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Stop! Do you really want that job?

Frank Hutton
Stop Sign

You might be amazed at how many people when offered a shiny new job they’ve worked hard to attain, turn round and reject the offer and stay exactly where they are. If you’re looking hard for a new job right now, this might seem almost unbelievable, but let me confirm from decades of involvement in recruitment that it’s absolutely true. 

And while it may seem incredible, there are some very good reasons why you might want to consider any potential job offer very, very carefully too. Perhaps these are also things you might like to consider PRIOR to embarking on your job search. It may save you a lot of pain further down the line:

Are you looking for the job for the right reason?

Did you enjoy searching the jobs listings, fantasising about what it might be like to work at the company or to be part of a not-for-profit venture? Did the attention of a recruitment consultant make you feel wanted and appreciated again (long shot!)? Did the talk of bigger salary packages give a kind of hope that your situation could change? These are all natural feelings. But they may cloud your judgment as to the real suitability of a role for your personality and for your circumstances. Have you approached this in a considered way or is it a rather impetuous decision that has snowballed into something you never really considered? Tread slowly and carefully. Get advice. Don’t rush.

You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone

The grass really does seem greener when things are not going quite right where you are. This can apply to all kinds of situations: homes, cars, churches, even marriages and perhaps like a marriage, it’s worth being a little careful before discarding what you’ve already got in a job and have worked hard to build up.

Have you considered whether you will miss aspects of your current role? Colleagues perhaps; a certain part of your job? Does it have benefits which you may not realise are giving you a feeling of security? Are you willing to give these up right now? Is it an easy journey to work at present – is the new journey going to affect other areas of your life? Think it through, perhaps with someone else (not your spouse).

Are you accepting what you think you are?

Is the job role itself truly what you’re expecting, and have you seen any kind of job description (not every company, especially smaller ones, will have an official  description but it’s worth asking them to outline for you in writing what they see you doing prior to your acceptance)? Is this definitely a permanent role with a salary, and not self-employed or commission only? What are the contract terms? Is the whole money/package exactly what you want and have you worked out the tax implications of any changes, especially regarding child care vouchers, company car, working hours etc ? (visit http://www.listentotaxman.com for help with this).

Check ALL the details before accepting and never do so until you’ve seen them in writing (email is fine) –it’s likely you’ll be excited because it’s an offer, especially if you have been waiting a while for a change. But don’t let that lead you to miss something you can’t rectify later. The time to negotiate is prior to accepting any role.

Does the company want you for the right reason?

Do they want you for who you are and have they considered how you will fit into their team, and what support you will need to do the job? Have you questioned them about this? Perhaps they are just massively keen to get the gap in their team filled, and are happy to see if you work out, rather than expend too much energy on making sure you’re a good fit for their role. After all, they can sack you with relative impunity in the first two years and probably with minimal notice in your probation period , usually 3-6 months. Not everyone exercises the same care in their recruitment processes – so if the offer comes too easily and almost without reason, dig deeper to avoid being in a difficult situation further down the line. If they are a larger employer, you might want to check online services like www.glassdoor.co.uk to see what their staff turnover is like.

While your job application can be rejected for all the wrong reasons – equally you can be offered a job for all the wrong reasons too.

Perhaps it’s been a while and you need the money. But at least try and ensure the role does match your needs in as many ways as possible. Don’t create another gap on your CV by taking something that patently isn’t suitable.