Check Out a New Job Before Accepting
Been offered a new job? How exciting to be sought out for your individual professional expertise, especially if you hadn’t even pursued the position. Job offers are wonderful things. They can make you feel powerful, triumphant and flattered all at the same time.
It’s important, though, to come down from the clouds and realize that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Think the offer through carefully. Don’t be reeled in by the sweet smell of success without really thinking the offer and what is involved. Sometimes you can waste months of planning, hard work and effort on a job that wasn’t what you thought it would be. You can prevent this from happening if you look at a job offer thoroughly before you accept. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons such as the following:
If possible, get a job description from the prospective employer to find out what kind of work is involved for this position. Do you have the proper skills to perform the job duties that you will be responsible for? What is the history of past employees who held that position, and how well did they fare? If there has been a quick turnover in that position, look carefully before you accept. Perhaps it is a job that is too difficult to actually be successful at, with responsibilities ill-defined or a lack of, or even too much, supervision.
Will this job offer comfortably fit your persona and abilities? If you are a detail person and the job requires a more creative approach, would you be happy with this? Will you be your own boss or answer to another? How much decision-making control do you have? You must ask all these questions to discover the true aspects of the position. By ignoring these questions, you may risk disillusionment and having to look for another new job in a few months.
Discuss with your new boss his/her idea of a normal workday. The job description may say 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but as everyone knows, success isn’t measured in an eight-hour time frame. Be diplomatic when asking this question so as to not send any flags his way that you are either a clock watcher or a midnight oil burner because you are a slow worker. By getting this information up front, you won’t feel resentment when your boss expects you to stay past five o’clock, when in fact, you thought you were only expected to work until then. On the other hand, the boss may want you out by five o’clock but you like to work late without any distractions. Make sure he understands and approves.
Will the job require you to travel? If so, how much time is involved? Don’t underestimate the travel requirements of a new job. Find out from the beginning what you will be getting into. How important is your personal time to you?
Ask to be introduced to potential co-workers or colleagues so that you can get a feel for what type of people they are. Personalities are important, obviously, in the workplace and you want to start a new job getting along with everyone, not worrying about the animosity you feel from Dave or Ann. This may play an important role in your decision as to whether you accept the job or not.
What is the company’s policy on raises or promotions? How often do they have performance reviews? Do they have a promotional system in tact? Is your performance based on skill, professionalism, image, work accomplished, speed, quality, etc.? Know what the system is looking for before you sign on. For good techniques for building self-confidence and reducing stress read, “Changing Performance on the Job” by Beverly Potter.