Getting hired for a new job is exciting. It’s time to celebrate with your friends and enjoy the knowledge that not only are you qualified for the job – you’re the best option!
But what if you don’t feel like charging into your first day at a new position full steam ahead? How do you know if a particular job is truly right for you, or if it’s an opportunity that you shouldn’t take?
There’s no formula or exact science that will lead you to the true answer – after all, everyone’s situation and circumstances are unique – but there are some helpful ways to distinguish between a job that just might be “the one” and a position that you are settling for.
It’s a common courtesy to accept the things that are offered to you – a glass of water, a chair to sit in, a free giveaway from your sibling’s clothing donation pile. But the good news is this: you are under no obligation to accept any of those items – even the free sweater! Feeling obliged to accept a position might pop up in a few different circumstances.
For instance, perhaps a family member or friend arranged the interview for you, and you want to follow through; maybe financial concerns have placed you in a position that force you to consider a job that you don’t want; or possibly, you studied or earned a degree in this field, and now you would feel guilty not taking the position.
If your heart isn’t into the position, but you are leaning toward accepting the offer anyway, you may simply feel obliged. Certain obligations, like financial matters, are not easily cast aside; others, like a feeling of duty to pursue a certain career field or follow in someone else’s footsteps, can and should be considered before heading down a career path that you don’t really feel passionate about.
Accepting a job can have a lot of benefits: financial security, a self-confidence boost, and a myriad of other benefits. But accepting a position requires consideration of not only the actual job description, but the ways in which that job will be fulfilled. Does your new position require plenty of travel, but you are interested in staying closer to home, or starting a family? Does the role mean lots of networking and engaging with clients, but you are not naturally an outgoing person? Do you thrive on order and structure, but the job comes with a startup mentality and the flexible schedule to match?
You may be accepting a position for certain reasons, but acknowledging and preparing for any setbacks or potential adjustments needed for the work environment can help you to transition into the role smoothly. If some of the characteristics of the work environment are less than ideal, you may be taking the job just to take it.
Sometimes, there is no more effective approach to a situation than simply listening to your gut instinct. Does the job description excite you? Do your coworkers and office environment make you feel eager to learn and excel? Feeling nervous or seeking reassurance that a new path is the right one for you are completely normal and rational approaches to a life change like a new job – but feeling like you are in over your head or “settling” may be signs that this position is not the right one for you.
If you wake up every morning looking forward to your day, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. But if you’re starting to question your decisions, maybe you should take some time to reflect upon your situation. When in doubt, follow your gut.