For cancer survivors who are returning to the workforce or changing careers, landing somewhere with an open and flexible company culture is often a top priority, as it can make it easier to balance doctors appointments, manage ongoing treatment side effects and/or maintain an overall work–life balance. But is it possible to get an accurate read on how flexible a potential employer is before you accept an offer? A recent article titled “5 Ways to Tell If Your Company Cares About Work Life Balance,” published on The Job Network website, contains some great suggestions for how to do just that:
- Conduct an employer reference check. Check in with your network to see if you know someone — or someone who knows someone — who works at the company (or used to) to see if they’re willing to chat about their experience as an employee. Need a good conversation starter? Ask them what they love(d) about working there.
- Schedule an interview during off hours — that is, either early in the morning or at the very end of the day. Doing so will give you a chance to look around the office and see if those advertised “9–5” hours are playing out. If the majority of desks are occupied during “off” hours, ask casually if there’s a looming deadline; that might help you determine whether this business as usual or an exception to the rule.
- What does the Twitterverse have to say about your potential employer? Are current employees singing the company’s praises or is there a lot of virtual griping? Social media can be an excellent window into day-to-day realities.
- And while doing online research, check out professionally focused websites such as Glassdoor.com and Maybrooks.com for employee reviews of companies, as well as for references to flexible work options, diversity data and maternity leave. You may not find information specific to cancer survivors, but these data points can paint a strong picture of the overall culture of an organization.
- During the interview process, ask indirect questions about flexibility and benefits. Asking direct questions about PTO or work-from-home options before you have an offer in hand may raise red flags about your enthusiasm for the role. However, asking questions such as, “What type of person thrives in this particular role?” Or, “How would you describe the company culture here?” can reveal valuable information while keeping the conversation focused on work.
To read the full article, click here. And be sure to check out the CAC resources listed below:
- Articles on Looking for Work
- Webinar recording: Career Change
- Upcoming webinar: Job Search
- Job Search Toolkit
- Living and Working with Cancer Workbook