That call out of the blue seems to promise so much. Just the kind of thing you’ve been dreaming of. Prestigious company for someone in your profession. Signs that they’re going places and could take you with them.
It’s like the unexpected date after months of romantic drought. And you’re feeling pretty proud of your interview performance and how you’ve navigated your way through successive stages of the recruitment process.
So, when the offer comes, should you accept it?
Here are 5 warning signs to wrestle with:
- You’re feeling flattered. Recruiters can boost your ego. It’s part of the recruitment game, after all. If people want you to come join them, they’ll often flirt you into accepting. Some degree of flattery is normal. But does the flatterer have the depth to deliver a lasting relationship after the contract has been signed?
- You’re imagining how jealous your friends will be. You’re buoyed up by the job title, the benefits and the salary level. You think about how your peers will turn green with envy when you tell them what you’ve just landed. But does the job enable the conditions that make it happy to live in ten or more hours a day?
- You’re figuring how impressed your family will be. You’re reckoning how delighted your partner, or parents will be when you tell them you’ve got the job. But, are you doing it for them or you, and does the content of the job have enough to feed your own soul in the long term?
- You’re investing a lot in the job’s security. Maybe times have been tough in your current job. Or maybe you’ve had a spell of being out of work. It’s so tempting to feel that a job – any job – will help you feel more settled. But can this one really give you that?
- You’re discounting things that jarred with you at interview. The boss who was 20 minutes late in interviewing you; the talk of the work hard, play hard culture; the fact that the commute took half an hour longer than you’d imagined – and that wasn’t at rush hour. What do these signs mean for how the job and it’s people will gel with you long term?
The dating analogy is a good one because, as with love relationships, you need to be sure that you’re doing as much selecting of your suitors as they of you. Otherwise, you’re not setting things up for happiness and success.
Here are a couple of things to ensure you play a powerful part of your own decision making process.
Ask yourself what YOU need
Step back from the recruitment flirting that’s going on and figure what outcomes you want to deliver from your next job? What does good and healthy need to look like?
Maybe it’s to make a certain amount of money over a particular period of time?
Maybe it’s the opportunity to take your work in a different direction?
Maybe it’s a chance to build on and develop further skills you already have?
Is the job that’s on the table going to deliver any or all of your “success factors”?
Revisit your values
For a job offer to have integrity with who you are, and for you to feel good about it long after the recruitment stage, you need it to resonate with your personal values. So, take a moment and list these out for yourself.
What are they? Family? Wealth? Results? Excellence? Health? And how does the job offer on the table allow you to honor these – or not?
Is there any negotiating you can do to close any values gaps?
If you’re lucky, sometimes you’ll do this kind of analysis and find that, after all the job offer is a good fit with you.
Maybe it’s not. In which case the challenge is to understand something of why you were hooked in this instance. And what you can learn from the experience to carry with you positively into the next recruiting scenario.
Either way, the best decision about that job offer, will come when you use a smart integration of head and heart.
How about you? Can you think of other warning signs? Or other powerful ways to check out that you’re not conning yourself into the career equivalent of a bad marriage?