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7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer

7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer

With unemployment rates high, being offered any job is a call for a celebration! Pat yourself on the back for having the resume that stood out, and for making a great impression at your job interview. You deserve it! But… Before you jump the gun and scream your answer from the rooftops, make sure it’s what you genuinely want. Ask yourself the following questions to see if the position is right for you before accepting a job offer.

1. Am I sacrificing any serious goals?

You’ve always wanted to be a writer, but this job will have you on call 24 hours a day. When will you have time to write? Or what if the job calls for so much writing while you’re on the clock that you don’t have the desire to work on your novel when you get home? You have to weigh your goals against your desire for the job. If you’re ok with scrapping your novel and throwing yourself into the new job for a year or so, go for it! But if not, writing is going to make you feel horrible. Then the job probably isn’t worth it. Hold out for something that will fulfill you during the day, then give yourself time for your own passions and goals after hours.

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2. Can I expand my skills and experience?

Will this position help you grow? Will it use skills you’ve already developed? Will it call on experiences from your past jobs? Once you’re out of college and done with retail jobs, you need to make sure that each subsequent job you take will help you move forward somehow. You don’t want to waste time treading water just to earn a paycheck. Make sure the job can use your skills and help you grow them to fit the position even better.

3. Do I understand the job duties?

Did your potential employer go over the job position with you? Do you know what you’ll be doing each day once you clock in? Make sure you understand all of the job duties. You need to know what’s expected of you, and you need to be sure that you can accomplish these tasks to satisfaction. Can you do these tasks every day without losing your passion? If you have any questions or issues with what’s expected of you, make sure to clear it up before you accept the job offer. Once you say yes, your employer assumes you’re saying yes to everything he’s outlined for you.

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4. Will my needs be met?

Will you be happy with this job? Are your daily duties things you can (and will) enjoy doing? What about the pay – is it enough to meet your needs, or will you have to be on an extreme budget? Do you need insurance, and does the company offer it? Do the work hours allow you to pick your kids up from school? Make sure you’re getting what you want and need from this job before accepting it, realizing it comes up short, and feeling stuck.

5. Can I see myself working for the company?

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    Does this company have the same morals and goals that you do? If you’re passionate about recycling, you’ll want to work for a green company – or at least a company that will encourage you to start a recycling program! Don’t work for a big production plant that sends pollution up into the air during every working hour. What are the other employees like? These people will be your coworkers – do they seem happy? You’ll spend more time with them than you do your family! Could you be around them every day? Can you take orders from your boss, or does he seem like he’ll be too demanding and cause a lot of trouble?

    6. Will I be able to move up?

    Does the job hold any future for promotion? If you can’t be promoted, could your duties and title change if you prove yourself? You don’t want to be stuck in a job that won’t reward you for your hard work. Also, think about how loyal you’ll feel to the company. It’s important to have loyalty, of course, but will you feel tied to the job if something better comes along in the future? Will you feel guilty, like you put in so much time and effort with the company, you’ll be pushed into staying, even if you are being promoted or compensated? It’s great if you want to stay with the same company and move up the ladder, but if you’ll feel bad leaving them behind for something better in the future, then you probably should hold out for that dream position now.

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    7. Will I enjoy the job?

    Look back at all your answers. How does the job look, now that you’ve been honest with yourself? Does it look like the right thing to do? Will you enjoy the job? Will you like going to that office, working with those coworkers, and complete tasks for that boss? If your answers were all pretty negative, don’t feel bad! It’s better you find out on the front-end that you won’t enjoy the job, instead of accepting it and feeling stuck. If so, congratulations! You’ve found a great new job that will help you learn and grow.

    Featured photo credit: Bill Strain via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on December 3, 2019

    7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

    7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

    I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

    It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

    A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

    1. Define Career Success for Yourself

    Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

    What does career success mean to you?

    This is about defining your career success:

    • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
    • Not what people may think of you
    • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
    • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

    “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

    When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

    There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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    • Work-life balance
    • Opportunities for growth and advancement
    • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

    Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

    • What do you mean by work-life balance?
    • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
    • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

    Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

    • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
    • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
    • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

    Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

    • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
    • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
    • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

    Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

    Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

    What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

    2. Know Your Values

    Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

    There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

    Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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    • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
    • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
    • Put the words on your fridge
    • Add the words on your vision board

    Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

    3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

    When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

    How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

    Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

    • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
    • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
    • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
    • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
    • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
    • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

    Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

    • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
    • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
    • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
    • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

    Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

    By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

    4. Determine Your Top Talents

    What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

    What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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    What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

    What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

    What do you notice?

    5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

    Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

    I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

    Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

    Keep these words visible too!

    Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

    6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

    Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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    Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

    “These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

    7. Manage Your Own Career

    Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

    Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

    Summing Up

    For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

    Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

    Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

    1. Define Career Success for Yourself
    2. Know Your Values
    3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
    4. Determine Your Top Talents
    5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
    6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
    7. Manage Your Own Career

    “When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

    Good luck and best wishes always!

    More Tips on Advancing Your Career

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

    Reference

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