Posts Tagged ‘job search’

Considering a New Job

December 7, 2007

In considering a new career opportunity or making a move from a current situation that you do not enjoy, here are some quick things that you need to strongly consider before accepting a role:

1. Job Match

First and foremost is whether or not it will be a good fit. If the role does not tap into your true motives and desires, then it is not a good fit. Sometimes organizations out of desperation may hire you on the spot, or earlier than expected, but do your due diligence. Understand the role and what you will be doing and look deep inside to decide if it is something you can truly enjoy.

2. The Challenge

Is the position going to stretch you? Or is it the same title, but different company scenario? You have to truly think about some of the reasons you want to leave your current situation. The underlying factor may just be that you are stuck. You are going nowhere. It is not always about the change in pay (which IS important, don’t misunderstand here) but sometimes the change in pay is not enough if the challenge the new role presents is not enough to take you to the limits. The best scenario I can give here is having a personal trainer. The reason I have a personal trainer is to push me beyond what I think I am capable of. When I do 12 sets, he pushes me to do 15. In the long run, I am much greater than I had anticipated, and perhaps gave myself credit for in the first place.

3. Impact

Does what you do in your new role have an impact on the organization? The bigger picture is always important because if you do not have a clear vision of where you want to be, you will never know if what you do even matters. That can be very discouraging. Isn’t that the core of why you want to make a move anyway? You want to know that what you do makes a difference. Make sure that it does and that you believe in it.

4. Your Own Learning and Growth

What is the future of the role? Where do you go from there? You want to have some clearly defined “paths” to growth. This can also lead to discouragement if you know you are stuck and going nowhere, much less learning anything new. You can be a little selfish here. Not necessarily the “what’s in it for me” attitude, but rather “what can I do to contribute to my own growth and help the organization in it’s overall objectives” type attitude. It needs to be a win-win.

5. Team Quality

Who will you be working with? What level are they at currently? How have they progressed within the organization. Not only does this give you a clearer understanding of the growth others are seeing, but these will be people you are working with everyday. you will develop new friendships. You will become like them. There is an old proverb that says, “Keep company with good men and good men you will imitate”. Are these the type of people you can see yourself imitating? Do they have the attitude of “your success is our success?”

6. Leadership Quality

Equally important is the quality of leadership. Like the team members, How is the team led? Is this leader a dictator, or a mentor? How involved is the manager in the recruiting process? There should be ample opportunity to discuss this and learn of the leaders that make the organization what it is so you can determine whether or not that the way they lead aligns with your principles and in helping you be successful.

7. Company Culture

This can be a tough one to sort out at first, but see if the company has a mission statement or philosophy that is posted in prominent work locations for employees to see. See if they have company newsletters you can read and learn more about the organization and the leaders (who probably have written an article or two). Look at the atmosphere of the office. Is it professional in it’s look? Remember that no company is perfect, but there should be some clear objectives in place and most employees should know about them.

8. Strategy and the Future

Where is the company headed? What are some goals and aspirations they have? Are these aspirations you can see yourself supporting and enjoying? Obviously the organization can sit down with you and share the secret sauce, but they should be able to talk about future plans and goals they are looking to achieve. Without these clearly defined, where are they going? How do they plan on getting to where they want to be?

9. Balance

Today’s corporation has to consider the Work/life balance that all of us are faced with everyday. Of course the organization has certain expectations, which is great. That is why you are looking at them, but if they require so much that other “life” things are hard to balance, you may want to reconsider. I am not saying that you can’t work hard, but don’t let life slip away. I worked in my first recruiting role as I developed my career for 60-90 hours per week for almost two years. While I could have done some things in less time, it wore on my family and there were moments I felt I was at a breaking point. You shouldn’t allow the company to bend you that far like I did. I am grateful for what I learned, and I gained a lot in my career, but it almost reached a point that it should not have reached. Consider how supportive the organization is with this.

10. Compensation/Benefits

Ah…the perks. Every organization differs and sometimes it can be like comparing apples to oranges, but there is some commonality in this area. Be open to trading one thing for another if necessary as long as it has more importance for you than the “other” thing. Be careful of hype here as well. Don’t let them “sell” you on it. You need to sell yourself on it. You need to make the decision here. Do what makes sense for you, and is competitive.