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The Now, The New & The Next in Careers

Is Your Dream Association Right for YOU?

11 Nov 2010 10:32 PM | Anonymous

By Charlotte Weeks

You’ve found your dream job – an association with a mission you’re passionate about, a great salary, AND it’s a promotion. Time to sign the offer letter! Not so fast – to make sure you’ve covered all your bases, take some time to research the organization’s culture. During interviews, people often forget it’s a two-way street, and don’t always think about if the company is a good fit for them.

How can you find out what your potential employer is REALLY like? Consider the following methods:

1)  Online research: This is the biggie. Do a simple Google search, and skip past the first few pages. Farther back, you’re more likely to get opinions that are not put out by the association. enables employees to anonymously post about their organization.

2)  Twitter: Put the organization’s name into the search box, and see what people are saying. Go back a few pages to get an even broader picture.

3) Talk to people who have been there: If you’ve been networking within your industry, it’s likely you can find someone who has worked with the association you’re interested in. If at all possible, schedule a 10 minute call or send a brief email to ask a few questions. A few possibilities: “What did you like about ABC Association?” “What did you dislike?” “Is there anything I should be aware of, off the record?”  

4) Observe: This may be all you need to know if a place is right for you. Do the employees seem happy? Were the interviewers professional? What does your gut tell you?

Though these methods can be very helpful when assessing an organization’s culture, some of the information you find may need to be taken with a grain of salt. One negative online post could be from a disgruntled employee and shouldn’t be a deal breaker. However, if you start to see the same red flags over and over again, it may be time to rethink signing that offer letter.

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Hi, I’m Marie Zimenoff,

CEO of CTL...

I’m a passionate advocate for career industry professionals and a decades-long practicing career coach myself.

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