Should you accept that job?

Not long ago, I got this question from a client about how to respond to a job opportunity:

“I just received an offer for a position. I have some concerns however. They are looking for long-term employees and I am not sure it’s the kind of work I want to do. Also, the commute would be far so I would probably need to move. How do I differentiate not being excited about the job from the reluctance of all the other changes I would have to make in my life for it?”

I suggested that he answer these questions to help with his decision making:

– “Is this a role and industry that are of high interest to you, and that will help you move forward toward your career goals?” While an opportunity may not be your dream job, as long as it’s on the path to getting you closer to what you’d like to accomplish career-wise, it’s worth considering closely.

– “Do you get a good feeling about the company, the person you would report to, and the people you would work with?” The number one reason people leave a job is because of their boss, so have enough interaction with your potential manager to get an idea of her leadership style. Also, before accepting a position, request a conversation with a few coworkers to ask about their experiences with the company. And while it’s difficult to determine the culture and health of an organization in just a meeting or two, you can contact former employees via LinkedIn and ask their opinions.

– “If you answered positively to the first two questions, would you be willing to relocate after you’ve been in the position for a few months to try it out?” A move is a big commitment, but keep in mind that you can try the job for a while before making that decision.

I also pointed out that overall, the job market has been good lately. If this position isn’t a fit, there’s a high probability that other, better-fit positions would come along soon.