Yesterday, I began a series of blog entries focused on the process of evaluating a job offer. My first installment dealt with salary as this is often the first item a candidate focuses on when considering an offer of employment. While salary is important, in the post I encourage readers not to look at the salary number in a vacuum – there are too many variables that will affect the final amount of your take home pay.
Today, I want to address what I consider to be the most important factor in evaluating an offer of employment, the actual job. What you will be asked to do day in and day out will have a major influence on your work satisfaction level, job performance, and your career path. For instance:
- What Will You Do In This Role? When evaluating a job, it is critical to ensure your expectations about the job are aligned with your boss. What do you see as the most important activities that you will be asked to do and what percentage of your time will be spent on these activities? Is your supervisor in agreement with you as to the job functions and the expected percentage of time you will spend in each? If not, there could be trouble in your future.
I have known individuals who take a role hoping to focus a majority of their time on a specific activity, only to realize six months later that the job requires the majority of their efforts to be focused elsewhere. For example, a marketing/sales role where the individual hopes to spend 80% of his time on creating integrated marketing campaigns for clients, but in reality spends 80% of his time in business development/sales activities. Be sure your job function expectations are aligned with the actual requirements of the position.
- Will You Grow? There are several reasons to take a new job – better salary, move to a new location, currently un/underemployed, etc. For many, taking a new job is about career growth. Taking on greater responsibility, handling larger accounts, heading up a department are associated with moving forward in one’s career path. When considering a new role, ask yourself how this will allow you to grow? Are there new skills that you will need to sharpen? Will you need to develop in areas (budgetary, management, technical, leadership) that will challenge your existing skill sets? Or is this a new title with little “new” in the way of skills and development areas. If it is the latter scenario, this does not make the new position a bad option, but it may mean a shorter stay in that role in order to secure a growth opportunity.
- Is The Role Something You Really Want To Do? While a new job may sound exciting and may allow you to leave a position of which you may not be too fond, ask yourself if this new role is really one that you are excited about. Moving from a role that is a bad fit to another position that is another bad fit for you is not a wise career move. Be sure that the role is not just an escape from your current position, rather one that you are excited about the opportunity.
- Will This Role Help Your Career? Sometimes there are jobs that may not require us to “grow” much nor be something we particularly want to do, but it opens doors or provides the requisite experience that will allow future opportunities to become available. One example are many of the entry-level roles in the sports industry. One may not feel mentally challenged having to set up for a summer pro football camp and may not want to herd crowds for autograph sessions with the players – so the “Grow” and “Want-to-Do” criteria are not satisfied. However, if this experience allows one to break into the sports industry through building connections with front office personnel and making networking opportunities available that would normally be off-limits, then the job may be a good move as it will help one’s career aspirations.
Your actual day-to-day responsibilities is very important to consider when evaluating a job offer. If you cannot look forward to going to your job, you’re going to have to look forward to another job search in your near future. Be sure you know what is expected of you in this role – do not hope the position will morph into something more desirable.
Tomorrow we tackle the concept of weighing one’s chances of success when evaluating an offer.