Early on in my career, I accepted a position managing a dealer network for a reputable horse trailer manufacturer. The work was fast-paced and dynamic, with a focus on relationships…all things I thrive on. However, just as I was starting to really settle in and hit stride in my role, I started noticing little things that signaled all was not as it seemed. What had appeared to be a thriving business, was really a once-solid business that had started to slowly crumble from within. It wasn’t long before I realized the business foundation wasn’t built strongly enough to handle growth. If things start to go awry in that situation, the domino effect can be devastating. However, there are cases where strong change management can recover from adversity and build a stronger company. When you are in the middle of a situation like that, how long do you stay with your struggling employer? In my mind, part of the answer to that question lies in your confidence in the leadership and your level of adversity to risk.
You should always go to an interview well prepared for that final interview question: “Do you have any questions for me/us?” If you’ve given serious thought to how to answer that question, it is quite possible you are already ahead of the majority of job seekers. When that question is posed, It is important not to be too forward, but assertive enough to display confidence and poise. Most people have heard the advice not to ask any questions about salary, as it can appear a bit desperate and tacky. I am going to stay away from those types of questions for another reason though…..asking questions like the examples below can not only serve to further your understanding of whether the position is a fit for you personally, but can also help the interviewer identify more desirable qualities in you. Let’s explore a few examples:
1. Why did you choose to work for this company?
I always love this one, as the interviewer doesn’t usually have a canned answer given the more personal nature of the question. You will likely receive a more candid answer that will provide you with valuable insight. It may also help you gain more common ground with the interviewer that could work in your favor.
Before we really get into discussing how to weigh two job offers, I feel I need to congratulate those who have successfully landed two job offers within a manageable time frame! That in itself can be a part time job and a big accomplishment. When I asked several people how they would go about weighing two job offers, the first consideration explored was typically “Which pays more?” It seems simple, but I want to caution not doing your homework before answering. There are several layers to understanding which position pays more, and if you do your analysis right, you’ll probably feel like you are creating a budget from scratch (I know, not too many people get excited about that). Let’s think through some dos and a few don’t’s of how to weigh two job offers:
We’ve all been there…you’ve made it through the interview phase, and this job opportunity is just perfect for you. You can already see yourself in the role. You feel like you did well in the interview, and you’re holding your breath for that call. Then you get THE LETTER: “We appreciate your interest in our position, however, after careful consideration we are not able to offer you a position at this time.”
Ugh. But before you get too discouraged about the rejections, there are a few positive things that can come out of getting that rejection letter.
One closed door opens another.
Sometimes it is amazing how your career path twists and turns. I remember early on in my career, I wanted to break into the pharmaceutical sales arena. It is a tough world to “switch” to if you don’t have specific product sales experience. People have even written books on how to navigate a transition to pharmaceutical sales (I know, because I bought one). My background and networking were enough to get me into the interview round, but I ended up getting beat out by experience several times. Had I landed one of those first few attempts, I wouldn’t have embarked on the journey that led me to the great career I have now!
Making a career move can be both exciting and daunting. The impression you make and your performance in that new employee honeymoon period can determine if you are going to fit in culturally, and ultimately be successful within the organization. Here are a few key things to remember as you go about making sure your new manager and co-workers feel that hiring you was a great decision your first week on the job.
It should go without saying that you should arrive early, with a ready-to-learn attitude and an open mind. Within every organization, there will be unspoken cultural norms to tune in to, so ask questions, listen and observe closely. Be professional in all aspects, and that includes not getting sucked into the water cooler gossip. If you treat everyone with respect, whether they’ve earned it or not, you will be much better off in the long run. Integrity is one of the top attributes of a leader, and demonstrating it builds trust regardless of what level of position you hold.