We’re five years removed from the worst economic situation since the Great Depression. The economy has been improving steadily, with jobs reports generally trending toward the better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in March. (Though the unemployment rate increased slightly to 5%. That was due to more citizens looking for work.)
All this means your job prospects are better, correct? Perhaps. But should you jump at the first opportunity that comes your way? Not necessarily, says J.B. “Bernie” Fiedler, of Segue Special Situations Group.
Fiedler, who addressed a recent meeting of the Professional Opportunities Networking Group of Greater Milwaukee (PONG), advises that sometimes it’s in your best interest to say no to a job position. A financial advisor by trade, Fiedler refers to the entire decision-making process as “investing.”
“Investing,” he says, “is a process of committing resources in a strategic way to accomplish a specific objective.” In this case, of course, your objective is to find the right job position.
His job-hunting strategy includes three principles:
- Is not a game to be won
- Is not a way to accumulate more money (meaning, that is not your primary goal)
- It is a means to an end
Fiedler stresses that it’s important to know what your values are. If you don’t, you won’t know what type of opportunity to pursue that will satisfy you. Plan on making hard choices along the way. One job position may pay well, but it may not be the best fit for you.
Did you ever stay with an unethical employer merely because the money was good and the work relatively easy? An employer of mine once engaged in what I felt was unethical behavior. I said nothing for fear of how that person might respond. In essence, I kept my head down and concentrated on work.
Much like with your finances, think long term. Develop a strategy to pursue your vision, Fiedler says, and be willing to give up immediate gratification for long-term success. (Note how sound financial advice works with job searching, as well.) Many years ago I took a position because I really needed the money. The opportunity sounded good initially, but during the interview it became apparent this wasn’t a good fit. Even so, I accepted their offer. It didn’t work out, and I was gone in five weeks.
Job searching is not done in a vacuum; your family is affected by your decision. You need to meet their basic needs (shelter, food, clothing). But also consider their intellectual and emotional needs. Primary among that is your presence. Will that position take you away from your family for extended periods of time?
Consider your legacy, Fiedler says. Most likely you want to provide for your children and grandchildren. Will you leave a lasting, positive impression?
As part of your overall strategy, Fiedler advises you to consider these factors:
- Where is the position, and what might you and your family have to sacrifice?
- The time, training and potential stress involved.
- Whom can you count on as advisors or mentors? How much experience do you want or need to attain for the role?
Then, ask yourself these questions about the job position:
- Does it fit your strategic plan?
- Does it provide the rewards you expect?
- Does the career align with your vision?
If you say ‘no’ to any of these, Fiedler says, “it’s time to reconsider that opportunity.”
“The biggest investment you make is a career,” Fiedler says. Choose wisely, making sure the firm and opportunity match your core values. Otherwise, it’s in your–and your family’s–best interest to say ‘no’ to that new opportunity.
Have you turned down a job offer that initially appealed to you? What caused you to change your mind? Feel free to leave a comment below. If you found value in this post, please share it so others may benefit from what you and I have written. You may use any of the following buttons. To contact me, send an email.