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Is That Job Right for You?

by Miranda Marquit

It’s tempting to take any work you can get in an economy like this one. But what happens if the job isn’t for you? Here are some things to consider as you contemplate your latest job offer:

What Do You Know about the Company?

Is that job right for you?

Do some research before accepting a job offer.

Are you having trouble finding information on the company? If so, that could be an indication that you could be dealing with an employer that might not have a firm foundation. Even worse is if the company has continually bad press. You don’t want to hinge your future on a fly by night operation.

In some cases, the reason that there isn’t a lot of information is that the company is a startup. Even so, it pays to be careful about how you commit. While some startups are extremely successful, many others are not. Be choosy about where you go, and be ready with a Plan B if you aren’t sure about the company.

Do You Fit the Company Culture?

When you go in for an interview, it’s not just about impressing the potential boss (or hiring manager); you also need to see if the company culture is right for you. Take a look around. What do you instinctively feel about the office space? Do you like the way it’s set up? How do you feel about the clothing the employees wear?

Gauge the feel of the company, and determine whether or not you feel as though you could be a part of the company culture. You don’t have to be just like everyone else, but it is nice to feel that, for the most part, you are in your element.

Will You Feel Good about What You Do?

Another consideration is whether or not you will feel good about what you do. Most of us like to feel as though our values align with what is happening at the workplace. Think about what you are doing, how the company operates, and whether or not you think you are making a difference — or at least doing something productive and meaningful. Be wary of companies that you don’t get a good feeling from, or if you feel as though you have to hide what you are doing from others.

Should You Take the Job Anyway?

Turning down a job that doesn’t suit you very well can be a smart career move. You don’t want to be stuck doing a mediocre job, and feeling unhappy about what you do. Plus, you will have the time to focus on jobs that are likely to be a better fit.

On the other hand, if you are desperate for a job, you might have to take the bitter pill, and work the job for a little bit. You can work at the job, earning your salary, and keep looking for a career that better matches your career and personal goals.

There are times that we take unsuitable jobs, just to survive. My first job out of college was as a cashier at a farm and ranch store. That didn’t exactly fit my qualifications, and I didn’t find the work fulfilling. But I did  it anyway, since my family had to eat.

However, while I worked as a cashier, I continued to look for something suitable. Eventually, I found a job as a Classified ad specialist and office coordinator at the local newspaper. It was a job that suited me better, and actually put me on the path to journalism — and my current career as a freelancer.

What do you think makes a job a good match for you? Have you worked a job that didn’t suit you?


Published or updated February 11, 2013.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle

Great post. I think you have to enjoy what you’re doing, enjoy the environment and see a future there.

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2 Jake Erickson

I agree with your article. I think the big one for me (and one that is tough for almost everyone) is to turn down a job if you don’t think it fits you. Most people aren’t getting offered jobs very often, so it’s tough to turn one down, especially if it would result in a raise.

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3 krantcents

I try to talk to the employees I meet about their jobs and how they feel about the company. The receptionist is a great resource when you come to the company. Another is calling HR before the interview and ask questions. Aside from the job related questions, you can ask others.

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4 Jonathan@Friends and Money

Very helpful article. I used to work as a recruiter and even in tough times I still think it’s important that you derive some job satisfaction from your work. Opting for a job because you need to pay the bills is admirable, but you should still keep looking to find a better match to your skills and abilities :)

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