Look at factors such as your short-term and long-term needs to determine whether a possible new job truly stands to help your career.
When you’re considering a job change, you no doubt evaluate possible moves based on whether you would have fun challenges, a less-stressful commute, enhanced work-life balance or a higher salary. However, looking at potential changes from the perspective of whether they truly stand to help your career is one of the wisest things you can do.
Here are some ways to tell if a new job would help with your career plans:
1. Does it address short-term needs?
What are your needs for the next couple of years? For example, if you have a family, you might need flexibility right away. If you’re a recent college graduate with no spouse and kids, then depth of experience might be more important. Make sure your potential job change meets those short-term needs.
2. What new skills or experiences do you stand to gain?
Any new skills or experiences are useful, no doubt, but some are more helpful than others when you’re looking at the long-term picture. Make sure your potential new job will get you those skills you desire instead of skills you already have or probably won’t need. The skills and experiences should give you the attributes you need to eventually ascend to the position you want.
3. What are other alternatives?
Have you explored other opportunities? If not, what’s out there? If you have, what makes this job better? How does it help you more than your current position? If you can’t satisfactorily answer these questions, then this potential new job may not be the best career aid.
4. How does the fit feel?
You should be excited and energized, if a little nervous or scared, at the prospect of this new job. You should’ve taken the time to evaluate its possible advantages and disadvantages. If the fit doesn’t feel right, analyze why you think, on paper, this job stands to help your career.