Job searches, for the vast majority of people, can be extremely stressful.
Even if you have done all your preparation and done your job search like a pro, when an offer comes through for a role at the right salary level, location, company etc it is very easy to jump straight into accepting the offer.
It’s a big decision and you need to ask yourself the right questions. That doesn’t mean take weeks to dwell on an offer. It means sit down and work through some key questions so you are able to act decisively, whilst committing only to roles that are the right fit for you.
These are the key questions I suggest that my candidates consider after I have gone through the basics around salary level, location and key responsibilities of the role:
1. Are you building the technical skills to progress your career in the future? You need to look at the responsibilities of the roles and assess if in 3 years’ time you will be more or less employable by acquiring these new skills. Your overall career goals also need to play part in your decision-making process.
2. Is the business in decline, smooth sailing or high growth? If your key priority is learning and development then, generally, there is no better place to be than in a declining business or a high growth business. If you want more work-life balance then a good, steady and profitable business is generally the place you want to be.
3. How is the industry sector performing today and where will the industry sector be in ten years? The Australian job market has an unhealthy obsession with industry experience so you want to back the right horse.
4. Are you comfortable with the company culture and working environment? Your direct line manager will be your most important measure of the culture of the team you are about to join. Make sure you meet potential new co-workers. You also need to ask questions and get a feel for the culture of the whole business as you progress through your interviews. Talk to anyone in your network who has worked there previously. What’s their work-life balance like? Is it a reserved culture or an upbeat place?
5. Lastly, you need to ask yourself, are you genuinely excited about this job—not just about getting an offer? You don’t have to take just any position that comes your way. While it’s flattering to get a job offer, if the job isn’t the right fit then it won’t be long before you are out looking for a new job.
If you overlay these more in-depth questions into the usual questions around a role then you should have a good idea about what you are accepting. It’s important that you are pragmatic in your decision making as well. There is no perfect role, well not one I have seen so far, it will always be a balancing act deciding what is important to you and what you are willing to compromise on.
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