Career choices 101

“I just received a job offer, and I’m not sure if I should accept or turn it down.”

Last week, I was asked this question thrice in a single day. Imagine the following: you’re looking for a new job, and eventually, after some having done some applications here and there, the moment arrives where a job offer comes in the mail – it could’ve well and truly been the case you weren’t even looking for a job, and a spontanious offer arrives out of the blue. How would you recognize the opportunity you’d been wanting to seize? How would you know if it was the one you’d been waiting for, if it was worth giving up current matters for, or at least give up searching for other jobs?

Being offered a new job can be very delighting: if you’re unemployed or tired of your old position, it almost immediately solves a prominent problem. Moreover, it strokes one’s ego, as everyone likes to be complimented or picked out of the masses for our talents. However, oftentimes, there might still be a nagging sense present; something doesn’t feel quite right. The following three questions help in deciding what to do with one such offer.

#1 – What does your gut feeling tell you?
My life motto: gut feeling never lies. The only problem with it, is that it’s hard to take serious in a serious context: “my gut feeling doesn’t feel like your offered position is the right one”. Grab the gut feeling by the horns and analyze it carefully.

  • In what aspect exactly doesn’t it feel right?
  • Are your ‘musts’ sufficiently met?
  • Is the commuting distance realistic?
  • Does the job fit the rest of your life?
  • Is there more gain than loss?
  • Does it suffice contentwise?
  • Is the offered level of responsibility right for you?
  • Will you have an amount of autonomy which doesn’t inhibit you?
  • What about the culture and atmosphere?
  • And your other boundary conditions, like whom you’ll be working with, the workplace’s esthetic, etc … ?

Getting a clear image of crucial and irrefutable terms and conditions for working somewhere could be of great help. Keep in mind: don’t try to rationalize your feelings. Don’t drown it out by making up (far-fetched) disadvantages – gut feeling will prevail, always.

#2 – Is this progress? Are there enough positive reasons for your decision?
Making the next step in your career only really feels right once you’re choosing to go for something rather than away from something. What’s the gain? I’m not necessarily talking about the financial side here, it’s completely fine to go for a job which pays less than the current one, if you win on other aspects like the job content, atmosphere, perspectives, distance, life quality and happiness …
What point is there in saying yes to the job offer, apart from it being on the table? Don’t just decide because you’re ego’s been stroked! And about the financial aspects: don’t forget to negotiate – it really works. You’d rather bargain now, than to already be frustrated in little to no time. Not only that, but people will oftentimes want to have you join the company ever more because you show assertiveness and self-worth. In fields of work where you can’t negotiate, ask for a net simulation, so that you can honestly explore your willingness to go for it.

#3 – What’s the worst that could happen?
We as humans often get scared that we’ll make wrong decisions, making us hold on to things for much longer than is good for us in the end. Even entrepreneurs sometimes try to hold on to a declining market whilst realizing it’s not going to be of much use eventually – it’s all human. Suppose you’ll make a wrong decision: what’s really at stake? What’s the worst that could happen? Most people would reply with something along the lines of “Uh, that I’ll be unemployed?”, but the truth of the matter is that it’s usually quite hard to end up on the street in our affluent Western society. Don’t get me wrong here, you’d have an extra problem to solve, in some cases urgently. Experience, however, is never wasted. As long as you don’t quit trying, you’re going to succeed eventually.

Found the job of dreams? Know that, even though it’s the ideal position for you to be in, it’s not going to be dead-easy or all sunshine and roses every day. Even then there’ll be challenges, but it’s worth it!

Not sure which offer or opportunity to accept and if you’re going to be able to perform adequately?
Contact us, and we’ll explore your decisional criteria together!

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