Should You Stay or Should You Go: Weighing a New Opportunity

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If you’re currently employed and — lucky you! — have been offered another position — in this economy! — you now have some thinking to do.

Taking the new job may not be an automatic no-brainer. Here are some tips to help you decide if you should stay where you are now or if you should take the new position.

First of all, consider why you applied for the position in the first place. Is your current commute too long and adversely affecting the quality of your personal life. Are you being paid below-market wages? Is there little room for advancement?

If the new position is much closer to home, if you’re receiving a good pay increase and/or if the new job entails a promotion or the opportunity to face new challenges and opportunities (additional skills, etc.), it probably is a good idea to take the offer.

However, and this is important, whenever you leave one position for another, you should be doing so because you’re running to something, not runningĀ  from something. If your boss is a jerk, if your co-workers stink, if you’ve discovered the job isn’t a good fit, do not take the first job opportunity that comes along. If you do, you’re trying to escape a bad situation andĀ  you could be running yourself directly into another. Instead, if your current job really is hell on earth, you still should take your time and wait until a truly good opportunity for you comes along.

As you weigh whether or not to accept a new job, here are some things to ask yourself:

  • Does the job offer more interesting and challenging work?
  • What’s the company culture like? Do you think you’ll be comfortable working there? (For example, the new position will have you working in a cubicle in a large room, but you’re used to having your own office. Will you be able to function in a room that undoubtedly will have more noise and interruptions?
  • How much is your total compensation? Is it about the same as your salary now, but are you going from two weeks paid vacation a year to four (and is that important to you)?
  • Will the new job be a promotion?
  • What is the reputation of the company in your industry? Will having this company as part of your resume be helpful? Do you even care?
  • Will the new position give you continuous opportunities to learn new skills?
  • How long will your commute be? If you’ll need to move, will the salary allow you to live comfortably in the new city? (Many cost-of-living calculators on the Internet can help you answer that question.)
  • How well did you and your potential new boss hit it off? Naturally, you both were on your best behavior during your interviews, but take a deep breath and really think back on your interactions. Look for clues as to how your boss really works. For example, he may have mentioned he hates it when his crew come in late by even just five minutes without calling. Could this be a sign of a micro-manager, or is he someone who just really wants people to be on time because customers/clients start calling at 8 a.m. sharp and it’s important that his team be there to serve them? Think on this type of information and trust your gut.)

You can trust RealStreet Staffing to help you find your next great opportunity at some of Washington DC’s best construction, engineering and architecture firms. When you’re looking for a new opportunity, we want to hear from you.

It was my distinct pleasure working for RealStreet, aka KJMK, on separate FEMA disaster recovery assignments and long-term recovery planning assignments between October 2004 and May 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Francis and Wilma. I found working with these professionals enjoyable as well as self-fulfilling and rewarding. After a 9-year stint as Read More…

Steve Spry, CAPZO, Certified Alabama Planning and Zoning Official

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