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10 Things Almost Everyone Forgets to Consider When Accepting A Job Offer

10 Things Almost Everyone Forgets to Consider When Accepting A Job Offer

The feeling is sensational. Euphoric. There’s nothing quite like it. For a few brief moments when that outstretched hand reaches toward you, you feel invincible, important, and untouchable. You’ve just been offered a new job.

It’s easy to get caught up in this moment, nod furiously, and clasp the hand opposite in an excited fit of appreciation. Someone wants your services and is willing to pay you for them – it’s no wonder you feel a little giddy.

But what else is this person really offering you? What sort of position will this new job put you in? There are several elements you really ought to consider before accepting the offer of a new job, and listed here are 10 typical things that pretty much everyone forgets to take into account when it comes to deciding whether to add that new company to your resume.

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1. Sacrifice

One of the main things that people really forget to take into account when it comes to accepting a new job is what they will realistically have to sacrifice in order to fulfil their new duties. A new role – whatever it may be – comes with new responsibilities, and it’s absolutely vital to make sure that you get a good idea of what the new position will involve and whether you can amend your social calendar accordingly. What will you have to give up in order to succeed? And is this really viable?

2. Environment

Meeting your fellow employees for the first time is always an uneasy, awkward experience. You may often feel like a spare part when you’re a newbie, and without the right people around you, you may end up feeling that way for the rest of your time in that position. Before you accept a job offer, ask to meet some of your new fellow employees. These are the people who you will be spending over forty hours a week with, so it’s absolutely essential that you’re amicable with them. Being in the wrong work environment is damaging for your career, your well-being, and even your mental health. Don’t take a leap of faith when you’re offered a new position – make a conscious effort to introduce yourself before you even accept the position. If your boss is a good one, they’ll be more than happy to let you.

3. Stability

Starting a new job isn’t much good if you end up walking out the door after a few weeks. When it comes to accepting a new position, make sure you are financially and contractually secure in every aspect. A lot of people never consider the prospect of being made redundant just a few weeks after starting their new job. After all, you’d have to be incredibly unlucky for it to happen to you, right? ‘Fraid not. There are several industries out there who are prone to making forced lay-offs, and no new job is ever 100% secure. Take the state of the current economy and financial climate into account before shaking hands, and do some independent research into the financial welfare of the firm you’re all set to become a part of. Can this company really afford you? And if so, for how long? Always make sure you’ve settled on stability before accepting a job; in writing too. Verbal contracts aren’t much use when redundancy hour rolls in.

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4. Your own lifestyle changes

Okay, so everyone takes salary into account when it comes to being offered a new job. In many people’s cases, it’s the motivational factor for applying for positions that otherwise seem somewhat mundane. But what a lot of people don’t take into consideration with regards to pay is whether this is enough to live on if circumstances were to change. There’s no problem with thinking about the “now”, but before accepting a job, you need to think about the future too. Life is spectacularly unpredictable, and just weeks after accepting a job that has a perfect pay rate for you to live on as a single person, it might no longer seem like such a healthy wage if a new partner and family are lying in wait around the corner. You can’t always plan when you’re going to fall in love and have a family, but you can plan which job you’ll take so that you have some insurance cash to fall back on if things turn chaotic around the corner. Don’t settle for stable living – look at the job offer and determine whether the pay rate will be enough to get you through more financially burdening times that might lie ahead.

5. Benefits

A lot of companies offer some great looking benefits on paper, and when you’re on the verge of accepting a new job at an exciting and well-established business firm at a young age, any benefits at all seem delightfully appealing. Whilst the word “benefits” does a great job of leaping off the page at you, in reality, it’s a word that can be startlingly misleading. Benefits may be exactly what they say on the tin, but are they necessarily right for you? When accepting a job offer, make sure you’re getting the type of benefits that you deserve and need in order to live comfortably.

6. Commuting

Sure, that commute from your place to your new work location looks completely doable on paper, but have you actually put it to the test? One of the biggest mistakes people can make before accepting a job offer is merely assume that travelling to work won’t be an issue. You can’t put your whole faith in interactive maps – the journey from your home location to your new place of work is something you have to complete for yourself in order to determine how long it will actually take you. Before accepting any new job offer, be sure to practice the commute route a couple of times, ideally during rush hour, to get a realistic sense of how long it will take you to reach work every day. Long journeys to your daily job will take their toll on your health and may even put your new career in jeopardy if you’re turning up late on a regular basis.

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7. Challenge

Many people consider their dream job to be getting money for sitting around with their feet up and a big ol’ glass of good wine in hand. Sounds blissful, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the human mind wouldn’t take long to fall apart if we lived our lives like that every single day of the week. Our brains need stimulation and challenge for happiness and development, and you need to make sure that your prospective new position is going to offer you the kinds of challenges that will make you want to succeed and better yourself. It may not always feel like it, but challenge and a decent dose of hard work is actually extremely good for you. That’s why sitting around with your feet up and a big ol’ glass of good wine in hand feels so good when you actually find time for it: it’s because you’ve earned it.

8. Pride

Many people treat working as something that ought to be left at the office and never discussed outside of those four walls. But this is no way to live your life. Studies have shown that you can spend as much as 32% of your entire life at work. Ask yourself this: is it really worth having to dedicate almost a third of your total time on this planet to being bored and miserable? Before you accept a job offer, make sure it’s one that you can enjoy and be proud of. Something that you don’t mind getting up for, and something you can happily discuss without feeling nauseous.

9. Stress

Simply put: there is no perfect job on this planet. Every occupation comes with a certain degree of stress, and that’s just the way that life is. What you can do, however, is determine whether you will be able to realistically handle the amount of stress this new job might impose on your life, or whether it will leak into other areas and damage you completely. A lot of people who are offered a job that comes slapped with a warning sticker for stress usually dismiss the caution and claim they’ll be able to deal with it when the time comes. This is always a mistake. Before accepting any new job, sit down and look at what the position requires of you. Can you realistically achieve the targets set for you? Becoming wildly stressed will place a huge strain on your health as well as on your social life, so make sure that your new job is going to be something that’s both manageable and fun – not something that’s going to give you a heart attack.

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10. Opportunity 

What exactly does your new job offer you in terms of opportunities? Does it provide you with some juicy substance for you resumé? Will it allow you to gain knowledge and develop within a particular industry? Can it act as a stepping stone to greater things? These are all questions that you need to take into consideration when accepting a job offer, as it’s all too easy to see a nice wage scrawled down on paper and jump right in. A good job should open you up to other opportunities.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Gareth Lloyd

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

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