Three questions you should ask before accepting a job

New job? Sally Bibb explains the three things you need to know before accepting a job offer


Three questions you should ask before accepting a job

It’s easy to get carried away with enthusiasm when you’re offered a new job. It can be tempting not to delve too deeply into whether the job is actually right for you. But if you don’t you could live to regret it.

Anyone who has ever been in the wrong job knows what a miserable experience it is. If you’re considering a job offer, ponder on the three questions below before you accept it. It could save a whole load of stress if the role turns out to be a bad fit for you. On the other hand, if the job is a good fit, then you can rest easy in the knowledge that it’s definitely the right next move!

What do I really love doing at work and how much of my time will I be spending doing that in this new role?

All of us have parts of our job that we don’t particularly like or that drain us. That is inevitable. The problem comes when our job demands that we spend the majority of time on the things we’re not great at and aren’t energised by. For example, if you love connecting with people but most of your time will be spent working on a computer you’re not going to be very happy or work at your best.

What’s really important to me?

Have a think about what you value in a job – for example, is it status, learning, independence, fun? Think about the things that, if you don’t have them, really affect your chances of being happy at work.

What motivates me, and is this role likely to light my fire?

Knowing what motivates us is one of the most important pieces of information we can have about ourselves because if you’re not motivated to do something you will struggle to do it. Our motivations are our driving force. Are you driven, for example by being in charge of others, by competing, by problem solving, by helping other people? For instance, if you’ve always been very drawn to helping others and that is not the key purpose of the role, you will be dissatisfied in it. Make sure you really understand your own motivations so that you can be pretty certain that you will find a new role motivating.

If you find it difficult to answer these questions because you’re unsure what the job actually entails, what will be needed from you and what the environment is like, it’s a sign that you need to find out more from your prospective employer.

Remember, it’s a two-way street – your potential employer wants to know whether you would be a good person for the job, but you also need to work out whether you would thrive in the job.

Sally Bibb (pictured, and words) is a leading consultant in the strengths movement, founder and director at Engaging Minds and the author of The Strengths Book: How to be Fulfilled in Your Work and Life (LID Publishing).