Few people stay in the same exact role at just one company for their entire career. At some point in your professional journey, you’ll likely seek out change, whether it’s moving up in your organization or finding a job elsewhere.
When a job opportunity presents itself, you may wonder whether it’s the right move for you at that particular time. You don’t want to take too long to make a choice, lest the chance passes you by—but you also don’t want to rashly jump into something that isn’t a good fit and later regret it.
To help you make this important decision, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members shared nine questions you should ask yourself to determine whether a new professional opportunity is right for you.
1. Will I have another opportunity like this?
I find that when the opportunity presents itself, it’s already the right time to move forward or move up. For most people, it’s rare to get more than one opportunity at the same promotion. When a great company is ready to hire you, then that’s a sign that you should join it too. For many people, change will never “feel right.” Waiting to feel certain and positive until you make a change will lead to being stuck for longer than you need to. You can always grow into a different role and situation, but once an opportunity has passed, it’s not possible to conjure it up again. It’s also important to know that our primitive brains will generate negative emotions toward new roles and jobs. You have to make changes regardless if you don’t want to miss chances in life. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
2. Do the company’s values align with mine?
To see if a job is for you, consider the company’s values and culture. Does it suit what you’re looking for? Many times, employees don’t even know what the company values or mission are, so they’re unprepared for the environment they’ve walked into. It’s crucial to do your research, ask questions during the interview process and speak to other employees to gauge how you feel about the opportunity. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
3. Does it offer long-term growth potential?
The best tip I could give for finding a new job would be to look at whether or not it allows you the opportunity to grow in the long term. You want to have room to expand and achieve more, but this also doesn’t mean you should rush into the decision to leave. It is often thought that staying in a company is “stagnating,” but this is not always true. Suppose the opportunity to advance in the same company allows you to continue learning and contributing new ideas. In that case, it is still professional growth, and that also speaks of a person who knows how to lead long-term working relationships. First, make a list of the pros and cons of your options and consider what will make you happier and more successful in the long term. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
4. Am I capable of taking it on right now?
When deciding whether or not you should accept a new job opportunity, you should take some time to assess your mental health and skill set. If you’re already feeling burned out, a switch to a new role could do more harm than good. Similarly, if you’re feeling stressed and need to learn a brand new skill set, you’re only going to add to your stress. I believe that looking inward and giving an honest assessment on whether you’re capable at this time is one of the more overlooked ways to determine if you’re ready to take on a new role. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
5. What is my probability of success?
When applying for any new opportunity, it’s important to know your probability of success. Specifically, you want to be sure that the role offers growth opportunities with a high probability of success. This correlation is what will ultimately benefit your future. It’s critical to take the time to learn as much about the position as possible to ensure that you have the experience that is necessary and that you can deliver immediate value. You also want to see the ability to expand existing skills. Not understanding the role or your ability to provide value from previous experience could actually harm your career rather than grow it. Before committing to a new position, take the time to fully understand it and how well-suited you are to that position. – Tyler Quiel, Giggster
6. Is this what I want to do full time?
It’s one thing to want the perks of a job, like prestige, remuneration, etc., but it’s another to actually thrive in that position. Sometimes job positions and their actual day-to-day work can produce different feelings in the same people. I feel like your job should be something you see yourself doing full time, not being full time. There should be a certain level of interest, some ability and energy for activities ascribed to that position. Another important way to find out if you’re willing to do the job full time is to talk to someone who has held the job you want or something similar. Discuss the joys and struggles of the position. Above all, ask how that job fits into your overall goals. This is just as important as passion. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
7. Will it help me reach my goals?
Write down the top three reasons you’re considering leaving your job. Many job opportunities sound great, and it’s easy to be tempted by higher salaries or better titles. However, when you commit what you truly want to paper and use it to guide your decisions, you won’t let temptations get in the way of your real goals. For each job you consider applying for and for each opportunity you’re offered, take a hard, honest look at what you’ll get if you make the move. Will you get the three things on your list? If not, the job isn’t for you. Don’t sacrifice what you really want for other temptations. – Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com
8. Does it align with my top priority?
Write down your career goals. You’d be surprised how easy it is to lose sight of long-term goals and dreams. If you’re thinking of making a change, actually write down your goals on a piece of paper. The act of writing them down will help you make them more clear, concise and focused. Next, evaluate your written goals with the mission of the position you’re interested in. Put yourself under a microscope. What is your top priority, and does the new position align with it? – Shu Saito, Godai Soaps
9. What does my gut tell me?
Entrepreneurs make many decisions based on instinct and their gut. Employees, I believe, take more time to think when making a decision, especially when possibly accepting a new job. Calculating and weighing options is a good thing to a point, but I always advise people to make a leap and trust the process if you have a good feeling about it. It’s like a trust fall. You’re going to have to try at some point to fall back, and someone will surprise you by catching you. – Michael Sinensky, WeShield