Job-hunting can be stressful; a multitude of uncontrollable factors need to be “just so” in order to make your search successful. Location, expectations, time of year, the economy, personal circumstances, health, weather and tube strikes can all play a role in helping/ hindering you to find that perfect opportunity.
So, once you have overcome all of these factors, made it through the interview hurdles and managed to secure an offer of employment – how do you know if it’s the right thing to accept?!!
Truffle have put together a few simple thinking points to help you make that decision a little easier:
1. Remember why you started on this path:
A good place to start is by trying to remember why you started looking for a new job in the first place….. Write it down.
Was it for more money? A better work / life balance? A nicer team environment? A change of career path? I’m sure there were a list of factors which encouraged you to make the leap.
Realistically, if you accept a job which does not solve your original objective – just because it is a “really, really cool agency” – you will only end up back at square one again soon enough. People often get swept away in the all-encompassing momentum of job hunting and forget what their initial goals were. Stay true to yourself and your needs.
2. MIT’s or “Most Important Things”: Surprisingly many people are not very aware of what they actually want. We often hear, “I am open to whatever comes along” or “ I just want a good job, with a good team” – These are pretty vague answers which don’t represent you as an individual; your past experiences, what you want to avoid, what you’ve really enjoyed, or what types of environments you learn best in – you should know these things!
An easy way to pin down what you’re looking for is to consider your “MIT’s.
What’s important to you will be different from the next person; you may have kids and want flexi hours, you may live far out of London and need to start at 10am, you may love to cycle to work… etc.
Writing these down will help you to understand your own needs, and help you to articulate these better. Each of these “needs” can help you to weigh up whether or not to accept that job offer; does it meet your criteria? Can you negotiate on any of these to make it a better proposition for you personally? Many employers will be open to supporting your personal requests (if there is a valid reason of course).
3. Other Opportunities: Fact versus Fantasy:
The universe is a funny thing and, like buses, jobs often all come along at once leaving you indecisive and confused.
Truffle say: Start with hard cold facts: Do you have any other qualified offers on the table at this time? Are you still interviewing for a role you’d prefer? How likely is that other role going to come off? How many other people are in the running for this other job? What are the time scales involved? Keep yourself well informed, don’t be afraid to ask these questions to recruiters or hiring managers.
Try not to fall into the trap of thinking the grass is greener, more often than not it’s actually just the same old grass. Or in other words, try not to miss out on opportunities whilst waiting for others which may not happen.
4. The Market: What is the market like in your industry right now? Have you had a look at any salary surveys to compare your offer to the current market values? Have you spoken to your peers in the industry? How are they finding things?
In all markets there will be quiet times and busy times – research what the market is like and set your expectations accordingly. You obviously want to maximize the potential of your job move, but at the same time try not to over price yourself, as you will get left behind. Price yourself right, be open to negotiation and be flexible.
Get busy in quiet times: Just because the market is quiet it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking. In fact, it may be a great time to start getting feelers out and having informal chats with people ready for the busy times. Summer is a notoriously quiet time, but many companies are still looking to hire. When other people have taken their fingers off the pulse and are enjoying sunshine in beer gardens you could be bagging awesome opportunities with less competition!
5. Influences: Be careful not to let other people influence your decision too much.
It’s great to get advice from your friends / family / peers – this will inevitably give you a more rounded view. However, remember that you are the one who went on the interviews, who met the team, who asked the questions, and who ultimately understands the opportunity best – if you want to go for it, then do it – despite what others say / think.
Many of us listen to the opinions of others and follow this as ‘The Law’ especially early on in our careers. It is easy to put your own thoughts aside and believe “they know best”, but often they don’t know best. Make your own decisions based on your own instincts, couple this with the info and facts you’ve learned during the interview process and we are good to go my friend!! Trust your gut instincts and do what is best for you.
If you do choose a job which isn’t right for you don’t panic, its not life or death, you can simply hand in your notice and move on knowing that you gave it a shot. Bad decisions make good stories, and I have heard a lot of them in my time as a recruiter. If you need help finding a better job that you will love, come and talk to Truffle !!