December 19, 2016 BestCompaniesAZ

3 Must-Haves for Your Next Job

By Lee Vikre | @LeeVikre

Reputation matters a lot when you’re looking for a career. A company’s reputation or employer brand attracts smart, hard-working people like you. The strongest, most innovative companies are looking for diverse candidates. When you consider your next opportunity, what should you be looking for?

Increasingly, diversity isn’t only about gender and ethnicity, but about different ways of thinking and approaching business. Where have you lived, what have you experienced, what have you done? Employers are increasingly interested in employees with wider worldviews. Some companies have created Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to support this different thinking. ERGs have helped many employees leverage their diverse strengths to make the company a better place to work. One of the primary purposes of ERGs is to promote the company as an employer of choice and promote the employer brand.

We spoke with Kendra Gutierrez and Monique Rios Mach of Vanguard, and Brittany Dandridge of Progrexion about their experiences with company support for diversity and ERGs. They emphasized three areas that are especially important as you choose where you want to work.

  1. Mission and purpose. Kendra Gutierrez of Vanguard says, “I am thrilled to be aligned with an organization who has such a strong purpose.” Making a difference is at least as important as making money. At the end of the day, people who feel like their clients, co-workers and community benefit from their work feel more satisfied with their jobs.
  2. Culture. Great companies like Vanguard are “committed to creating a culture where crew feel valued and can feel confident in bringing their unique talents to work every day”, says Gutierrez. Brittany Dandridge of Progrexion enjoys a culture that “doesn’t feel like work…I am not exhausted after I leave.” Every company has a different culture, but the best companies all show respect and trust. Monique Rios Mach of Vanguard describes a culture made up of “people who are supportive, caring, intelligent, authentic, and fun.” Who doesn’t want that?
  3. Career development. Dandridge, who was promoted twice before her first anniversary, says “I can see that this company [Progrexion] promotes people by the quality of their work and not by what they look like, believe in, or who they know.” Training was available to support her rapid progress. “I have been afforded the opportunity to develop my leadership skills through LIFT, Leap Local, and Lead classes.” When evaluating a new job, ask what sort of training will be available.One of the hallmarks of ERGs is that they offer members opportunities for career development. According to Mach, “Vanguard is filled with people who are so invested in one another’s development and success. Vanguard is a wonderful community to be a part of, as is our HOLA community [Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership & Advancement]. People here genuinely care about you, your development, and your success.” Adds Gutierrez, “Vanguard is committed to creating a culture where crew feel valued and can feel confident in bringing their unique talents to work every day. This, along with the many opportunities to build your skills and advance your career, makes Vanguard an employer of choice.”

We spend so much of our lives on the job, why not invest our valuable time with companies that encourage our success? Award-winning best companies are purpose-driven, enjoy great cultures, and support career development.

About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.