It's always nice to feel wanted. But just because a job offer comes along — whether you were looking for one or not — doesn't mean it's the right option for you. If you already have a job and another company offers you a position, think long and hard before you decide to take the leap.
"Making a change is stressful, even if it's a good change," says Darcy Eikenberg, career coach and owner of Red Cape Revolution. "Switching to a new job should be the right next step for you personally and for your career."
If you're weighing a job offer, keep these four considerations in mind:
"Some people jump from job to job just like going from party to party just because they're invited," Eikenberg says. Instead of moving aimlessly from one opportunity to another, she recommends making a plan for your career with an end goal in mind. For instance, to get to your goal, you may need to add experience in a particular area — and if this new opportunity offers that experience you lack, it could be a good fit.
"If you have a goal, you can look for opportunities that will move you toward that goal," Eikenberg says. "Follow your plan and ask yourself if this is the next step in reaching your next goal."
You can't overlook the salary that will accompany the new job, but it also shouldn't be your chief deciding factor. "If you're underpaid and someone is dangling dollars in front of you, that can be tempting," Eikenberg says. "But you can't move to a new job only for money because it often won't be satisfying for a long period of time."
If the salary is the only thing that tempts you about the new job, you're likely to become disengaged before long. Instead, consider having a conversation with your current employer about the offer you've had from another company and see if he or she is willing to match it, or at least come close.
With all the changes that have accompanied the Affordable Care Act, "not all benefit plans look alike anymore," Eikenberg says. Even if the new employer says they offer "great benefits," the benefit plan may not be comparable to your current plan.
To ensure you know exactly what they're offering, ask specific questions: What is the range of costs you will be expected to pay for your health insurance and associated costs? Does the company make 401k matching contributions, and if so, how much? "It's not worth taking a worse job for more money and benefits," but if all other things are equal, you should have conversations about the value of the specific benefits you're being offered, Eikenberg says.
Even if a job offers great money and allows you the opportunity to do just the kinds of things you want to do, if the culture of the organization isn't for you, or if you just don't jive with the boss, it could be a terrible experience. Do your due diligence to determine whether your potential supervisor and the culture are a good fit for you: Try talking with current employees, ask lots of questions about culture during your interviews, and read anonymous employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor.com.
Don't underestimate your own ability to make a sound judgment call about your own future. Especially if you have spent the time necessary to reflect on your career and figure out your own values and goals, you are the only person who can make the right decision for your next job.
"Carve out some quite time for yourself and just listen to your gut," Eikenberg says. "If you're not in a situation where you have to make a change and you have hesitation in your gut, it's probably wise to move on to the next thing."