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How Happy Will You Be In Your Job?

Job-seekers tend to worry about whether a prospective employer will like them. But considering that most people spend a majority of their days at work, it's also important for prospective employees to consider whether a particular company is the right fit for them.

Before spending time and effort in applying for a particular job, find out how happy you're likely to be as an employee of that company. Here are some factors to consider in your job search:

* Does the company promote a healthy balance between work and life outside the office? Find out whether the company offers flexible hours, maternity and paternity leave and health benefits for employees and their families. Does it offer anything extra, such as day care, wellness programs or on-site health care?

* Are there family ties? Ruth Rodriguez, a senior executive assistant at Roche, is one of three generations in her family who have worked at the pharmaceutical company, and her clan is not the only one with multiple ties to Roche. It's typically a good sign if a company employs generations of families.

* What kind of training and professional development can you expect? Learn about opportunities for advancement. Does the company promote from within or provide training in other departments? Is there a tuition reimbursement program?

* Has the company been recognized as an employer of choice? Research whether the company has been recognized by any third-party organizations. For example, Roche, which employs 65,000 people in 150 countries, ranked No. 1 in Selling Power magazine's "50 best Companies to Sell For" and was named one of Fortune magazine's "Best Companies to Work For in America." Roche also made Health magazine's "Top 10 Healthiest Companies for Women," among other honors.

* Does the company give back to the community? Companies that contribute to charitable causes and encourage their employees to volunteer are likely to be companies that care about their employees, too. - NU