When you find yourself in the midst of contemplating a new job offer it can be stressful to say the least. It's a big decision. As much as interviews are for your prospective employer to see if you're a good fit, you need to look out for yourself and make sure the feeling is mutual.
I recall being particularly driven to land a stellar job even before graduating college. Finally breathing a sigh of relief. No more resumes, no more interviews, no more uncertainty. (And, not go into a panic about how I was going to start chipping away at those oh-so-lovely student loans.) I remember feeling sad, ecstatic, nervous and stressed all at one time as college was coming to end. I was trying to get through the last semester of classes in one piece.
But, whether you’re in search of your first job post college or just looking for your next opportunity, it may seem any job will do sometimes, but it’s important to know when to walk away from an offer.
Listen to your gut
This is slightly embarrassing, I will admit, but my subconscious was definitely telling me something when I found myself crying on my way home from an interview. It even went well! Leaving, I felt fairly confident that the job would be offered to me. And, the guilt was already setting in knowing I didn't want to take it. Sometimes it’s difficult to know how you really feel about such a big decision, but often you’ll come to find you’ve known all along.
Picture yourself working there
Are you really able to see yourself working at the company that just offered you a job? When I was struggling as to whether or not to take that position I turned to a past mentor whom I trusted and often looked to for advice. She gave me this one simple tip which I know I’ll use for the rest of my career: picture yourself.
Can you see yourself driving to work there every day, sitting at that desk and walking through those doors? Collaborating with that team? Heating up your lunch in that microwave? Ok, just kidding about that last one, but I think you get the point. Visualization is a powerful thing. If you can't see yourself there, it may be a sign you won’t be happy in that role or at that company.
Watch for warning signs
Be sure that the people you’ll be working with and the company you’ll be working for have the same values as you do. If you can’t come to terms with how the company conducts business or the business they’re in, it’s probably not the best choice for the rewarding career your badass self has set out for herself.
Ultimately, whatever you decide don’t let anyone allow you to feel guilty. Before graduating college I turned down my first job offer because I knew it wasn’t the right fit –for all the reasons above. (Yeah, that one I was
crying blubbering about on the car ride home.)
When I told people that I decided not to accept the position, I could tell that some didn’t necessarily understand why. I turned down what, to them, was a viable paycheck. But, don’t let them get to you, accepting a position is a BIG deal. You have every right to turn down what isn’t meant to be. Going to a job every day you don't like? Ain't nobody got time for that.
For me, turning down that job offer, and patiently waiting for the kick ass one I was really in search of, that came three months later, was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my career.
What career decisions have you struggled with?