Merriam-Webster defines “location” as “a particular place or position.” But if that were a complete definition, your CPG job search would only require a job board with a Google Maps app.
The fact is: location is a many-layered thing! As you deploy your job search strategy in the consumer packaged goods industry, consider the criteria for your ideal location. Ask yourself key questions surrounding five key dimensions. Weight these considerations and identify the deal-breakers.
Family and Friends
How important is proximity to your family and friends? Many candidates default to a specific location because of their spouse’s career needs or their social, professional and family support networks have formed there. Yet, employers are becoming more agile in work arrangements, physical location is becoming less of a limiting factor as companies move beyond “default models, expectations and practices of the past,” according to the 2016 Global Workforce Study by Willis Towers Watson.
Think about the broader environment; not just in terms of geography and weather, but also through your lifestyle lens. Do you see yourself as city-dweller or commuter? Do want to put down roots in a neighborhood near good schools? For rejuvenation, do you crave the rugged outdoors or the fine arts? Is it important to experience immediate community assimilation, or are you looking for a new cultural experience?
In addition to considering the opportunity to advance within the company, how will the location, itself, serve your professional needs? If you plan to pursue MBA, is there a university with a well-regarded program nearby? Does the city have a vibrant network of professionals and other resources for staying connected and fostering relationships with mentors and peers?
Carefully explore the organizational landscape. Work culture may be the most difficult element to assess. But it is critical – lack of fit is the number one driver of turnover. You will spend the majority of your waking hours working with these folks! When you progress to the interview stage, introductions to the full team and a thorough look into their daily world should be part of your visit.
Compensation in Context
Finally, (yes, last!) consider compensation in context. Competition for positions at prestigious companies in popular cities is high. They may not pay as much because they don’t have to, and what you earn won’t stretch as far. Smaller cities offering a low cost of living can be attractive and permit the lifestyle you seek if the compensation package and opportunity for advancement also meet your needs.
Navigating the Journey
The experienced recruiters at O’Connell Group can help you understand the complex – and sometimes mystifying – variables and fit factors that will influence whether the next job, company and location will be right for you. Contact us for more information.