How to Decide if a Job is Right for You

The job market for candidates is hot! You are likely being contacted by multiple recruiters and even directly by firms for available opportunities. A “candidate’s market” is great, but may also feel overwhelming. How do you decide which job is right for you?

Having gone through this decision making process with nine different candidates who received offers last month, I want to share some tips with you:

  1. Know yourself. Before you engage in the interview process, ask yourself what you still need to learn and do to reach you career goals. If something makes you uncomfortable because you don’t know it yet, it is probably a growth opportunity! For example, if you are a Coordinator, but have never prepared an RFP, then that’s something you will want to have more experience with in your next role. Or if you’re a Manager who has not been in charge of a budget, you may want to pursue opportunities that offer you this kind of experience.
  2. Be clear about the kind of culture you thrive in. What about your current work environment works for you and what would you change if you could? If you like your current manager’s style, identify what about it works for you: Is it that they give very clear directions, or let you own things without much input? If you know what works best for you, you can actively seek it out the cultural qualities you need during the interview process. Please be aware that all firms are not the same! I made this mistake myself when I moved firms and assumed that as a Director of Recruitment my creative ideas would be as well received at my new firm as they had at the old one. I didn’t ask questions to ascertain this during my interview process and was incredibly frustrated when I heard over and over again, “We’ve been around for over 200 years and we don’t do things that way.” I wish I had asked the multiple Partners I met during my interview process, “What were the most innovative ideas the last recruitment director supported?” If I had, I might have made a better decision.

If the job you have been offered has both the developmental opportunities and the culture you are looking for, trust your gut and don’t let your mind create doubt! I was speaking with one candidate who had an offer last month and she kept saying, “I’m not sure about this role – maybe there’s something else out there I need to explore.” I helped her process what she was looking for by asking her self-reflective questions:

  • Do you think this role will add to your skill set?
  • Can you see yourself learning from and working with these people?
  • Is this a work environment that can offer you growth opportunities?

As she answered each question affirmatively, she concluded that this was the right job for her. Her doubt was erased because she had tangible reasons for accepting this role and the theoretical “something better out there” disappeared.

For some of us, making decisions is hard because we are more afraid of making a wrong decision than we are excited about making the right one. By having a clearer picture of what qualities will make a job the right fit for you, and by asking the right questions during the interview process, you can replace this doubt with certainty. A good recruiter can both help you identify what you’re looking for and coach you how to get the right information during interviews so that you choose the right job in this hot market!

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