When you’re looking for a new role it can be easy to become fixated on the process: updating your CV; searching and applying for roles; putting your best foot forward at interviews. But what happens when you get the job, and you’re not sure it’s the right one?
When you take on a new role, you want to be confident that you’re moving to a better position – a place where you’ll feel fulfilled, challenged and like you belong. A place to stay for the long-term. But working that out can be incredibly difficult. How can you be sure you’re making the right move, at the right time?
Here are ten questions to ask yourself.
1. Will this role add to my CV? Each new role should build on your experience. If you aren’t going to learn anything new or substantial by moving, you won’t be adding any value to your CV and could lose out on earning potential.
2. How does this job fit into my game plan? Most people stay in a role for two to three years before moving up or on. So, it’s important that you’re investing that time wisely. If you think you will outgrow the role in six months, it’s not the one for you. On the other hand, if there are good career advancement opportunities within the business or the company will give you the skills and experience to move onto the next stepping-stone in your career, it’s a contender. One good acid test is looking at the existing team and their career path.
3. What do people say about the company? Check out Glassdoor, listen to your network and research the business to find out what people really think about your new employer. Try to be critical with reviews, but if there are any recurrent themes, beware.
4. How future-focused is the business? A business that is future conscious will not only be braced for change but will also be more likely to help you keep your skills up-to-date and relevant. Lifelong learning is now a key part of business, and a company that embraces change will boost your employability further down the road. You should also look at the financial stability of the business through public statements and reports.
5. What are their expectations of me? Working patterns, availability, flexibility – what do they want from you, and what do you get in return? After Covid-19, more businesses will be receptive to flexible or remote working, so if this is important to you make sure you know where your new employer stands.
6. Will I fit in with their culture and ways of working? Look at how the company presents itself on its website, in marketing collateral and on social channels like LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram. With every person you meet as part of the process, you should also ask yourself what it might be like to work with or for them. And pay attention to how the recruitment process is run, as this tells you a lot about how a company treats its people.
7. Can you see yourself working there? This is the question you should ask yourself immediately after the interview, and again when you receive an offer. Research your commute (better, experience it if you can) to try and picture it. If you can’t visit the office, ask for some pictures or look online to get a feel for the environment. Ask questions about it – where would you be sat? Is it quiet, or a hub of activity? Are there breakout spaces or standing desks? How do teams work together? The better the picture you build, the easier your decision.
8. Is this a company I believe in? Is this a company you would be proud to be associated with, and a role you’d love to say you do? If you believe in the long-term mission of the company or buy in to who they are and what they do, it will be much easier to feel positive about your work day-to-day. The pandemic has given many people the time and space to really think about what they want to do, so if you aren’t passionate about your sector, now could be the time to try something you really believe in.
9. What are you giving up, and does it matter? No job is perfect, and it’s important to be realistic with your opportunities. Don’t hang on for the ‘dream job’. If you’re still working, weigh up what you’ll be losing and its relative importance to your day-to-day life. How will a change in salary, location or flexibility impact you? If you’re currently unemployed, consider whether this role means you’re missing out on anything important to you, whether you could get it elsewhere and whether it’s a dealbreaker. If it’s just one thing, make sure you discuss it with the recruiter before turning the opportunity down. It might be resolvable.
10. What does my gut say? It’s a cliché, but your gut really does know best. Even if all logic points to accepting, if your gut is resisting, trust it.
It may feel like a daunting time to be job-hunting, but that doesn’t mean you need to accept every job offer handed to you. Know your value and know when you’re compromising. If you take a job that you know isn’t right for you (for security reasons, for example), try and arrange a fixed-term contract (FTC) or see if any elements of the role are negotiable.
Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to interviewing. If you aren’t sure of anything, or something doesn’t sit right, it’s wise to talk openly about it with your recruiter. And if you do decide to turn down an offer, make sure you do this politely and honestly. Remember that a lot of time, energy and money goes into the hiring process, so if you pull out the employer will want to know why. Being respectful about your decision will not only make you feel better about withdrawing but will also let you close the door in a positive way – hopefully to reopen in the future with something more fitting.
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