This is an amazing question that I get asked by my clients. Too often, people jump into new opportunities without thinking through how the role aligns with their overall career goals and visions for their lives. Considering if an opportunity is right for you is the best way to make sure you’ll feel challenged and fulfilled.
This can in turn lead to feeling unappreciated, under-valued, and like you’re not applying yourself at your full potential, which can seriously hurt your productivity.
Here are seven ways to assess if an opportunity is right for you:
1. Would you jump to say ‘yes’ to it?
What did you feel when you got the offer? Was it a sudden rush of excitement? Did you start picturing yourself in your new position? If not, your subconscious could be telling you that this is not the right career move to make.
2. Does the opportunity align with your career goals?
What are the possibilities for advancement? Which new skills will you accumulate? How will this set you up for success in the future?
I recommend critically thinking about these questions and writing out your answers. This is the best way to be sure that the opportunity is right for you and that it will help you get where you want to go in the future.
3. Will you be able to leverage your core strengths in the role?
If not, you’ll miss out on the chance to hone them and you may start feeling like you’re not doing what you’re meant to be doing. When you know you’re not operating at your full potential, you could start getting bored with your role and your productivity levels will go down. You’ll know the opportunity is right for you if you’re able to do what you’re great at and passionate about.
4. Is the company growing?
Joining a company on a downward spiral is not the best way to accelerate your career. Before you accept a new role, take the time to do your research on the industry and organization you’ll be joining. Try to understand what differentiates this company and then make a judgement call on if this can be sustained into the future.
5. Does the culture align with your ideal work environment?
A company’s culture is the way employees interact with one another, the style of dress in the workplace, whether it’s open-concept, and the types of management styles you’ll be working under. Ultimately, your match with the culture can be a key indicator of your future success. Here’s my key tip: do your research on the company, even going so far as to interview current or former employees in your network. This is the only way you’ll be able to understand if you’re a match with the work environment you’ll be expected to thrive under.
6. Would you feel proud working for this company?
The reality is that some roles are just stepping stones in your career. You may join a company you have no intention of staying with just to hone your skills or get your foot in the door. That’s okay! But, know that when you’re not working towards something that you’re motivated by, you won’t feel enthusiastic to come to work everyday. For example, if you value health and wellness but are considering a role at a tobacco company, you may want to think about this more carefully. Working towards something you don’t want to achieve is never a good way to set yourself up for success.
7. Do you like the people you get to work with?
This is such an important question to ask as it will impact your happiness, engagement level and productivity. Often times I hear that people want to leave their job because they don’t feel valued/ appreciated or they don’t like their manager. So find out if you will enjoy working with the people on your team and other stakeholders. During the interview process or when you get the offer, you can ask to set up coffee meetings with your potential colleagues to see if you click with them. Find out about their work styles and personalities. Some questions to help you assess: “Do I feel a sense of belonging?”, “Will I be able to learn from my colleagues?”, “Will I have fun?”
Are you considering if a new opportunity is right for you? Tell me your story in the comments section!