By Mariam Bashiru
Since the pandemic started, the conversation about mental health in the workplace has been growing. Many people now understand that mental health plays a big role in workers’ productivity and overall satisfaction with their job. For example, according to a WHO report, anxiety and depression cost the economy $1 trillion a year in productivity. Many Gen-Z workers understand this too with a survey reporting that 92% of college seniors believe companies should offer mental health support and benefits. But how do you ensure that the job you want will invest in your well-being?
Look at the job description
Looking at a prospective company’s job description is a great place to start. Does the job description mention anything about ensuring a good work-life balance? Or does the description mention anything about a healthy work environment? When you go on the company’s website and look at its benefits, does it say anything about mental health or well-being? If not, the company may not value your mental health and well-being as much as you do.
Ask questions during the interview
While this may seem intimidating and inappropriate, an interview is also a great opportunity to learn more about the company, including its policy on mental health. You do not have to disclose any personal information while asking prospective employers about this, but rather ask questions about the company’s support systems, work environment, or mental health resources. These types of questions can clue you in if the company’s work environment is a good fit for you.
Figure out if they respect your time and school schedule
As mentioned in this article from Handshake, a company that is flexible with your schedule respects your needs as a student. When a company respects your time and personal and school-related commitments, they are respecting your boundaries. This indicates that the company understands you are more than your work and can work with your needs.
Ask other people and access resources
If you are concerned about a prospective employer’s policy toward mental health, ask people who work at the company. Request an informational interview with a past or current employee. Talk to colleagues who work at the company. One guide from Joblist suggests that people with mental health conditions should utilize government employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and mental health professionals in the job search.
Overall, your mental health needs and well-being are very important. It could be beneficial to take the time in your job search to make sure your favorite company supports them and you.