Posted on 18/03/2017 by Hallie Kling
When I was temping and desperately looking for work I went to an interview for a position that didn’t feel quite right for me. The interview was less than 10 minutes; there was no discussion about salary or career progression or even the job expectations. So when I got the call to say I was offered the job I couldn’t even pretend to sound excited. This was the first time in my life I had been less than thrilled by a job opportunity. I ummed and arred with myself about taking the role. I knew deep down it wasn’t what I wanted but who was I to turn down a permanent opportunity when I had spent more than 4 months looking for a role? I was in a temp role that I was enjoying but I knew it wasn’t going to last forever, so I reluctantly said yes.
What happened next? Well, from the moment I walked into my new office I knew I had made the wrong decision. I lasted in that job for four weeks; four painstaking weeks of loathing every second. Then I had one big realisation... I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO MY GUT! And this is one thing I will ALWAYS pass onto my candidates. If it doesn’t feel right and you have any hesitations at all than it’s not the right role for you.
We spend more time at work than we do anywhere else. So why would you settle for something that you know deep down you are not going to enjoy? You might think to yourself, "there's no dream job out there for me" but you'd be wrong. There are people every day who wake up excited to go to work, who love what they do and are proud of their work. You deserve to be one of them. Hey look at me, I’ve spent a lot of time in jobs I haven’t enjoyed and now I’ve found something I love and what a difference it makes. I look back at that job and think, imagine if I’d stuck it out and gone to work day in and day out and been miserable. I’m glad I had that learning experience so I know now that I will always go with my instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably because it isn’t!
So you’ve got an interview. Now what? How do you figure out if it’s the job for you?
Here are my top four tips:
1. Ask for a job specification. If they can’t provide one then ask the recruiter or the HR Manager for a list of specified duties. The employer should be able to provide you with this. Study the job specification in detail figuring out if it’s in line with the type of role you want
2. Make sure you have thought of a few questions to ask at interview. Not only will this impress the interviewer and show you have come prepared but you can ask some questions that might not be in the job spec/advert i.e. what’s the culture like? What does a typical day look like? What is the staff retention? Is there progression opportunities?
3. Find out about the salary range. There are a lot of job adverts that don’t list the salary so although you don’t want to come across as only caring about the money, it is important you find out about this early on. There is no point going to an interview for a role that is paying $40K when the lowest salary you want is $50K. If it’s paying less that you expected ask if there is any wriggle room. If not, you need to decide whether you are willing to accept lower. Remember this is going to affect other areas of your life so if you can’t sacrifice the money then it’s better to look elsewhere.
4. Think about the long term. Could you see yourself staying in this role for 2 plus years? If not, why derail your life goals by taking a job that will only hold you back? If you can afford to, wait for the right job to come along. It’ll be worth it in the end. If not, temping is a great way to try loads of different jobs and different industries without the commitment of long term. I always recommend this to candidates who are struggling to figure out what they want to do.
So make sure you listen to the most important person in your life... YOU! Only you know what’s right for you, don’t be pushed into something just because you think it’s the right thing to do, or someone tells you it’s the right thing to do.