My husband and I were talking recently about how when we first started looking for work, my friends and I really didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about what we wanted. The pattern seemed to be this: apply for all kinds of jobs; take the first one offered to you; count yourself lucky.

Gradually, things changed. People thought more about what they wanted to do and where they wanted to work. They researched companies to find the ones who treated employees and the environment with respect. Commuting is horrible, so location made a difference. Money was important, but so were attempts to offer work/life balance.

Not long after that conversation, I ran across a post by Seth Godin talking about that same thought of choosing your employer. He notes,

“There are plenty of books about getting a job, but no books I know of about choosing a job. There are hundreds of sites where job seekers can go to find a new job, and virtually none where you can find reviews of bosses or companies or jobs.”

Now here we are in a (near?) recession. No doubt it will be tempting to go back to the take-the-first-job-offered method of job hunting, but I hope we don’t panic. As Seth says,

“If you want to become the kind of person that any company would kill to have as an employee, you need to be the kind of employee that’s really picky about who you align with.”

Don’t you think that’s worth shooting for?