A version of this article was originally published at MercerMatch
No-one likes being stuck in a rut at work but don’t jump on the first opportunity that comes along simply because you feel you can’t take another minute in your current position; do it for the right reasons and find the right fit.
Really put your thinking cap on and identify what you like and don’t like about your job and your current organisation’s culture. Then take the time to research any alternative employer via their website and social media pages and, before you decide to take any new job, ask yourself these 6 questions:
1. What do I value? What motivates me?
One of the most important things in deciding whether a job is a good fit for you is what motivates you. Are you interested in managing a team and developing people’s skills, the intellectual challenge of learning new things or contributing to a good cause?
There’s no “right” or “wrong” answer to this question of course, we’re all motivated by different things, but being honest with yourself about your job-related motivators is key to making a good career choice.
2. Does it fit my long-term plans?
How much skill development will the new role provide? You don’t want to make a job change if it stalls your career development. You want to always be in roles that contribute to your long-term goals and plans.
3. Does it help fill my skill ‘gaps’?
If you’re lacking certain skills or experience, a job change may provide you with the opportunity to fill in those gaps. Each new job should build on your past while introducing you to new processes and technology.
4. Does it meet my immediate needs?
It’s safe to say that your needs will change as your career – and life stage - advances. If you’re a recent graduate, gaining experience in your chosen field may be an immediate need. Later, flexibility might be a priority because you’ve married and started a family.
5. Is the work environment right for me?
The ideal work environment is a matter of personal taste so study the culture and hierarchies of the organisation you’re thinking about joining to ensure matches what you’re looking for. Does a laid-back, less-structured environment work for you or do you prefer more structure? Is there a lot of collaboration between employees?
6. Does it feel right?
Never underestimate the wisdom of your gut instinct. Are you excited and energised about taking this next step along your career path? If your gut is giving you mixed signals, it’s time to evaluate the position some more.
The bottom line
While jumping into a new job is tempting – and may be the exact opportunity you’re looking for – be sure to evaluate your reasons for the job change and why it best fits both your immediate needs and long-term goals.
If you’re still trying to figure it out, download the Mercer Match app. Play games. Get hired.