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How to decide what job offer to take

Changing jobs

When you are going to change your job, think about the aspects of your role that you like and dislike.  This will enable you to focus on what you want out of your next job.  

 

Factors to consider are:

  • Location

  • Job content

  • Responsibilities

  • Status

  • Who you want to come into contact with

 

Consider your own personal life goals, your work/life balance and where you want to be in five years time.

Decide on the type of industry you want to work for, whether you need to obtain further training or qualifications and if you would consider relocating for the perfect job.

 

 

How to resign

Be sure you want to resign before you do it - once it’s done, it’s done.  Make a dignified exit by being professional throughout and remember, you will need a reference.  When you do arrange to give in your notice:           

 

  • Prepare in advance what you are going to say and keep it short and very sweet.

  • Don’t go into excessive detail or say things that you don’t mean.          

  • Different bosses have different reactions to resignations, some take it as a personal slight, feel betrayed and become defensive but whatever you do, keep cool, calm and professional, stand your ground and remember why you wanted to leave in the first place.            

  • Don’t feel guilty about leaving - you are in a business relationship, people do move on and like it or not, the company will manage without you.          

  • Make your resignation letter short, polite and to the point stating the date the notice is effective and when your last working day will be.            

  • Offer to help cross train your replacement and reassure your boss that you will continue to put in 100% effort to the last.            

  • Ensure all HR issues are dealt with in terms of settlement of bonuses, holiday leave and personal belongings.

 

When you leave on a positive note everyone benefits and the last impression of you will be a good one.

 

 

Counter offers

When you give in your notice, be prepared for an offer to tempt you to stay with the company.   Your employer may offer to increase your salary and/or status.   This may seem attractive but bear in mind what made you decide to hand in your notice in the first place and think carefully as to whether the conditions that led to your resignation will change with this counter offer.  

 

If you are tempted by the offer, you should consider the following: 

 

  • Your integrity may be compromised because your boss may feel that you will threaten to leave again if your conditions are not met and this could create resentment from the company and tension in your working environment.            

  • Could you now be vulnerable with a false sense of security? Now that the company know you will consider leaving them, they could recruit around you or hold on to you only until another suitable person comes along.            

  • Consider why it took your resignation before your company showed they valued you and is their counter offer really going to make a difference in the long run.             

  • Will you be postponing the inevitable, missing out on other more beneficial jobs and do you really have a future with the company.

 

 

How to decide

Attending an interview can be a nerve wracking experience so you need to be well prepared to have the best chance of landing the job you want.

 

If you are going to resign from your job, do so with complete dignity and professionalism. Keep your resignation letter short and sweet with the date you will be leaving.

 

Don’t feel guilty about leaving, you are in a business relationship and people do move on and the company will survive without you! Offer to help cross train your replacement and assure your boss that you’ll give 100% effort to the last.

 

You may well get a counter offer when you hand in your notice and this may seem attractive but bear in mind the reasons you wanted to leave in the first place. Have the reasons changed? Be sure you are not postponing the inevitable.

 

Think about the reasons you are changing direction…

 

  • Career progression – Are your prospects better at the new company? Are the people nicer? It’s useless being in a job that pays more but where you have no prospects or the environment isn’t great.

  • Culture – Does the company ambitions match with yours?

  • Work/life balance – Do the hours work for you? Is the commute better? Will you be sacrificing time with family & friends?

 

If these points tick all your boxes then go for it. If not, think carefully before making what could be a life changing decision.

 

Handling redundancy

Redundancy doesn’t have to be a negative experience and in a lot of cases, it can provide the opportunity to go for a career change or to do something you would not have previously considered.  If there are rumours that your firm may be making redundancies:

 

  • Do try to speak to your boss to find out if you may be on the list.        

  • Update your CV, put the feelers out and start seeking alternative employment.        

  • Get your finances in order, to give yourself the best chance of financial survival.        

  • Being made redundant is not your fault so think positively about the things you can do, now. 

  • Don’t burn your bridges, keep on good terms with your boss and obtain a good reference. 

  • Even if it takes longer to find a new position than you had hoped, keep yourself and your mind active by updating your skills and even consider some voluntary or charity work whilst looking for your new job.

 

 

Returning to work

Returning to work is a big decision and you need to work out how to balance the demands of your life with a career.


Going back to work is a big decision and you will need to work out how to balance the demands of your life with making a career. Returning to the work place will give you the opportunity of utilising your skills, taking up new challenges and meeting different people.  

 

The right time to go back to work is when you feel it benefits you and other members of your family.  As flexible working is more common, there are many options you can take when returning to the work place such as:

 

  • Temping, which is ideal if you don’t want to commit long term or want to experience a mixture of environments.       

  • Part-time, which is anything up to 30 hours a week and legislation gives part-timers rights on maternity, redundancy, sick and holiday pay.       

  • Job sharing, where two people share the same job.

 

You may need to put together a CV and update your skills, so check out the local colleges and private training organisations.

If you have been a home-maker, you will have juggled many tasks at once improving your time management, budgeting and people skills. Many employers are seeking flexible, reliable, responsible, hard working individuals like you.

 

 

Overcoming barriers

There are many steps you can take to improve your chances of employment:      

 

  • Make sure your CV sells your experience.      

  • Update your skills.     

  • Focus on your achievements.     

  • Demonstrate your organisational ability.     

  • Show how multi-tasking you can be.    

  • Be flexible in your choices of company and get your foot in the door of opportunity.    

