Before You Take Any Job
With limited jobs in our society for those that want them, many job seekers take just any job they see without taking time to closely consider it and the consequence of taking those jobs. The result is that a good number of them take jobs that are dead-ends to them, join organizations that pay them huge salaries; but hinder them from experiencing true career growth.
Some even take jobs they are not fit for and so constitute a burden on their employer and if their employers try to get them to do their work effectively; they get into trouble with them or start a fight that terminates their job prematurely.It’s because of these realities that we are devoting this weeks edition of Career Exploits to share with you four key things you should consider before you take any job.
Capacity to Deliver on the Job
The first thing you should consider before you take any job is your capacity to do the job. I shouldn’t to be telling you to be sure you have the capacity to deliver on a job because that’s the basis for applying for any job actually; but since some people get jobs without being screened for it or just apply for any job just to put an end to their joblessness, I decided to remind you that you need to have the capacity to do your job.
Understand that jobs are not just channels for making a living; they are your opportunity to create value for people in exchange for a reward. It’s not a means of sharing the national cake (like in government jobs); it’s your chance to make your life count to people and build wealth in the process.
The key is that for any job you take, you must bring something to the table; not just get a paycheck. That’s one reason you can’t afford to take just any job because it is offered to you; you have to be sure you really have the capacity to do the job properly.
In fact, in today’s competitive environment, the capacity to do your job is not enough; you should be able to do it even better than most people or have some extra skills or capabilities that make you almost indispensable.
The truth is that taking a job you are not qualified for can make your pocket fat for now or at least cure you of your acute joblessness, but it can equally ruin your career unless you learn fast on the job.
You see, when you take a job you don’t have the capacity to do, you won’t be able to perform optimally on the job, the implication is that you will hardly get the promotion you should get and overtime, you will become more of a nuisance than an asset and the most probable consequence is your disgraceful sack!
Even if your Dad’s childhood friend or your father, as minister of the Federal Republic gave you a job you don’t have the capacity to do, nicely decline it unless you are ready to learn on the job. If what you bring to the job is mediocrity, it will eventually backfire.
Your poor performance can be tolerated as long as those with the power to punish you still want to respect your godfather. Let your connection be God’s way of opening door for you. When you enter, don’t waste that opportunity or disgrace God; develop the capacity to not just remain there; but rise to the top.
So, no matter how easily a job offer came and how badly you need money, sincerely determine if you can do the job before you apply or grab the job offer. This will save you from shame and troubles arising from your incompetence and free you to locate the right job for you— where working will be living and you will soar.
What Does the Job Offer?
Next thing you should consider before you take any job is what the job has to offer. The truth of life is that all jobs that glitter are not gold. Some come with a big title or under big company name, but don’t have as much prospect as they appear on the surface.
You may see some jobs as stepping stone to bigger jobs and career growth when in reality; they are jobs that can turn you into robots without a chance for your development. That’s why you need to closely consider the job offer before you take it.
When we consider what a job has to offer, we are often fixated on the money alone; but there is more to jobs than the paycheck. In determining what a job has to offer you, consider how much training, exposure, experiences and chance of growth that the job offers aside from the remuneration.
Rich experience, exposure and useful training are even more valuable than the money you get paid because they become part of you in any other job you take up in future or when you start your own business. So, look away from the money for the meantime.
A job can pay you enough now to take care of your need as a single or newly married, but offers you no room to develop capacity on the job or rise in the ranks to be able to earn more. That’s not the best job for you; although you can make do with it if you are very broke.
So, if a job pays you lots of money; but doesn’t give you a chance to express your capabilities or develop capacity on the job, it’s still not the best!
If you are starting out in life or starting on a new career path, what you need most is not really money. Rich experiences, exposures and training are far more important than money.
So, when you have a job offer that avails you all these but with small pay, please take it and manage your expenses. The training and experiences you are gaining will equip you to be able to earn multiple folds of the peanut you may be receiving now.
My point is that as you consider what the job before you can offer; don’t be fixated on the material remuneration. It’s important; but even more important and rewarding is the training, experiences and exposure that you can get from the job which will BUILD INTO you the capacity to earn more in future.
Does the Company Qualify for You?
One of the things you also consider is if the organization qualifies for your expertise. If you see yourself as a hungry graduate without job, that may be correct; but what’s even more accurate is realizing that you are the CEO of the group of skills, talents, training and experiences you have.
This should make you realize that it’s not every client (employer) that you should make your services available to. If you have the power to choose, offer your expertise to the employer who really has a need for your expertise and will give you a chance to express your uniqueness and not put you in a box.
You see, there are people who can’t make their own decisions, but work best in taking detailed instruction from people and there are others that prefer to just know the goal and you allow them to figure out their way of getting the result. When you are considering a job, if you can know this beforehand, factor it in.
For me, I prefer that you simply tell me the goal, provide resources for reaching the goal and provide a general policy to guide my activities and let me figure our other things myself. Taking a job where I will be micromanaged will not be the best for me.
Moreover, you may be competent for the job you are taking and there are opportunities for growth in the company, but the system and culture which the company is run is the kind that won’t allow you make good progress.
I expect that you have been learning, practising and sharpening your skills to be able to serve kings and not mean employer; if you get into an organization where they don’t have a serious commitment for excellence, the challenge you will have is that the boss will not support your drive for the best and even frustrate it with mediocrity.
As an example, if you are an editor or designer and you work in a publishing company where the boss doesn’t have a drive for good designs and the taste for error-free manuscripts, they will rush you to give them mediocre jobs and tell you, ‘we can manage it like that’.
You may get good pay there; but you will rob yourself of a good portfolio and may acquire their culture of mediocrity by virtue of your constant contact, prolonged association and submission to a mediocre boss!
In the same vein, if an organization hardly pays salary and so expect the staff to use underhanded methods to get money for their sustenance, you are being introduced to a bad culture that may ruin your career.
If you also find that a company has a culture of not promoting staff with the highest input into the organization but the best at sycophancy and sleeping with the boss, please they don’t qualify for you. If you have another option, please turn them down.
Know Your Terms of Engagement
Before you take any job, be sure you are Ok with the terms and conditions. Take the company’s policy and read, learn about them as much as possible so as to avoid running into trouble when you start.
Don’t make assumptions based on your last place of work or the theory you are thought in school, different companies have different policies and terms of engagement; knowing about the organization you are about to work for ensures that you are clear on your expectations from each other.
Twice I was hired on a contract and we negotiated the terms of the engagement; but when it was time for them to draft a formal contract, they deliberately included terms we didn’t agree to and I refused to sign until they accepted that to be an error.
Don’t be quick to append your signature; be sure you are fine with the terms. When you run into troubles based on those terms, the HR that hired you and gave you the contract form you filled won’t be there. And even if he were to be there, many of such things leave bad blood that becomes the precursor to more troubles in future.
You should not allow your joblessness to drive you to accept a job you should have no business taking in the first place. The primary thing you should factor in for any job offer you get is your capacity to deliver on the job. Be sure you know what you are going into before you accept any job offer and be clear on your terms of work from day one.
All the best!
PS: You can learn more about this by listening to or downloading our 10 minutes podcast, Before You Take Any Job.