In my experience, I’ve seen several people do their best to find a new job just to then slow down and really struggle to make a decision when they finally got an offer. Sometimes they did not know what they really wanted, sometimes it took them a while to understand that no job is perfect and on other occasions, they simply felt insecure about jumping into something attractive but new and scary. Every situation is unique but at Anthropos we want to help people manage their careerst and if you are successful enough you will find yourself in this specific situation a few times in your career. It’s a good thing, change is usually good and the fact that you can get an offer from another company or department is always a good sign, no matter what you decide to do next.
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Why are you moving to a new role?
Before you dive into it, let’s take a step back and figure out why you’re even thinking about making a change. Ask yourself, what’s motivating you to consider this move? Is it because you’re excited about something new? Maybe you want more challenges, a better work-life balance, or just a fresh start. Or is it more like you’re feeling pushed to find something new because of changes at your current job or other outside reasons?
Here’s the thing: It’s really important to know why you’re considering this switch. Is it a good fit for where you want to go in your career? Does it offer chances to learn and grow? And does it match up with what you want in your work life overall? Take a moment to think about how this new role fits into your bigger picture. Does it connect with your future goals? Does it feel like a step in the right direction for what you want in your career? By understanding why you’re thinking about this change, you’re setting yourself up to make a smart choice that lines up with where you want to go.
Do your due diligence on the new job: culture, managers, former employees, and more
The only way to make a good decision is to gather as much information on anything unknown as possible. Look for the company offering you a job on Glassdoor, Linkedin, Google, and social media. Depending on the company, my suggestion is to spend a few hours researching it and trying to dive deep into a few areas like their culture and how they like to work. It might be difficult to find all of this online, but there is something you can do that costs you nothing if not time: go an talk to former employees. Find someone on LinkedIn and reach out for a quick conversation. Once you talk to 3-4 people you usually get a pretty good understanding of how things work there and everything else you find online will make more sense.
I am also a big fan of people who want to learn more about the brand and products. If that company is selling a public product or service, there are chances you can understand more about them by reading customer reviews online. The way they respond and the overall feedback from customers will tell you a lot about that company. Doing diligence on your manager might be harder but it can be done: go back to LinkedIn and find other people that reported to her in the past, they will likely give you hints on how to work with her.
Consider the culture and growth opportunities
What environment do you thrive in best? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to find out:
- Do you work best in collaborative projects, or are you driven by friendly competition?
- Is flexibility a top priority for you, or do you need the structure of set work hours, a physical office location, and other processes and guidelines to get in the zone?
- Would you want to work in a company that emphasizes experimenting with new approaches and thinking outside the box, or a business that prefers following established practices and emphasizes the maintenance of a proven track record?
- Do you work better in an informal culture, where employees can interact in a relaxed manner on a first-name basis and minimal hierarchy, or in an office where communication is structured, a hierarchy is evident, and employees address each other using titles and surnames?
When you’ve narrowed down the environment you work best in, your next step would be to consider growth opportunities. Regardless of your work preferences, you would want to know that all your efforts are building up towards a better career down the line. Here are some questions you can ask the hiring manager or look answers for online:
- Does the company offer training programs, skill development, and promotions?
- Are there opportunities to take on new responsibilities and learn from experienced colleagues?
- How does the company celebrate achievements within the organization?
Especially here, I would really ask a ton of questions about the potential growth opportunities: can you see the career path for that role? If that’s not there, just ask a bit more about how promotions work in the company and how often they happen. Again, in a lot of these situations you will get a pretty good idea of the answer just looking at the way the team handles these questions. Companies that are used to answer these questions are usually more than comfortable, instead companies that are just bluffing will give you convoluted answers that don’t really answer your question and it will be pretty easy to understand what you are getting into.
