Tips to curbing career confusion
WHETHER you’re just starting out in your career or you’re looking to move on from your current position, finding the right job isn’t always easy.
If you’re fortunate enough to have multiple job offers to choose from, it can be challenging and stressful to decide which one is the right fit, especially with all the different factors that go into each job offer. From salary and benefits to company culture and career advancement possibilities, there’s a lot to consider.
So, how do you choose the right job without worrying if you’ve made the wrong decision? Here are nine tips for choosing your next career move.
Determine your priorities. “The most important things to look for in a job offer will depend on where you’re at in your life and career. Your top priority could be compensation, or it could be acquiring new skills and experience.
Make sure you understand your current priorities as you evaluate job offers.” – Kelly Donovan, job search consultant and principal, Kelly Donovan & Associates
Make a list of your criteria in advance. “It’s best to start your job search with a list of what you want in the new job. Once you begin to receive offers, you can compare the jobs to your list to see which one best fits your criteria, and then choose.” – Jason Dukes, business coach and founder, Captain’s Chair Coaching
Think about more than money. “Don’t just judge the job on the salary. This is one of the most common mistakes job seekers make. You need to be able to pay your bills and sustain your lifestyle, but taking a job purely based on a larger paycheck can set you up for failure and disappointment.” – Thomas J. Ward, executive director, Centre for Career Development, Adelphi University
Consider how you connect with the boss. “The single most important factor in longterm job satisfaction is the relationship between you — the employee — and your direct supervisor.
What impressions did you have during the interview process? Is there mutual respect and a foundation to build on beyond the basic requirements of the job?” – Joanie Spain, career services director, Santa Fe University of Art and Design
Look at the company’s culture. “Consider the environment and culture of the organisation as the most important part of the decision. Is it a place where you can advance, and do you feel like you fit in well? If you are not happy at the organisation, salary is not going to matter, and you most likely will not perform to the best of your ability.” – James Westhoff, director of career services, Husson University
Focus on your future. “Reflect on the following areas for each potential employer: What type of career path can you expect from taking a position there? Does the company consider the development of their people a priority? Will you be given opportunities to build on your skills and take on stretch assignments? Consider whether you already have connections or advocates at any of the companies who would be helpful to your career progression.” – Mish Southgate, career coach and founder, Visibility Careers
Look for long-term satisfaction. “All things being equal, go with the company where you feel you have a long-term position. Growth within an organisation is something not many people consider when they take a job; they assume it’s available whether or not that is actually the case.
Therefore, sit back and think about the types of people you interviewed with, their roles and tenure, and see if you can see yourself fitting into the company with them in the long term.” – Andrea Berkman-donlon, founder, The Constant Professional
Think about your next job. “If you’re looking to work only a couple of years or so and will use this job to catapult to a higher-level job, you might consider these factors: title, salary, number of direct reports, and profit and loss responsibility. These factors will help you maintain and grow your career in the next organisation, and are critical to taking advantage of a career-change opportunity.” – Todd Rhoad, managing director, Bt Consulting
Buy yourself some time. “We often hear from our members about the dilemma of being offered a job while still waiting to hear back from another. In a case like this, we advise clear communication with the prospective employer that you’d like some time to think about their offer.
The standard amount of time to ‘think things over’ can range from a couple days to a week maximum, which will buy you some time to vet your options.” – John Krautzel, vice president of marketing and member experience, Beyond.