on their job.

3.

You may want to interview a company with this framework and send it to us for the "Business Case Studies" section in our Resource Center.  This would be a great experience for you and an opportunity for other kids to benefit from it. You could also receive an "Experience Certificate" as part of our Career Experience section.

 

You will find that a lot of people you talk to about careers, didn't take the time, or didn't have tools like this to help them make their choices.  You are fortunate to have the time and many tools available to you to assist you in your thinking process with respect to careers and specific companies.

 We all make mistakes in career choices for a lot of reasons and it is often because we didn't devote enough thinking time to our choice.  There are reasons why we make mistakes.  We can't anticipate the many changes that companies can go through because of financial reasons, new management, new ownership and the many other variables that companies face. 

  It is because of  "change" that your choice of companies that delivers your important things one day, may also change in a way that doesn't deliver your needs in the future.  It is also interesting that companies that don't deliver on your important things now may in the future.

Congratulations on taking another step toward your future career!  Don't stop here, set up a file, "Make Your Job The Right Fit" and keep it active!!!