The biggest mistake you can make when deciding to take an offer, is to base it solely on the proposed salary. I have lost count of how many people who have told me they made a mistake when moving. The two key reasons for this are that they based the decision on either pay being slightly higher, or the title sounding slightly bigger. If you want a successful, long term career, you need to take in to account a lot more than just those two superficial things.
Do you understand what will be expected of you?
What will you actually be doing every day? I have seen so many people move because they get a more senior title, but it actually hurts their career because the work they are doing is actually more junior, than what they were doing before. A job title or salary does not always indicate the type of work you will be doing. You should have a clear understanding of what you want to develop in order to meet your ultimate career aim. Ask yourself, does this role allow you to develop those skills? For example, if you want to get exposure in digital transformation, will you actually have access to any transformation projects? If the answer is no, you should not take the offer.
Are you excited about the work?
You may be getting some interesting new experience, but is it something you are actually excited by? Just because you can do the job, does not mean it’s something that will keep you engaged for the longer term. There is a big difference between a job and a career and to thrive long term you want to build a career, not do a job. If you don’t wake up excited to go into the office, you have a job and not a career.
What do you think of your potential manager?
People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. So, what is your potential manager like? If they seem full of enthusiasm and ideas, and very clear about how they want to help you grow your career, that’s a great sign. If they are very focused on the deliverables and basic duties and give vague, generic answers about career progression, that is not a great sign. Its important to find a manager that will not only help you with your career, but also listen to your ideas.
Do you fit in to the company culture?
Company culture is critical to whether or not you are going to be successful in your role. You should spend some time researching the company you are going to join. Every company website says that their company is an amazing place to work. But these same companies can’t stop their employees from giving very candid feedback via websites such as Glassdoor.
If you hate stuffy corporate environments, and usually dress down, do you think you will fit in to that large corporate where everyone is overly formal both in dress and communication? Likewise, if you prefer being formal and structured, do you think you will be a fit for that laid-back start-up? Have a think about the type of environment you thrive best in and assess whether or not this company provides that.
Finally, remember that while Glassdoor can provide a clear picture, you need to think about context. It’s a place some people go to vent after leaving a company, very few exits are amicable. If there are a handful of negative posts out of a hundred, I would not take that too seriously. If it is getting close to 1/3 across a number of departments, you should take that a bit more seriously.
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- The HR Handbook: A Practical Guide to Employee Experience
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