  • Remember that the qualities of loyalty, diplomacy, calmness and reliability are eagerly sought by employers.

 

When you do get that interview it is because the company believes in the skills and attributes you conveyed in your CV and you really are one step away from getting that job!

 

 

Starting your new job

When you start your new job there are many aspects to consider along with the actual duties you will be doing.  Effective time management will make the transition into your new role so much easier by developing techniques to reduce pressures and to make the best use of your time.

 

Work area

  • Organising your workspace includes ensuring the materials and equipment you need to do the job are close to hand.    

  • Ensure lighting is positioned to avoid eye strain, that your desk accommodates all your paperwork and that your chair is well designed and comfortable.     

  • Keeping an uncluttered desk avoids that snowed under feeling and enables you to concentrate on prioritising the tasks with ease.     

  • Place your paperwork in logical orders of action, information and waste. Keep filing up to date and regularly throw away or archive information that you do not need.
     

 

Communication

  • Develop and maintain positive lines of communication with your colleagues and managers by providing them with necessary information and using internal e-mails effectively.       

  • Plan your calls with an outline of the objective and what you are going to say, keeping the call concise, informative and polite.

  • Make sure that urgent deadlines take priority.     

  • Arrive at meetings on time and well prepared. Try to come up with our own solutions to problems but stick to the facts and don’t give opinions unless they are asked for, important or relevant.     

  • When attending meetings, work out the purpose of the meeting and whether there is a set agenda. Notes should be taken clearly containing essential information on what was discussed and agreed.

 

 

Grooming

  • Always dress smartly using bright colours only as an accessory, not to dominate your outfit.      

  • Limit jewellery to small subtle pieces, make sure your nails are clean and well trimmed and that your hair is tidy.      

  • Small amounts of light perfume or aftershave is fine but make sure it is not overpowering and don’t spray anything just before entering the building.

  • Good personal hygiene and fresh breath is essential.

 

 

Planning

  • Plan your day by making a ’to do’ list of things to achieve, establish your priorities but always remain flexible in order to take on unexpected tasks.       

  • Learn when and how to say no if you will be over-committing yourself.

  • Do not be vague if you are unsure you can complete a task in a given time frame, always communicate why you may be unable to assist by that time and negotiate on timing by stating that although you cannot do it now, you would be pleased to do it tomorrow.

  • Set out your goals and objectives, which should be specific, measurable and within a time frame.

 

 

Development

  • Make your own career plan and have a clear idea of the strengths you can build on and the weaknesses you can improve on.     

  • You don’t need to be the person working the longest hours but you do need to concentrate on delivering results.      

  • Believe in the organisation you work for, understand the company culture, direction, management structure and the people within it.      

  • There are office politics in most companies, respect the company and don’t take part in negative practices such as gossip, as it is a dangerous game that often backfires and takes the focus away from what you are employed to do.

 

Committed, enthusiastic and determined people make things happen because they have ambition, drive and can take responsibility. Having the right attitude can fast forward your career and by working smarter, everything will fall into place.
 


Building relationships

  • Develop a relationship with a mentor who can provide an objective view of situations and give helpful advice and so that you can discuss difficulties without fear of repercussion.       

  • Learn how to work with your boss by taking a little extra time to see things their way and find out what is expected of you. The better your boss knows you and vice versa, the more trust is built up.     

  • Don’t change the whole system and assume what would make your colleagues or boss’ jobs easier - ask.     

  • Be understanding and sympathetic in your dealings with others as being over-sensitive and falling out with your manager will cause them to become irritated and defensive - remember, your boss is answerable to other people and is under pressure too.

 

The better your working relationships, the more job satisfaction you will achieve and the more respect you will gain.

 

 

Communication

In the workplace you need really good face to face and telephone communication skills when dealing with colleagues, bosses and most of all customers.  The customer is always right, even when they are wrong and knowing how to diplomatically handle escalated situations is commercial sense.

 

To stay ahead of the game, a company (and all the people who represent it) need to be professional and competent to gain a competitive edge. Giving the wrong impression over the telephone or face to face can ruin a professional image.

 

  • Customers will become extremely irate if they are cut off or put through to the wrong person or, are left holding for ages with nobody coming back to explain why or being asked lots of questions for no good reason.      

 

  • A customer translates statements like “they’re at lunch” to mean the business cannot run at certain times or “they’ve just popped out” as they’re always out or “I can’t locate him” as poor internal communication or “they’re tied up” as they cannot be bothered or are too busy to talk to you. Are these statements familiar to you?

 

  • It is so much easier and more professional to simply state that the person is “not available at the moment, may I take a message and get them to call you back?”.     

 

  • Be friendly and helpful, speak clearly and sincerely, deal with problems diplomatically and always act on promises given.

 

  • Good customer service means basic good practice by being courteous, identifying yourself on the phone, listening to the caller without interrupting and responding suitably and providing the minimum delay for resolving issues.

 

  • When providing information, you must be clear and accurate, record relevant facts and confirm that the caller understands what has been said.

 

  • When you are taking messages, make sure you know who the call was for, the time and date, name and numbers for the caller, the nature of the call and your name.

 

  • Recognise the callers’ importance by addressing them courteously and letting them explain their problem and blow off steam. Then direct the call away from emotion, don’t be defensive, develop a solution, giving a time frame and a commitment for following up on your actions and thank the person for calling.

 

Handling problems and complaints gives you the opportunity to put things right and you need to be calm and professional. Establishing a rapport and empathising with your caller will break down barriers.