Every job market is unique. Los Angeles, for example, is one of the most highly populated cities in the United States, and that’s a crucial factor in your hunt for the ideal job. But you also need to consider company culture and industry trends, according to Chris Garza, Robert Half’s Regional Manager in Southern California.
Here’s a closer look at his career advice, which focuses on understanding what’s realistic — and right for you:
- Commute is big: Many people assume that they can handle the commutes in Los Angeles and often learn the hard way that they were mistaken. Job seekers should drive the route to work around the time they would actually be starting in the morning to see if they can survive the commute. Same goes for the drive home. This is something to test out before accepting a new position.
- Room to grow: Are there opportunities for advancement into roles that offer more responsibility or leadership opportunities? A common reason for someone to be seeking new employment is because there was no room for growth. Why accept the position if you wanted growth? Find that out on the front end.
- Company culture: Does the culture and the people you would potentially work with match what you desire? You shouldn't wait until day one to find out. You’ll often know if you enjoy the people and the work environment when you go in to interview, so take that into consideration before making a decision.
- Stay current on skills and credentials: Be sure that your skills stay up to date with the demands and preferences of your ideal employer. This can also mean soft skills. More and more, companies want professionals with strong verbal and written communication. They also seek candidates who can collaborate, are team-oriented and can demonstrate initiative.
- Work with a recruiter: This option will help you stand out from other job seekers because recruiters can get your resume in front of an employer you might not be able to connect with on your own. Recruiters also have a keen grasp of who’s hiring and what they’re looking for.
Perhaps the most important piece of career advice when looking for a job in LA, or any city, is to remain positive. Don’t stress over a long commute if the payoff is big, and keep an open mind to new opportunities and different company cultures. And, of course, seek help. If you decide to work with a recruiter, look for one that specializes in your industry. That person is better able to understand the types of opportunities you want and how to market your skills.