A checklist for evaluating a new opportunity
You are a seasoned executive and by now there has been a pattern in the jobs you have gravitated to. This might have served you well, or it might not have.
However, as you approach the top of the career ladder, it’s time to examine that pattern. Here’s when it becomes imperative to make good decisions that will get you closer to fulﬁlling your life’s work rather than simply ﬁlling a ﬁnancial need.
The requirements you have of a job become more important. They shift. It becomes less about what you can do for the company and more about what the company can do for you. After all, you have choices and you don’t have to take this particular job. So what do you need to consider before taking your next job?
Let’s say you have a job opportunity in front of you, but you aren’t sure if it’s the right fit for you at this time. Should you take it or should you hold out and wait for something better to come along? This scenario cuts to the core of these two questions: “What do you really want?” and “What do you really want at this time in your life?”
Often, having opportunities presented to you can sway what you want. Your vision gets tainted because your ego gets tickled. It’s bit like having a piece of candy in front of you. It might not be your most favorite candy, but you believe it’s good and it will deﬁnitely fulﬁll your immediate need. But is that enough? What are the questions to think through before you jump ship and hop onto the next vessel?
What to consider before taking your next job
What are you envisioning for yourself 10 years from now? Will this opportunity get you closer to what you are imagining or will it take you further away? If you take this opportunity, will it teach you something useful that you will need in 10 years? If so, can you articulate what that is? Will this be a stepping stone to your future success and fulﬁllment?
Are you honoring your values if you take on this opportunity? This is essential to feeling fulﬁlled and happy. Are you clear on what your values are? If not, email me for a tool to help you identify your values. Ideally you want to honor four of your values fully when taking on an opportunity.
Is the work you are asked to do meaningful to you? Here the question to ask is, why? Why this opportunity? Why this company? Why you? Why is this good for you? And does it ﬁt into the path to accomplishing your life’s work? I suggest you be brutally honest with yourself here.
What do you know about the culture of the company? Is it a good ﬁt for you? Can you see yourself working with the people you have met? What is the level of trust? What is the level of integrity you have encountered? Are people respectfully engaging with each other? Are there any red ﬂags you are unsure about or that concern you?
Do you know what is expected of you? If you are unclear, what makes you think it will become clearer once you work there? Without clear expectations, you are setting yourself up for failure. There are plenty of unknowns down the road. At least go into the opportunity with open eyes and clarity.
What is the path to success? What does success with this opportunity look like? To you? To the company? To your future boss, whether it be the CEO or the Board of Directors, or investors?
What signals are you getting that you are truly wanted? Trust your intuition here. The conversations you have already had reveal the level of desire expressed. You don’t want to jump into a situation where you are second best and they couldn’t get the better candidate. Go for the scenario where you are the best ﬁt and the best candidate at this point in time. How could you demonstrate that you are the best ﬁt in case it is unclear?
8) Support Team
What perspective are your advisors providing? Have you asked your best friends that have known you and seen your patterns? What feedback are you getting from mentors and coaches? What advice will your 80-year-old self give you about this opportunity? And what advice would your 20-year-old self give you if you could ask him right now?
Good luck evaluating the opportunity presented to you.
Be aware that you always have several options. Just because you don’t see any other opportunities in the moment doesn’t mean they are not out there. What other options are out there? And what other opportunities might you create if you were to focus on this? Maybe you want to start your own company?
Remember, the choice to break a pattern is yours.
Contact me, if you want help in the decision making.