Career Guidance Advice

Career Guidance Advice – How to avoid taking a role that you will later regret

In Dublin and across Ireland, the idea of choosing a job based on fit is sometimes overlooked. As a result, we encounter people who start new jobs and immediately regret their decision. It’s a huge mistake to accept a role without doing proper research to understand whether the job is right for you. Landing a job that makes you miserable every day is not a victory. You will either be stuck in that job for the foreseeable future or you will be looking for a new job within a short period of time while trying to explain why you are looking so soon after accepting a new role. In this blog post, we list some useful career guidance tips to help you avoid accepting a job that you may later regret.

1. Understand what you want

Before you start applying to jobs and attending interviews, you need to clearly understand what you want. To begin, you can think about the types of roles, projects, teams and workplaces that you enjoyed in the past. You also need to clearly define your expectations in terms of salary, work-life balance, company culture, growth prospects etc. If you are new to the workforce and don’t have a lot of experience, you should think about the types of projects and environments that you enjoyed in school, college, extra-curricular activities, part-time work etc. This will give you some useful insights into what types of role would work for you.

Career Guidance - Which is the best choice for me?

2. Research the companies you want to apply to online

You can often find out a lot about prospective employers online. You can check reviews on sites such as Glassdoor, Trustpilot and Facebook to see what ex-employees and customers are saying about the company. This is particularly useful when you are applying to roles in larger companies as they are likely to have a significant amount of online reviews. You should look for common themes in the reviews as these are the ones that are most likely to be accurate. You can also check your LinkedIn profile to see if you have any first connections that work or have worked for that company and ask them about the company. For small companies, they may have very few reviews and you may know nobody who works or worked there. In that case, you will usually need to ask more questions during the interview to find out more about the company.

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3. Use the interview to find out more about the company

An interview is a two-way process – companies want to find out whether they would be interested in hiring you and you want to finding out whether you want to work for them. The time to find out more is usually at the end of the interview when the interviewer(s) asks you if you have any questions. Ultimately, there are a whole range of questions that you could ask but generally, the interviewer will only have time to answer a few of your questions.

Two of the most important questions to ask according to Forbes are: “What are the traits of people who succeed in this company/role/job?” followed by “What are the traits of people who don’t?”. These questions are likely going to garner pretty specific responses about the traits of successful and senior people who currently work for the company and you can see whether your traits are a good fit or not. You will have other questions that are specific to your circumstances but these two questions can be a good starting point.

4. Trust Your Gut and don’t ignore bad signals

How many times in your life have you noticed something that didn’t seem quite right, yet you ignored it and later regretted doing so? In many cases, your intuition will tell you that something is wrong before you can rationally process what exactly is wrong. This is why successful business leaders such as Jack Welch, Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar are renowned for trusting their intuition and you should listen to your intuition when you are looking for a new job.

Throughout the job search and interview process, there are a number of signals that you will want to look out for. Bad signals can include unprofessional communication throughout the interview process, a lack of understanding among different people about your job description, negative feelings when you spend time in the office, lack of clarity about salary, benefits, commission, holidays etc.

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