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Should I take the job? Here's how to figure it out.

CareerBuilder | January 25, 2022

Should I take the job

Use your skills and get paid what you deserve in the best possible fit for you.

The right job means something different to everyone; your career path is yours alone, and like you, it will be unique. So, when you're looking for a new job, how can you decide what's the right fit?

Determining whether a job suits your particular needs is one of the toughest parts of professional life. Each and every opportunity presents a complicated set of considerations. Does the job provide the potential for growth that will get you where you ultimately want to go? Does the workplace culture suit your personality? Do you have the right skills to handle all the responsibilities of the job, and will it teach you new skills that you can carry forward in your career? Are the benefits any good? How's the work-life balance? Does it pay enough?

It feels impossible to tackle all these weighty questions at once. But if you break them down and take them one at a time, it's not so daunting. Below, we'll go through how to determine if a job is right for you, step by step.

You're asking, "Should I take the job?" The process outlined here will lead you to an answer.

Know what you need from a job

Start with evaluating your current needs. Do you need to pick up some side money with a temporary gig? Or are you trying to take the next step in your overall career path? You can count out a ton of job offers by answering these simple questions. For example, a full-time desk job isn't right for someone who needs a little extra cash. A part-time gig won't cover your expenses if you're looking for a position that can support your family. Having a sense of what you're looking for before an actual interview will help you and the hiring manager save time.

Before you even look at job descriptions, get real with yourself about what’s important. Consider logistics such as how many hours you can work per day or week, if you need flexibility or a set schedule, and if finding the right culture fit is a priority. Don't wait until the hiring process has begun to outline your own availability.

To help you sort through all of these options, think about the stressors in your current situation and what would alleviate them. Make a list somewhere – on your phone, in a Google Doc, on a piece of paper – to remind yourself of what you need. Use this list to figure out the right questions to ask an interviewer about a particular position. You could also update your job seeker profile with your career goals and what you’re looking for in a role.

How to evaluate workplace culture

People tend to overlook one of the most important aspects of finding a new job: company culture. Factors like salary, job responsibilities, educational requirements and skillset expectations obviously matter a great deal, but fitting into your work environment comfortably on a daily basis is make-or-break. Your past work experience might make you a good fit for a certain job, but if the job isn't a good fit for your personality and work style, you won't be able to make the impact at work that you want to make.

To get a sense of a workplace culture, do some research about the company online. Check out their website and social media accounts. What does the tone tell you about the company? Does it seem starchy, or laid back? Do the people in their Instagram photos where ties, or Silicon-Valley-chic hoodies? Does it look like the sort of workplace that would have a ping-pong table in the break room?

The job description probably has some clues to offer about what it's like to work at that company as well. What does the overall tenor of the description feel like? Do the job responsibilities include anything about how you'll work with other people? Does it say anything about how collaborative this role will be, and what sorts of folks you'll be working with? Will you spend time at a white board, coming up with creative ideas with an art director? Or presenting reports to a busy business executive?

Finally, what do you see as this company's ultimate goals? Why does this business exist? Does it's mission align with your values?

It's a good idea to bake these sorts of questions into your job search. They are as important as writing a good cover letter or following up after an interview. Without them, you might land a job that's good for someone, just not the particular job that's right for you. And it's nearly impossible to achieve job satisfaction at a company where you just don't feel comfortable.

Use the right tools to save time

Technology is a key tool in your professional development, and that's where CareerBuilder comes in. Thousands of employers post their open roles on our job boards. To take full advantage of everything CareerBuilder has to offer, create an account, add your resume and get yourself in that network of companies, so you can apply quickly and put your resume right at the fingertips of hiring managers who are searching for talent.

Now that you’ve put yourself out there to be easily found by recruiters and hiring managers, use the filters and search functions on that job board to see the right roles for you.

Filter by employment type. This goes back to the first point – what job schedule or workload are you looking for? Whether it’s seasonal, work from home or full-time, select what you need to find the perfect job.

Dive into your earning potential. Learn more about what you could earn in your area, in another state or city, and by education level. Know your worth before you apply and begin the interview process.

Filter by pay. If you have a goal or minimum salary or hourly wage you need to make, include that as part of your search. More and more employers are including pay in the description to save time for both recruiters and job seekers. In fact, some states have passed laws requiring hiring managers to share salary information with candidates.

Filter by application type. Whether you want to manage each detail of a multi-step application or are comfortable with a 1-click easy apply to jobs, you should look for roles that meet your job-hunting needs.

Stay on top of your career

Your career isn’t static, even if "climbing the ladder” isn’t really your thing. As you progress from one job to the next, and your life changes – maybe you get married, have kids or move out of state – your needs from your job will shift as well.

Once you’ve landed the right role for you, right now, set aside some time each month to check-in on your career progress. Does your profile accurately reflect your skills? What about adding a cool project you just completed to your resume or profile? Are you continuing to see what other roles are out there? That last point is especially crucial if you’re in a role where you are underemployed or feel it’s temporary to get back on your feet.

Don’t forget to invest in yourself to stay on top of the trends in your industry and be a highly-skilled worker, in whatever it is you choose to do.

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