3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Accept Your Next Job
Career decisions are never easy. Not only do they have the potential to define your professional path for years to come, they also can affect your quality of life, where you live, your bank balance, and more.
When making such an important decision it is critical to carefully consider your options, and think about whether an opportunity is right for you, your career goals, and your personal priorities.
After more than 30 years at Lockheed Martin, I’ve had dozens of career opportunities. I’ve had to evaluate potential jobs — both inside and outside offers — and decide what the best opportunity was for me and my family.
Over the years, I’ve asked myself some key questions that helped me make smart decisions about my career path. When I faced an important decision about my next job opportunity, here are three questions that helped me make the right choice:
1. Does the opportunity align with your values?
You will never truly do your best work if your personal values are challenged by a job.
That’s one of the reasons I take every opportunity to reiterate Lockheed Martin’s values and what they mean to us. Our employees know that everyone here is committed to doing what’s right, respecting others, and performing with excellence — and potential employees can decide if these core values align with their own.
Do you believe in the organization’s mission and values? Do you feel passionate about making a difference for their customers and other stakeholders? Are you inspired by the organization’s leadership? Do you respect the people that work there?
Taking time to think through these questions will help ensure an organization is the right fit for you.
2. Will you have a chance to grow, learn and stretch professionally?
Are you considering the position because your skills and experience are perfectly aligned? Maybe you should think again.
The best way to grow professionally — and set yourself up for a successful career — is to expand your skills and experience. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and look for jobs that will help fill gaps in expertise that will help you get to the next level.
Don’t limit yourself by doubting your ability to step up to a challenge. You will never be perfectly prepared for a new position. So, take advantage of the growth opportunities that come your way — even if they might seem like a reach.
As long as you keep in mind this third question:
3. Are you equipped to make a difference?
Any business leader will tell you that results matter. When looking at a new opportunity, you should think about how your unique set of skills, talents and experiences can have an impact and deliver for the organization.
What are the opportunities you see? What would you do differently? How can you help the organization achieve their goals?
If you have what it takes to make a difference, you’ll bring real value to the organization as you expand your own skills and experience.
By asking these three questions, you’ll be able to make more informed career decisions and you’ll also get a better sense of your own goals, skills and values. That insight will help you thrive regardless of the career path you take.
What else do you consider when making career decisions? Share your thoughts and your examples in the comments section below.