Receiving a job offer is always flattering. But before you excitedly say “yes” to a flashy new role with a different company, stop and consider whether it’s really the right opportunity for you.
If you’ve been applying for jobs that align with your interests, there’s a good chance the offer is exactly what you need. Maybe you want a change of scenery, or new colleagues. Maybe the new job’s salary, hours, and perks are superior.
All that being said, there’s also a chance that you might be better off in your current position. In order to determine your course of action, here are some key questions to ask yourself:
Is It the Right Time to Switch Jobs?
This is a nuanced question, because each situation is different. Still, there are some tried and true factors that may make you want to stay put.
Are you in the middle of a big project? Is your involvement in this project core to its success? Save for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a new company, jumping ship when you’re about to ship an important product is bad form. If you do leave, don’t expect a full-throated recommendation when other companies reach out to your current employer in the future.
Work-life balance is increasingly critical to tech pros, so consider how a new job may affect you personally. If you will need to relocate for a new role, it may affect your family, as well. Kids in school, or a significant other with their own career, should carry weight in your decision-making process.
Do You Care About the New Job?
Whether you applied for the job or were recruited, there’s a good chance you just don’t really care about it. No, really!
This isn’t about a desire to leave your current company: it’s about whether or not you’d truly be happy in a new role. Does the product excite you? Is the company reputable? Were you told about a cool new service you’d get to work on?
In other words, does the role itself motivate you, more than the prospect of jumping to just anything? If the work is dull, what will that mean for your mental state? Is it going to leave you in a mild state of depression, or searching (yet again) for something different? If so, it might be best to keep looking for work.
Are You a Good Cultural Fit?
Did you arrive to your job interview in a nice sweater and button-up shirt… only to interview with four brogrammers in sandals? Was one of the questions about your favorite Boys Noize set at Lollapalooza?
If that kind of environment made you uncomfortable, it’s probably not the ideal job for you, even if the company is about to launch an incredibly exciting project. Being the odd person out, culturally, is rough. Are you really going to be comfortable walking into the office every day, only to stumble over longboards and face conversations about random YouTube vlogs?
If you’re the type who tries to conform, a place like that might change who you are. A company’s value system is on display via their culture. Make sure that culture aligns with your mindset.
Will This Job Offer Improve Your Pay/Benefits Package?
Pay may not be your main driver for a new job. The new product/company might be reason enough to jump ship. But most transitions aren’t so romantic, so make sure you’re getting what you need out of a lateral move.
Our Salary Survey shows the average tech pro makes around $92,000 per year. Let’s say that’s you; does this new job offer a significant raise? Is the new commute worth the extra cash?
Are the benefits different? Your significant other has been asking to spend more time with you – does this new job afford that opportunity? Will you need to switch doctors?
There’s a lot to consider here. Pay and perks are huge drivers for switching jobs, as well as retention. If the job doesn’t pay more or offer you better benefits, is it really worth taking?
Is This a Calculated Professional Move?
There are great reasons to make sacrifices to take a new job. One of the most popular: that the new job will set you up for long-term success.
It may pay less money, or the benefits might not be great; but if you’re confident this new job sets you up for better things down the line, it’s hard to argue against taking it. Jobs at some large firms don’t last two years, but they might tee you up for a strong career, and that’s likely worth it. If this new role means you’ll have to work a lot harder for a few years to get to a place in your career where you’re making a lot more money, go for it.
Weigh Your Options Carefully
Personal and professional interests don’t always align, but they do have to maintain a balance. In addition to considering what you want, ask people in your life for their opinion on your situation; sometimes the best insight comes from external sources.
A new job offer is also a good time to reflect on what you want out of your career. It’s a time to be honest with yourself, and admit what you want and how much you think you’re capable of doing. This is also the right moment to ask yourself if you’re happy at your current job, and whether or not you’d be able to do more with the company before you actually move on.
Just consider your options carefully. There’s nothing worse than immediately regretting your choice once you sit down at your new desk.