How Do You Know You’re Choosing the Right Job?

Mona writes:
Maybe this is a dumb question but how does one know they are choosing the
right job? I’m close to graduating and am in the middle of a job search and I
have come to the realization that I have no clue how I am going to make a decision
about accepting a job when a job offer comes my way. Can you give me some input?

The Career Doctor responds:
Well first relax. I think yours is a fairly common problem for new grads. I am going to
assume that you have a general idea of what you want to do — based on your major –
and that what you lack is maybe a little focus and a little experience in how to evaluate job offers.
I think there are four criteria to evaluating job offers.
First is the job itself going to be something you want to be doing 40+ hours a week for the
foreseeable future? Make sure the vast majority of the job involves elements you want to do.
If you like action don’t take a job where you are stuck in a cubicle all day.
Second does the organizational culture fit you — and have you liked most of the people you’ve
met especially your future boss and co-workers? Even if the job is perfect you will never be
happy if the culture is toxic or if there is an element of negativity among co-workers.
Third is there room for growth and advancement within the organization? The ideal scenario
is an organization that offers training has a plan for promoting its workers and offers some
sort of tuition reimbursement for continuing education.
Fourth are you going to be fairly compensated? I put money last even though most job-seekers
focus on this issue the most. Certainly you need to be compensated fairly but money should
not drive your decision. You could be paid well and hate your job.
Finally never ever be rushed into making a decision. If a prospective employer will not give
you time to consider the offer tell them no. And if an employer refuses to put the job offer in
writing move on. The best employers will give you time to make an informed decision — and
that includes having the entire compensation package (pay and benefits) in front of you.
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