Have you ever heard the saying, "It is a full-time job finding a job?" There are so many things you have to do these days to secure a new position. It all starts with mindset. For most of us, it is a marathon not a sprint. On average it can take 5 months to find a position that best fits you. That can be an eternity for a lot of people who need something right away. The feeling that it will never happen can take over pretty quickly. Everyone starts out optimistic but then the silence and/or rejection sets in and it starts to play havoc with your head.
So what are some of the important things you need to hash out from the beginning? It is always a good idea to determine what are the things that you value the most in the next job opportunity. While you are thinking about what you value throw in what your goals are for the next couple of years. Knowing what you value and where you want to be are considered the foundation work necessary before the interview process starts so that when you receive an offer you know whether you should take it or not.
I caution clients not to jump on an offer until you go back and reevaluate your values and goals. If you have been looking for a new opportunity for 5 months or more it is human nature to want to jump when an offer comes in. The hardest thing to do is decline an offer but if it doesn't line up with who you are, what you value, and if it isn't sending you in the direction of your goals then you will be back to the drawing board in a very short period of time if you accept that offer.
So the offer is on the table and if you are lucky maybe two offers are on the same table at the same time. Now what? Go back to your values list and compare your offer letter(s) to your list. Are you able to check off more items on the values list than not? Great!! Now look at your goals for the next few years. Ask yourself this question, "Will this position help me to accomplish my goals over the next several years?" If it does, then you may have a serious offer on your hands.
If you decide to pass on this offer and wait for one that is in better alignment with what you are looking for you still need to do one more thing. Take a moment and celebrate the fact that you did get an offer. That is a win in this journey of finding the next opportunity. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post the silence can bring you down pretty quickly. So celebrate every positive thing that happens along the way. Getting the offer is amazing and you need to acknowledge the moment. It helps you stay positive until the next offer comes along.
If you decide that the offer is going to help you achieve your goals and the things that you value most in a company and position will be met you may decide to accept the offer. Congratulations for all the hard work, long hours, tweaking of the resume, LinkedIn posts, and networking you have done. It paid off! This may have been your first marathon in a long time but putting in all the hard work got you to the finish line.
As always, don't forget to take a moment to celebrate either win! I don't think we take enough time to pat ourselves on the back, allow ourselves to look back and see how far we have come, and celebrate the accomplishment!