Your manager is 90% of your success
Wherever you go, a great manager serves as more than just a supervisor. They act as a mentor, guiding you through challenges, offering insights, and helping your grow professionally. Ideally, you would want to at least have a quick meeting with the manager you would be working for in the new position. If not, maybe you can search them online to get a hint of what they’re like. Try using what you know to compare them with your current manager. If you feel like you would perform better at your job with the new manager, then that would be a strong factor towards taking the new offer. But if you feel lukewarm about them, or that you might struggle under their guidance, then weigh your gut feeling against other opportunities this offer represents.
Here are just a few things that you should be able to trust your manager with:
Feedback and growth
Constructive feedback is essential for improvement. A skilled manager provides regular feedback, highlighting your strengths and areas for growth. This feedback loop encourages continuous learning and progress.
A supportive manager advocates for your growth within the organization. They can recommend you for promotions, projects, and opportunities that align with your career aspirations.
Managers allocate resources, including time, projects, and training. A manager who understands your strengths and ambitions can ensure you are assigned tasks that challenge you and help you develop.
Conflicts can arise in any workplace. A skilled manager knows how to address conflicts and create a harmonious work environment, allowing you to focus on your tasks without unnecessary distractions.
You should be comfortable approaching your manager for doubts in your career, conflicts with colleagues, and maybe even personal matters that interfere with your capacity to work properly. It’s normal to experience conflict in the workplace at some point—but if you feel like that conflict would be with your manager, then that new offer may not be the best option for you.
Understanding economic factors
When faced with a decision between your current job and a new offer, economics can play a significant role. Economics, in this context, refers to the financial aspects of your job decision. It involves assessing not just your salary, but also the overall package, including benefits, bonuses, and potential for growth. Keep in mind you might find yourself in front of an offer you love but that pays you less than your current role, and we have discussed about accepting a job with a lower salary.
Exploring the learning curve
Sometimes, opting for a slightly lower salary in a new role can be advantageous if it opens doors to a new industry or offers valuable learning experiences, like if you switch to a career in IT. If the new position provides you with opportunities to acquire new skills, expand your network, and position yourself for future growth, it might be worth considering, even if the initial salary is lower.
Calculating opportunity costs
Economics isn’t just about numbers; it’s about understanding trade-offs. Consider the opportunity cost of sticking with your current job versus accepting a new offer. What are you potentially missing out on by staying put? It could be a chance to work on exciting projects, gain exposure to a different industry, or learn from new mentors.
Factoring in growth potential
Look beyond the immediate salary and consider the growth potential in each scenario. A new job might offer a lower starting salary but the promise of quicker promotions and salary increases as you prove your value. Evaluate whether the new role can help you achieve your long-term financial goals and aspirations.
Flexibility doesn’t just refer to salary. It’s also about understanding your financial needs and priorities. If the new role offers benefits like better work-life balance, remote work options, or professional development opportunities, these factors can contribute to your overall well-being and job satisfaction, even if the salary is slightly lower.
You can’t control everything upfront
Even with the best investigative skills, there will still be parts of the job offer that you cannot discover or control. For example, you will need to meet your teammates before you understand their working dynamics, and immerse yourself in the organization to understand how they respond to external challenges. Even your own adjustment to the responsibilities of that role can be unpredictable. A growth mindset involves seeing challenges and changes as chances to learn and improve. Instead of fearing the unknown, embrace it with curiosity. Every new experience, whether positive or challenging, contributes to your personal and professional growth. This could also be an opportunity to build resilience.
It goes without saying that if you cannot afford to take risks just yet, then you should prioritize getting to that point by staying in your current position first. But if nothing else is stopping you from this exciting new adventure, then the uncertainty could hold a lot of incredible opportunities for your career.
I know, after all of this it will still be difficult to make a final decision. The reality is that you should have enough information after this to at least follow your gut and jump into a new role or stay at your current company. If I may, my advice is to make this easy on your existing company and on the new one: I’ve seen people dragging decisions, resigning and then spending weeks rethinking their decision or even worse, signing a new offer to then change their mind. After many years I understood many of them did not go through a good process but doing that “with your company” is always a bad idea. If you resign that should be for real, and the same goes if you sign a new offer.