Posted & filed under Career Review, Planning.

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On the fence about a job? Ask yourself these 14 questions to determine if it’s the right move for your career- or if you should hold out for something better:

  1. What is my true motivation for leaving? Before you accept and offer, re-explore your reasons for wanting to move on.  Do you need or want to make a change, or are you simply reacting to an isolated bad experience at work?
  2. Does this job truly meet my needs? It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of receiving a job offer.  Don’t say yes until you have carefully considered whether or not the offer meets your needs and expectations for a new job.
  3. Do I know enough about the work environment?  You probably conducted research about the company as you interviewed, but do you truly have a sense of what it will be like to work there?
  4. Us the company secure?  Always search your local business journal and local newspaper headlines.  Recent restructuring or frequent layoffs could mean that your new job may not be as secure as you would like it to be.
  5. Do I fully understand the employer’s expectations?  Do you have a grasp of your goals for the first few months on the job?  Is regular overtime expected?  Before accepting a job, you should have a clear understanding of your employer’s expectations of you.
  6.  Is this merely a lateral move?  There is nothing wrong with making a lateral move if it will benefit you in the long run. But not all lateral moves offer long-term benefits.  Will this move truly get you where you want to be in five years?
  7. Do my values align with the employer’s?  The pay might be great and the benefits might be to die for, but if you have to compromise your values, is the job really worth it?
  8. Can I really work there?  If you are used to laid-back, egalitarian, “startup” style environments, will you really be able to adjust to a buttoned-up, corporate structure?  Know thy-self before you say, “yes.”
  9. Are the tradeoffs worth it?  Climbing the career ladder often comes with tradeoffs,  Are you willing to make them?  If a bigger paycheck means spending significantly less time with family, you have to decide if it is really worth it.
  10. Do I understand your compensation structure?  It is critical to understand how much you will be getting paid and how potential bonus plans are structured.  You should also know how often you will see a paycheck: weekly, biweekly or monthly.
  11. Do I understand my benefits package?  Are you clear on how much you will be contributing to health, dental and vision benefits?  Do you know what the coverage is like?  When will those benefits begin?  Do you have a plan to cover and gaps?
  12. Am I clear on the paid-time-off structure?  Always ask about sick pay, vacation pay, holidays, etc.  Going from three weeks of paid vacation down to a single week could be devastating to you and your family.
  13. Will I enjoy the job?  More money, great benefits, and new opportunity for growth are all great things.  But, if you think the job will be boring or unchallenging, you are likely to wind up very unhappy, very quickly.
  14. Did I have an advocate working for me?  A staffing agency acts as your career advocate, presenting opportunities that will help you reach your personal and professional goals.  As a true career partner, your recruiter can help you intelligently evaluate a job offer- and make sure it is the right move for you.

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