As job seekers and resume writers, sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the details of job postings: responsibilities, job descriptions, and education levels. After all, your resume has to reflect how you'd rise to the occasion, if you land the job. Here's a reality check: When you're looking for a new job, it's not just about how you'll fit the position. It's also about how the company will fit you. For example, Massachusetts may soon require all companies, regardless of size, to offer 12 weeks of medical or family leave as one of their standard benefits.
(If they don't already, by the time you read this.) A company's policy on medical and family leave may be important to you for a number of reasons. If you're thinking about a career change, consider this: What could reasonably happen in your family during the next five years? Ten years? Stop to think about some of the major life issues.
Do you have an elderly parent who could require additional care? Are you thinking about having or adopting a child? Have you had a history of physical or mental health issues that might affect your future ability to work? If any of these factors could come into play, you should narrow your job search criteria to companies with favorable family and medical leave policies. In fact, depending on the state in which you live or want to work, you might have to knock smaller businesses off your list of options. Small businesses take a big hit when one of their workers goes on leave. So not only are they cautious about hiring someone who may have a family or medical leave situation, the potential for friction and stress is much higher.
And the medical or family leave situation is bound to be stressful enough as it is. Of course, family and medical leave is just one kind of benefit. You might want to consider how other life events and career goals will affect your search.
The opportunities for reimbursed career education, retirement benefits and 401(k) matching, health/dental/vision/life insurance, vacation, flexible work hours, telecommuting, and dozens of other potential job benefits can have a profound effect on your career (and life) satisfaction. So take some time out of your job hunting to decide for yourself what you'll need out of a company - not just for your quality of life, but the quality of your future. It's one more key to a happy and successful career transition.
Allen Voivod is the Chief Blogger for ResumeMachine.com, the leading resume posting and distribution resource for managers, executives, and professionals looking to accelerate their job search results. Get the attention of thousands of hiring agents with the largest and most frequently updated recruiter database on the web, and dive into a wealth of immediately useful career articles and blog posts - all at http://www.ResumeMachine.com !