Founder of Create Your Own Career Path Advocates Searching for the Right Work Environment Now That Job Market is Improving

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Love the environment, not just the job, for long-term satisfaction, says Career Coach Hallie Crawford

“The work environment is a make or break factor for career satisfaction,” says Career Coach Hallie Crawford.

With businesses in several sectors adding more jobs than expected in March, (per the Department of Labor) it’s time for job seekers (and the employed) to focus on the most overlooked criteria for workplace satisfaction—the work environment, says Certified Career Coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Crawford recommends workers take tests or perform exploratory analysis to identify their temperament and determine which type of work environment suits them best. She also recommends that they make these insights a pillar of their job search.

“When people think of workplace environments being uncomfortable, they often imagine a domineering boss or a flirtatious worker in the cubicle next door,” says Crawford. “In reality, a variety of factors—including noise, the corporate culture and pace or tone of the office—affect satisfaction with the workplace environment. Additionally, the level of stress; the dress code; the attitude regarding healthy lifestyles; even the approach to group meetings are components of the work environment.”

Crawford says that many job seekers and workers focus too much on job responsibilities and fail to consider the environment—and the people—that affect how they will conduct them. “The work environment is a make or break factor for career satisfaction,” says Crawford. “You can love what you do and the tasks you perform, but if you dislike or are uncomfortable with your work environment, your boss or your peers it can have an extremely negative impact on your job satisfaction.”

Although Crawford’s clients often discover their optimal work environment during session work with her, she recommends that they also take tests and assessments for clarity or guidance if they are not totally clear on their preferences. “One of my clients, Barbara, took a free online assessment, iPersonic,” says Crawford. “In a note to me, Barbara told me, ‘It was dead-on in describing me, as well as the type of work and work environment I want to thrive in.” Barbara said that it validated her work with Crawford, acting as “icing on the cake” for her efforts.
Once they know the type of environment in which they will be most comfortable, Crawford says, workers can take a number of paths to ensure they have a fit:

1.    Conduct research at websites such as glassdoor.com, which can give you an “inside look” at corporate environment and culture.
2.    When you interview with companies—or before you accept a position, ask to visit the location where you will be working (if possible) and spend a few minutes there to absorb it.
3.    Speak with workers at the companies where you are interviewing to find out how they describe the work environment. Social media—Facebook and LinkedIn—can help you make the connections if you can’t establish in-person contact.

Finally, Crawford says, it’s crucial to listen to the advice your assessments provide and let your personality weigh heavily in the total equation. “People don’t change who they are as easily as they would like to,” says Crawford. “Furthermore, research shows that humans are innately drawn toward people and places with characteristics they would like to have, but lack. For example, a timid person might be tempted to take a position where the workers are outgoing and super energetic, hoping to become that type of person. Accepting a job that requires behavior modification before you can be happy is a certain recipe for disaster.”

About Create Your Career Path
Since 2002 Create Your Career Path and their team of certified career coaches have helped job searchers nationwide identify their ideal career path, navigate their career transition and achieve their career goals. New college grads through mid-career professionals have used our career coaches to find their dream job. Create Your Career Path was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Crawford has served on the Board of the Georgia Coach Association, and is regularly featured as a career expert on CNN, Fox Business News, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo HotJobs and Entrepreneur Magazine. She is a regular contributor to Examiner.com.

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Jennifer Koon
Michael Mackenzie Communications
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