Making the right choice

Seeing beyond the surface when choosing the right employer

You’ve been online for hours and you’re no closer to applying for a job. How do you choose your next place of work when there is just so much choice and they all seem to know just how to appeal to the ambitious professional you are?

One firm has sports clubs and a plethora of social committees, but so do three others. All of them offer to pay for your professional studies while working and not one appears to have bad credentials at all. So, how are you to know that you will be happy and successful in your job two, three or five years down the line? It can be exhausting just thinking about it; time to hit the streets?

It’s all about looking beyond the surface and digging into the nitty gritty such as staff retention, well-being, exam success, opportunities to expand your career horizons: the things that truly matter in the longer-term. At the outset of your career, you really need to invest time to make sure you’re making the right choice, and it’s important to know that your future employer can walk the talk.

Which is why at Crestbridge we focus our efforts on precisely these factors when it comes to our staff, to give prospective employees the peace of mind they need that their employer will support them in the long haul. In fact, we invite people to come and talk to us and find out exactly what sets us apart from the crowd.

Global Horizons

One real benefit of working at a firm in a truly international finance centre is the opportunity it can offer to see the world, without worrying about job security. For example, at Crestbridge we offer staff the opportunity to combine professional development with exciting lifestyle opportunities, such as secondments and projects further afield, in places such as Luxembourg, London, the Cayman Islands and the Middle East. It helps that Crestbridge has an expanding network of offices globally.

We recognise that travelling, particularly when based on a small Island like Jersey, is essential to not just professional but also personal development and we believe that allowing staff to do this makes them more confident in their choices, and gives them vital organisational and people skills.

A recent report, for instance, on ‘Generation Z’ (i.e. the demographic reaching young adulthood after the early 2000s) found that 56% of young people aspire to work in more than one country in the future (‘Gen Z and Millennials Collide@Work’, Randstad and Future Workplace, 2016).

It’s also clear that people at the start of their career these days really value flexibility by, for example, having the chance to travel in the middle of their career, something we have been able to offer employees here at Crestbridge.

Supporting Ambition

Of course, another key part of job satisfaction lies in senior colleagues having faith in your abilities from the very beginning. There’s no better way to progress than being involved and challenging yourself, and an employer should support that ambition.

Even when you first start out in a new career, you will want your employer to allow you responsibility to be involved with real work, supporting high value key clients, and to not just be a ‘paper-shuffler’. Having open communication with and ready access to the senior team is important too - at Crestbridge, for example, we offer staff the opportunity to attend and present at Board meetings to ensure employees are engaged and to give them a chance to present their work to clients.

Professionalism is vital too, and there’s no doubt you will need to study for a qualification while at work, and almost all firms offer this option and encourage their staff to reach their potential in this way. However, it’s not just about whether a firm will pay for your study, it’s imperative that you also get the right support while going through the study process.

Look for firms which offer exceptional professional study support and provide you with mentors and buddies who can offer advice from real life experience. At Crestbridge, we have accredited employer status with ACCA and ACAEW and ensure that our staff receive the best support possible when studying towards their professional qualifications.

It doesn’t stop there either – there’s always scope to build knowledge and gain new skills, which is why we make sure employees have a clear path for career progression through extra learning opportunities such as regular and innovative CPD sessions.

To balance out all that hard work, employers increasingly need to recognise the value of a wellbeing framework to avoid staff burnout and help employees with their self-care. Good employers make sure this sits at the top of their strategic agenda alongside client and business development.

Find out what wellbeing options a prospective employer offers – do they have well-supported holistic approach which covers mind, body and soul? A programme which encourages fitness, resilience, healthy eating and good work practice; do they understand that each individual needs a variety of wellbeing options in order to be firing on all cylinders?

Looking at the type of events and which causes a firm supports can also offer a useful insight into its values and its commitment to making it an enjoyable place to work – for instance, whether its employees have the opportunity to get involved in events, community initiatives or sabbaticals or whether it is committed to harnessing its employees’ individual skills and out-of-work interests.

If a firm can show it clearly values its people for their unique knowledge, rewards them for their achievements, and genuinely draws all their skills into the workplace, this bodes well for morale and work-life balance.

Confident

Ultimately looking beyond the surface to find the business that is genuinely most closely aligned to your values and career aspirations can take time. It’s important to do the right research and only make a decision when you’re confident it’s the one to go for.

Research comes in many forms, and of course you should do the obvious things such as scanning company websites, going to careers fairs, listening to advisers at Careers Jersey and reading the business pages, but consider finding out more from a people perspective.

Speak to people you know who work at different firms, and find out their honest opinions about the level of support provided, fun activities outside the office, and how sociable it is. It’s also worth finding out for yourself. If you can, arrange to shadow someone at work and really get a feel for the office and what goes on behind the scenes, also take into consideration the simple things like how you are greeted when you walk through the door.

These days we can get a better insight into the culture of firms than ever before, by checking their social media feeds. What kind of things are they talking about? Is there a strong element of pride in their staff and their achievements, do they proudly talk about staff success or post pictures of charity bake sales, or are they not very active on social media at all? You can also look at Glassdoor and other comparison websites to see what the employees themselves are saying.

Searching for the right job amongst a host of appealing options can be daunting, but if you take your time and do your research properly, you’ll find somewhere that matches your values. We’d be delighted to talk to you here at Crestbridge.

If you would like to speak to us about how Crestbridge can help support your future, please contact our HR team at careers@crestbridge.com.

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