|Martin Yate CPC
NY Times Bestseller
Professional Resume Services
It is great to have a job offer to consider, but what if you are in a position to keep your options open? You do not want to join the ranks of unhappy professionals who accept a job in haste, only to realize after the honeymoon that they’d made a terrible mistake. A bad match may genuinely catch you unaware, but you have a greater chance of avoiding career catastrophe if you learn to identify red flags about a potential poor fit by careful evaluation and asking the right questions .
- How the size and culture of this company will impact your goals.
- How the skills developed on this job will impact your next job search.
- How your manager’s performance expectations and evaluations be communicated.
- The professional development path for this job and how others moved along it.
- Who succeeds, who fails…and why.
- How the company and this manager are known to treat employees.What’s in it for you over the long haul?
| For more advice for emerging professionals,
check out “Knock Em Dead Secrets & Strategies
For First Time Job Seekers” available on Amazon
get the next job? The odds are that your first job won’t be your last job, so it’s important to determine if you are going to learn anything new that adds to your marketability next time you look for a job. Constant technological advances means that the skills you need to stay marketable—no matter what you do for a living—need to be in a state of ongoing development. If the opportunity you are considering does not afford you the opportunity to develop new, in-demand skills every year, it could be a dead-end job that will become increasingly difficult to leave as your skills become less and less marketable to other employers. Is bigger always better?
Consider the impact of company size. There are advantages and disadvantages to both big and small companies.
With bigger companies, the benefits can be better, and you may get the opportunity to specialize, sometimes developing deep expertise in one specific area. Of course, deep expertise in one specific area will only help your career if those skills are in demand and likely to stay that way. There’s greater likelihood of ongoing professional education, which accelerates your skill development, and the very size of the company provides opportunity for growth.
Once a job offer is on the table you will need to ask the questions that can help you make evaluations on the above issues. When these have been addressed, there are also questions about responsibilities and performance that you’ll want answered before making a decision.
- What are the projects/responsibilities that will take up the majority of your time every day?
- How does management prefer these responsibilities/projects to be executed?
- How will success/failure be judged?
- What feedback/direction/coaching can you expect to insure that your efforts are on track?
- How is your performance judged on a daily and weekly basis? How can you get feedback? How will it be delivered?
- What would this manager like you to have achieved at end of thirty days? Sixty days? Ninety days?
- Who succeeds, who fails and why?
You’ll also want to ask about professional growth and potential career paths for someone joining the company at this level, and how others have moved along such paths.