Should I Take This Job? How to Plan for Career Advancement
Assess a job offer or role based on whether it will support your career advancement and move you toward your long-term goals.
Whether you’re at the application stage of your job search or have an offer in hand, sooner or later you need to ask yourself an important question: Should I take this job?
The answer is about so much more than salary and benefits. You’re looking for a role that will support your long-term goals and career advancement. There are many reasons to want to grow your career. Whether you are driven by a desire for personal growth and to learn new skills. Or perhaps you are motivated by the opportunity to take on more responsibility, or to earn a higher income. Or maybe you are drawn to career advancement as a way to make a positive impact in the learning industry or your community.
If you’re looking for a role that will support your long-term goals for career advancement there are some steps you can follow to figure out whether the job offer is a detour, roadblock, or a milestone in advancing your career.
Step 1: Check-In On Your Goals for Career Advancement
Your short-term goal may be to find a new position. But it’s important to keep in mind that your short-term goal of finding a new position is just one step in a larger journey. By choosing a job that aligns with your long-term goals, you can ensure that you are taking the right steps to reach your ultimate career objectives.
Check in with yourself to ensure you are still on your path or even redefine your path if it no longer fits. Below are a couple of questions to get you started.
- What are your mid and long-term goals? Think about where you want to be in 5, 10, or 20 years.
- What do you hope to achieve professionally and personally?
Step 2: Will This Company Help Me Reach My Career Advancement Goals
Choosing which company to work for is an important decision that can have long-term impacts for your career. The company you choose to work with has an impact on how you grow and what opportunities are more likely open to you next.
Some companies invest in their employees’ development, some regularly advance from within, others are great stepping stones towards next jobs, and some may even be a dead end. In the recruitment industry we see this first hand as conduct a high number of screening interviews.
Professionals from organizations that invest in their employees tend to have consistently strong interviews. These employees generally demonstrate a higher level of professional poise, knowledge, and operational ability. These same organizations also tend to advance from within. As you might expect, their employees have a track record of staying with the company for longer periods of time and communicate stronger job satisfaction.
Other companies can be great stepping stones. These companies have a strong reputation in the industry, many have a consulting component to the business model or are doing something innovative.
Working in a consulting environment can equip you to be more agile, customer focused, and have a greater understanding of the market and what works. In addition, working with an innovative and entrepreneurial organization may help you develop cutting edge skills, new mental models, and oftentimes extensive problem solving ability. Gaining these types of experiences can make you a highly sought after candidate.
Here are a few questions to consider when evaluating an employer:
- What is their size and growth potential? If it’s an early stage or innovative organization – you will likely have more opportunities to learn many new skills and problem solve. If it’s a larger company, take a look at the next question.
- Are there historical opportunities for advancement? Review employee profiles on LinkedIn to discover if employees are advancing, stagnant, or leaving. This will also tell you if they are being invested in.
- What kind of reputation does the company have? Review their website, Glassdoor, and career pathways of previous employees on LinkedIn.
Step 3: Does the Role Offer Enough Room for Growth?
When your job role and your skills align, you perform better and feel more satisfied with the work. But, there should also be room for growth. Look for opportunities that enable you to perform well and continue developing knowledge, skills, and responsibility. These growth opportunities should align with your ultimate career advancement goals.
Start by taking a look at the job description and consider what percentage of the responsibilities and requirements you can already perform proficiently. Generally speaking, if you’re highly skilled in everything listed, the job may not offer enough room for growth. If you do see opportunities to become a more skilled practitioner, learn new tools, or even whole new skill sets – this may be an opportunity that furthers your career.
Here are a couple of questions to consider asking in an interview to help you decide if a role offers enough room for growth.
- For this role, what would you like to be accomplished in 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year? (or whichever timeline makes the most sense for th position)
- What would it look like for someone to go above and beyond?
- What type of training or professional development is offered?
Step 4: Does the Offer Meet My Needs
Lastly, it’s important to ensure the fundamentals of the position meet your requirements. Salary level, benefits packages, and flexibility can all be reasons to accept or decline a position. We suggest requesting information about the salary range and working location or hours flexibility at the beginning of the process – at the end of the first interview iif it’s not posted on the job announcement.
It’s often best to wait to fully explore the details of benefits packages and exact salary amount at the time of an offer. Also, you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate once you’ve received a hire offer as the organization has decided you’d be a great fit and it is time intensive to start over.
Below are a few of the early stage questions you can ask to ensure there is general alignment.
- What is the salary range for this position?
- What is the anticipated start date?
- What is the anticipated work schedule and how much flexibility is there in terms of where and when hours are worked?
After you’ve received the offer letter, it’s time to dig into the details and consider what is most important to you; salary, PTO, or something else? Learn how to negotiate salary and benefits like a pro!
Are You Ready to Advance Your Career?
You can use everything you’ve learned in the last four steps to evaluate if an offer is right for you. When you assess your goals, determine if the company is the right fit, evaluate the actual job and growth potential, and lastly make sure it meets your basic needs – you can rest assured you’ve thought about this from all angles. Remember the true value of any job lies in how it helps you advance your career and meet your personal goals.
Whether you’re looking for full-time, part-time, or contract roles, Teamed can help you find an elearning job that will help advance your career. Visit our job board or contact us to start looking for your next role.