If you’ve ever gone on a job hunt, you know how frustrating it can be. You have to be prepared to deal with rejection or radio silence if you’re going to continue. Nowadays, getting an interview is a victory in itself because of the fierce competition out there. It is far from easy and there’s no telling how long the process will be.
So when you go through it all and eventually hear the words, “We are pleased to offer you the (insert job/internship/gig etc)…” you might shed a tear or two before you thank your employer. Of course your first thought is to say yes right away – especially if it’s something you’ve worked hard for. It’s normal, but it’s not always the way to go.
When I was looking for my first job here in the States, I jumped on the first opportunity someone was giving me. I was afraid they’d take it away if I took too long to say yes or even tried to negotiate a better offer. So I immediately accepted and started tutoring kids from low-income families in the comfort of their home. They would send me far out in the city, but I didn’t complain by fear of losing the job. It was an interesting experience though. I became better at teaching children and I familiarized myself with different parts of the city. It also jumpstarted my teaching career as I went on to become a class assistant in college.
Nonetheless, if I knew then what I know now, I would’ve probably passed on the opportunity. The long commute combined with the emotionally challenging nature of the work weren’t things I was equipped to deal with at the time. And that didn’t reflect on the pay. I didn’t trust myself enough to know
Moral of the story: Be careful what you wish for because you might (you know how the rest goes).
So the next time someone makes you an offer, ask yourself these four questions to figure out if it’s worth it. That is after you make sure the compensation is worth it of course.
Will it teach me something new?
A lot of people act like their professional development ends once they land their dream job. So they settle in their 9 to 5 and likely stay there for years without making much progress. These people are at risk of being disposable. If you don’t offer something unique to employers and they can replace you with a more cost-friendly solution, they will. It’s up to you to stay ahead of the competition and do what it takes to climb the corporate ladder. You have to go out of your way to absorb as much information as possible both inside and outside the workplace and then execute on what you learned. This will translate into unique skills and concrete results – aka frequent raises and promotions.
Your professional development only continues with each job. Consistent learning is essential to making career moves. How else will you remain competitive in a cutthroat industry? If it doesn’t encourage you to stretch your potential by presenting interesting challenges, your growth will likely stagnate. A job doesn’t have to be what just pays the bills. It can be part of what I would call, “The school of life”.
Will it allow me to pursue my interests?
As a multipotentialite, it’s crucial for me to be engaged at work because otherwise, I will not last very long in that position. When a job doesn’t offer variety (in the day-to-day tasks as well as the big projects), it tends to force you into a routine that can be hard to get out of.
Say you love writing, photography and graphic design. You’ll probably have a hard time at a job that limits you to doing one thing and one thing only – every day. You’d feel more fulfilled if you got to explore these interests and develop these skills on a regular basis. And guess who would be more inspired to work hard and stand out as an employee?
If you’re a multi-dimensional person, take your time to assess what a job has to offer both on a short-term and a long-term basis. Will you get to take initiative and take on new areas of learning? Will it sponsor offsite classes or provide an online library for you to constantly learn from? Will the tasks be so varied that you’ll be able to stay true to your multipotentiality? It may not seem important in the first few weeks, but it will affect your overall engagement with the position.
Will it help me reach my long-term career goals?
Yes, every job adds to your experience by default and that’s usually where most people stop at in questioning whether or not it’s worth it. But it can also hone your skills, pay for your continued education, expand your network and propel you into the next phase of professional growth.Every job you accept can play a pivotal role in your professional development. They will each provide an experience that will uniquely shape your trajectory. Remember that you can get it all! It might take longer to come, but it’s there waiting for your hustle.
When answering this question, think outside of the box because some benefits aren’t immediately obvious. For example, non-profit organizations usually expose their employees to an exclusive and diverse network of executives at their fundraising events. If you accept a job at one of them, you might not know this right away because these happenings could be few and far between, yet totally worth it. One good conversation at an annual gala can open doors to opportunities you only imagined.
If you answer yes to all these questions when considering an offer then it is worth your time and energy. So often people settle by fear that they won’t find something better. One way to avoid this is to keep going after more. Chances are, if you’ve landed one offer, you can land multiple. It might take more work, but it will be worth it because you will have options. Work hard and keep pushing the boundaries of what you think you deserve and do not stop until you reach a point of contentment.
Your turn! What do you look for in a job? What do you ask yourself when considering an offer? Let me know in the comments!
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