“Is This Job Right For Me?” A New Grad’s Guide To Evaluating A Job Opportunity

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Knowing whether or not a job is right for you can be tough.

How do you know the career choice will advance you to where you want to go? Making a decision on a job can be a difficult choice. And since you will be devoting a lot of time to that role, how can you be sure you are making the right decision?

Here are some things to consider before you accept a job offer.

Is it suited for your lifestyle?

Maybe you are looking for flexibility in your hours. Or perhaps you are looking for a typical Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm job.

Make sure that you are fully knowledgeable about how flexible this position will be. Sometimes companies won’t mention that you may have to work overtime or outside of regular office hours.

Although you can’t be too picky when deciding on a job, you want to be sure it is going to fit in with your lifestyle. If you are a person who usually spends weekends out of town, choosing a job that may require you to work on weekends may not be the best choice.

Be sure you are upfront with your situation, and ask questions during the interview. Don’t agree to a job that requires a two hour commute if you have commitments before or after work that you’re not willing to give up. Some employers are flexible with making work arrangements, so be sure to bring this up during the interview stage.

Is the money right?

This area can be tricky – when considering your potential income, you should be realistic.

Do research on the role you are applying to, and compare the income your potential employer is offering you to others in your field. Then, based on the experience you have in the field, determine an income range which you think would be fair to both you and the employer.

It’s best if you do this research before your interview, as you will likely be given a salary quote during the meeting. If you feel a company is holding back, remember that you have the option of politely objecting, and making your own suggestion. However, if you decide to do this, make sure that you have solid reasons for deserving a higher wage. For example, if you have multiple years of experience in a similar field, you should not accept the lowest pay bracket.

Young professionals and new grads should make sure they are able to live off of their income… but don’t always expect to have a ton of extra spending money. Once you have some experience under your belt, you will have some room to be more selective with your jobs and income.

Will this role help your career?

Keep in mind that if you pick this job, you may not be working there forever. When considering a new job, think about the opportunities it presents to you if you work there short-term, as well as the advantages of if you decide to work there long-term.

This is especially true if you are a relatively new graduate looking to break into the industry. Is this role in the field you are aiming for? If not, what transferable skills will you learn from this position that will help you down the road? Will it help you move into a career in your industry?

Landing your dream job isn’t going to happen overnight, so try and think of your long term goals and how each opportunity will help get you there. There are many ways to build up your experience, and sometimes that involves taking on roles that will help build your skill-set.

Can you see yourself fitting in?

During your interview, ask about company culture, and make sure to observe what the environment is like while you are visiting for your interview.

Does it seem like a formal, corporate environment? Maybe it’s more casual and laid back. Most importantly, try to see if the employees seem like they enjoy their work.

Company culture can be the ultimate deciding factor for a lot of people because it affects you every single day. In this case, going with your gut feeling can be a good thing. If the workplace gives you a bad vibe, there is probably a reason for it.

Remember: don’t just jump at any opportunity offered to you. If anything, ask your potential employer for a few days to think about your decision – most employers are fine with it, provided you follow up with them in a timely manner. Taking some time to analyze the situation will likely save you and the company a lot of stress and issues down the road.

What are your “must-haves” for your ideal job? Let us know in the comments!

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About the author

Lauren Marinigh is a social media and content marketing professional based in Toronto, Canada. With over six years of experience working with brands both big and small to increase their online presence, Lauren brings to the table a diverse set of skills and expertise. Lauren has also written for publications like Shopify, G Adventures, CollegePro Painters, Canada Business Magazine, and more. Fun fact! Her first ever piece of published content was on TalentEgg!