Wow! You didn’t think you would actually get the job, but you have, the email is right there in front of you, congratulations you can finally plan your escape.
But do you want it?
Something isn't sitting quite right... you can't put your finger on it.
Use these 6 questions to put yourself at the centre of your career decision and uncover if this job is going to fit you and give you what you want and need. And sense check that you are not saying yes as a result of an escapism or obligatory mindset.
1. How do I really feel about it? Sometimes when clients share their career history with me there is a pattern when they have accepted a job offer because it was the ‘safe’ option. They are confident that they have the experience required and could step into the role with relative ease and therefore on paper it looks like a sensible decision, but their intuition was telling them to say no. Depending on your unique situation a safe or sensible option may not necessarily be the best.
When you imagine yourself in the role how do you feel? Excited, intrigued interested? Or just ok? Listening to our body can be a great way of recognising and admitting how we really feel about something. If there isn’t any excitement and the job isn’t resonating with you then challenge yourself to be really clear with why you would say yes. Are you running away from such a bad situation that moving to something mediocre is enough? What would you need to be different about this potential new role to get you excited and is this something that could be achieved through negotiations or in time?
2. Is it going to take me closer to my ideal vision for myself? When we make changes to our job, our objective is to bring about positive changes to the whole of our life. Will saying yes bring about positive results in the areas that are important to you? When you consider your ideal life in 2 to 5 years can you identify how saying yes will get you closer to your vision? It can be flattering and a great sense of achievement to receive an offer but if it’s not going to deliver on taking you a step closer to your visions, then would this actually be a step backwards and if so what would be the rationale for doing this.
3. Is it more of the same? If you have chosen to leave an organisation you want to be sure that you aren’t moving to like for like just with a different name, logo and corporate colours. And while this may provide some temporary relief while you integrate yourself into a new team and company, Is there a big enough change? Remind yourself of exactly why you decided to leave your current role, what were the things that were no longer working for you, the challenges you were experiencing (workload, boredom, lack of progression opportunities, people) and ask yourself will these issues come with you? If you don't know what information do you need to help you answer this question and how can you get it?
4. Is it sustainable? The average time a person stays in a role is two years. When you think about the commitments saying yes to this role will have for you, do you think this is something you can sustain for a period of two years? The commute to work, the location of the office, the overnight stays away from home, the salary or the mixture between bonus and base pay. Are there adjustments you would need to make and would you be willing to make them? Make your decision with your eyes open and consider the wider context, what will saying yes permit you to do that you can't know and what will it stop you from doing?
5. Will I be using the skills I like to use? We all have skills that we are good at, that are regarded as our strengths but are they the ones that you enjoy using? Ultimately to move into a more positive place, we want to spend more of our working time using the skills we enjoy, which come to us with greater ease and less of our time on things we don’t enjoy doing. Looking at the actual role and the responsibilities can you see a positive improvement?
6. Am I going to be working with people that excite and inspire me? The people we surround ourselves with can make or break a job. Being forced to work remotely away from colleagues during the pandemic has brought a number of new clients to me as they have realised that it is the people they work with that are keeping them in the job. The camaraderie they have with their colleagues has masked areas of dissatisfaction. Conversely, negative relationships and office politics can be emotionally draining and impact our ability to perform and feel as though we belong.
If the interview process didn’t provide the opportunity to meet your manager and key people you would be working for, then I highly recommend you request an opportunity to do this and if this is not important for your line manager I would see this personally as a red flag. If you have met them how did you feel, did you like their style, did you feel you could connect with them? Will you enjoy being in their company?
Just because you have applied for a job and an offer has been made you can still say no! Let go of the obligation, because if it isn’t right for you, it won’t be right for them either. If you review these questions and it has highlighted gaps in information, then don't be afraid to go back with questions or request further meetings. Better to invest the time now and make an informed decision for all than to rush and the way a potential employer responds to such a request can provide great insight in itself.
If you need help working through a key career decision, then my power hour coaching option could be a good fit for you.
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