Considering A New Job? Ask These Questions First

Recently, I was listening to a career radio show on Sirius XM while driving home. I was hesitant to tune in for a few reasons: 1) I get easily frustrated by the “tip” approach that most career advisors take since I believe in a big-picture career philosophy 2) It’s like bringing an executive chef into another restaurant – unless you want to hear a critique on every aspect of the dining experience, it’s never a good idea. Nevertheless, I promised myself that I would remain impartial as I took in the information and chalked it up to research.



What a lie that was! The first caller asked if he should take an offer that required him to relocate. While he had no problem with moving and the new role and company culture intrigued him, he wasn’t sold that the position warranted him leaving his current gig. After all, he liked his job and his home town. For the host, who boasted many years of giving much-needed career guidance, I was under the impression that it would be an easy question to answer.

The host’s first inclination was to ask what the starting salary was. Based on the confidential nature of radio, the caller had no objection to sharing such intimate details. In my effort to give the host the benefit of the doubt, I assumed he was gathering background information in order to give the best possible advice. It was wishful thinking on my part, and much to the chagrin of both the caller and myself, the career coach brilliantly suggested that he ask for more money. “If they want you, they have to pay for you,” he reasoned. He went on and on drilling down the same point as if the caller was a first-pick professional football player.

“Are you freaking kidding me?” I screamed. Yes, I yelled the words out loud at my radio. I was stopped at a red light, and the guy sitting in the car adjacent to mine was shocked by my blatent rage. The poor caller stumbled in his response, trying to protest by explaining that the offer was solid. Rather than listen to the confused gentleman, the host gave himself a pat on the back and dismissed him by saying he hopes his advice helps other listeners. “Help them with what? To make fools of themselves,” I yelled again – I couldn’t help myself.

For readers faced with the decision to make a career change, here’s what you need to consider that money can’t buy. If you’ve started to seek a new position, most likely, it means you’ve outgrown your current role. You probably feel that you could be learning more, doing more, and taking on more leadership responsibilities. If you consider taking a new job, the question you should be asking yourself is, will this enhance my background, add value to my brand, and move my career forward in ways that my current role can’t. That means, are you gaining new skills, undertaking new projects, and is the company culture one you’ve never experienced before? Is it an organization that’ll allow you to put your own mark on it – to become a leader versus a follower? Will you be working with new technology or more talented people?

By making strategic decisions that lead to professional growth, you are already thinking like an employer. You can’t view yourself as a loyal dog that stays by your master’s side even when it no longer makes sense. I may not have a radio show, but I’ve helped countless job seekers double their income in less than four years, and I’ve been around the block long enough to recognize good career advice.

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