Weighing very different options

I am leaning toward the contract role – because I think job security is rare, even in apparently permanent positions.

Dear Laurence,

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?

- Totally undecided

Laurence SmithI think you’re right in that job security is quite illusory these days, and there’s definitely a comfort in going back to the organisation what you know. And that may well turn into a permanent position.

However, before you make that decision, I’d urge you to learn as much as you can about the other company. Because there are some really interesting organisations out there that neither you or I have ever heard of either because they serve a particular industry, or they are business-to-business and not business-to-consumer, or they are stealthy but very respected at what it is they do.

So research it, leverage your network, and learn about it first. At the moment I think you are rushing to a decision of comfort and safety. That’s OK but you owe it to yourself to better understanding the other opportunity first. Because the permanent position at the mystery company may actually be an amazing opportunity that would broaden your options in the future.

Laurence Smith is a board-level advisor to Smartup.io. With 25 years of working experience in consulting and HR, his career has spanned across different industries and countries, including stints and projects with LG Electronics, GE Capital, McKinsey, the World Bank, and as Managing Director of Learning and Development for DBS Bank.

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