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Nine things to consider before accepting that IT job offer

Rich Hein | April 24, 2013
In a competitive job market like IT, it's tempting to accept an offer as soon as a company makes it. However, at this crossroad careful deliberation is what's in order. Choose unwisely and you may wind up back at square one.

Changing jobs is one of the most traumatic professional experiences of your life. Throughout the hiring process you are being evaluated. However, it shouldn't be a one-way street. To be the best at what you do and succeed you need to do some evaluating of your own before you sign that offer letter. "You need to be interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you," says Chad Lilly, director at Lextech Global Services.

Predicting whether or not you'll succeed in your new job is not a science. However, according to Roy West, CEO of the Roy West Companies and senior scientist at the Gallup Organization, recent research shows that there are key predictors of retention:

Do the senior executives in the organization make me feel optimistic about the future?

Do you believe you can meet your individual performance goals?

Do you believe that the company is financially stable?

While you may not be able to answer all of the questions above, has consulted with industry experts to help you get the information you can to avoid the hassle of starting a job and then shortly thereafter leaving it. This list of nine factors will help you define with more clarity whether this new position or company is right for you.

1. Know What Motivates You

This sounds simple, but many people don't really know the answer to that question. The first response is normally money and while it's a great motivator, there is more to life than money. According to Simpson, many times it's not the primary factor behind what motivates people.

This is absolutely critical for true job satisfaction, according to Colleen Hughes, vice president, human resources at CompTIA. "If it's important to you to make independent decisions and you accept a job with a controlling manager, you will not be happy. Knowing what motivates you can make all the difference in being happy in a job," Hughes says.

"Many people don't know what motivates them. They know what they don't like but they don't know what they do like. One of the questions I regularly ask while interviewing is, 'How do you like to be managed? What do you look for in a manager?' You'd be surprised that even senior executives can only tell you what they don't like. If you don't know what motivates you, then that's where a coach comes in," says West.

2. Know the Job History

"Knowing the situation that created the position can tell you a lot about what's going on in the prospective company," says Cheryl Simpson president of Executive Resume Rescue. For example, if the position you are about to fill has had four people in the last two years that should throw up a red flag.


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