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During the hunt for a new role, a huge number of factors influence which is the right position for you, namely the salary, the proximity to home, the opportunities for progression and the perceived team/ cultural fit. In certain situations, other factors like keenness to secure a role if out of work, or to leave a role which is no longer making you happy can make you overlook potentially important warning signs and prevent people taking the time to think things through properly.
When receiving a job offer, it can be very flattering and tempting to accept right away, but the repercussions can be huge. Here are my tips and advice for making sure the role, firm and team are right for you.
1. Make a list – a pros and cons list can work wonders to centre your mind and objectively lay out the selling points of the new role against the pitfalls of your current situation.
2. Ask for more time – often we can be worried how it will be perceived if we ask for more time? Does it suggest we aren’t that keen? Will the firm find someone else? Will it leave a bad taste in the mouths of our team mates before we’ve even started? None of these are the case, especially if the firm, or agency are putting on pressure to make a decision within a timescale you don’t feel comfortable with.
3. Talk to friends and family – in my personal experience, in everything from choosing a spouse, to buying a property, to settling on a firm to spend the next 5 years at, if all of your friends and family think one thing in particular is best for you (or definitely NOT what is best for you) they will make themselves heard and are usually right. This doesn’t mean blindly doing whatever those closest to you say, it just means that they care about you, they have your best interests at heart and best of all have an objective perspective on things.
4. Are you being motivated by a push or pull? Are you happy in all aspects of your role, except from the salary/ benefit structure? In that case, it’s probably much better to stay and ask for a pay rise. If you have problems with the team you work in, but love the work you do, it might be better to speak to someone about a change of management or team set up. Simply, don’t let one negative push you away from a role you otherwise love, it’s easy to assume that the grass is greener when there’s something bad pushing you towards a seemingly superior role, but it’s much better to feel a pull or excitement towards a new opportunity.
5. Picture the ‘perfect’ role you imagined you’d find when you started your role search – how closely does this match with the offer on the table right now. If you wanted a highly paid role, with flexible working and lots of social commitments attached, and you’re actually looking at a role with a great salary, very little flexibility and very few social opportunities, is this really something you want to commit to?
Overall, there are hundreds of ways of weighing up your options when it comes to a new offer of employment, the essential thing is that the decision makes sense from a career, personal and financial perspective. If you aren’t immediately thrilled, or your gut tells you that you’re compromising on something you’re probably right and might need to keep looking.