With the increase in demand across most skill sets in Defence Industry, candidates are increasingly finding there are more opportunities available or even several offers on the table at once. Whilst on the one hand, this is great, it can also be quite overwhelming. So how do you decide which is the right employer for you?
The project itself can be a deciding factor for many. There is a myriad of new, upcoming and existing projects in defence at the moment. Some might appeal to you more than others, think carefully about which ones are most suited to your background and skill set. It can be appealing to hold out for the upcoming projects, however every project is not without its challenges. Are you more experienced working on mature projects or does your experience lie in acquisition? Also, think carefully about which projects align with the areas you want to grow in, perhaps you have a background in surface ships but want to gain submarine experience. Although some roles require you to have platform specific knowledge, often your skills will be transferable across the industry.
If career progression is important to you then you need to ensure your new employer can provide the pathway you’re looking for. Ask yourself where you want your career to head in the medium to long term, does your new company offer a clear progression path? Perhaps it isn’t a promotion that appeals most to you but rather specialising in a particular field or technology. Many companies offer and encourage professional development, whether this is on the job learning or supporting you through relevant courses. There are also many mentorships and initiatives in place to help ex-ADF members grow their careers.
Considering most people spend a third of their lives at work, cultural fit is key. A good cultural fit is associated with higher job satisfaction, increased productivity and overall happiness. It can be difficult to determine cultural fit from an interview alone; a good starting point is asking friends or people you know that work there. What do they enjoy most about their job? What’s the working environment or management style like? If you have got the role through a recruiter make sure you ask them about the culture, they should be able to tell you about the working environment and what an average day at the company is like.
Whilst this is important, salary shouldn’t be the sole reason for choosing your next employer. It can be tempting to jump ship (no pun intended) at the highest offer, however other questions you need to ask yourself are what else this company offers and is the job the best opportunity for you in the long run? Ultimately this is what will determine job satisfaction over dollar value. If you do need help or salary advice perhaps speak to a specialist recruiter, they should be able to provide you with information on the market rate for your skill set. Bear in mind this can vary depending on location, you might also need to consider higher living costs if moving interstate.
Along with the above, there are many other factors to consider when choosing your next employer, all of which need to be considered carefully. In the end, you should choose what feels right for you and your future career in Defence Industry.