At a crossroads

I am weighing up two very different job offers in my field of total rewards. What should I consider in this decision?

Dear Jane,

I am weighing up two very different job offers in my field of total rewards. One is a shorter-term contract with a company that I have worked with previously and very much enjoyed. The other is a full-time role with a company I had not previously heard of. I am leaning toward the contract – because I think job security is rare, even in apparently permanent positions. Do you think this is right, and is there anything else I should consider in this decision?

- Weighing options

I’d start with two questions: What exactly do you want to do, and what matters most to you?  Easy questions, but tough to answer.

While job security is somewhat more elusive, it’s hardly impossible. More important is being clear on who you are, and what you want to do – which will provide a solid platform for security and growth.  Instead of looking externally at the roles, look within. 

A simple exercise: Create a two-columned list, highlighting the benefits for each position, pluses and minuses of each criteria. But don’t stop there. Take it one step further, and do an inventory of yourself.  That is, assess what’s important to you: your strengths, values, and what you want from the role before deciding on the next opportunity.

Start by looking backwards rather than forward – back on your previous achievements and setbacks.  It’s always good to start with the positive, but greater learning comes from exploring setbacks. Think about your past two or three roles. What did you like, and what drove you crazy about each of them? Be honest. Which role brought out the best in you? 

You’ll be able to make an informed decision on which path to take, which will be the one that is aligned with your values and strengths.

Dr. Jane Horan is an expert in career transitions, unconscious bias and cross-cultural leadership. An internationally-recognised speaker, she is the author of "I Wish I’d Known That Earlier in My Career: The Power of Positive Workplace Politics", a business book used by corporate universities globally, and "How Asian Women Lead: Lessons for Global Corporations" to show new perspectives on leadership and careers, published by Palgrave Macmillan.

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