Is this new assignment/job right for me?

by Sam on May 2, 2011

Ben Franklin once said, “Keep thy eyes wide open before marriage, and half-shut afterwards.” What great counsel, and not only for matrimony! Do the same for new jobs and assignments—and even for retirement—and you’ll end up happier.

You’d make Ben proud by keeping your eyes wide open with the help of the answers to these questions before making a significant career change.

1. What kept you going in your last job? What lit your fires? Does the new position promise more of the same? Will it be as much fun?

2. What don’t you like, or what are you skeptical about, in the new state of affairs? Will you do anything to mediate these concerns before you move?

3. With what personalities have you prospered in the past? Are you likely to find many of them where you’re going? How consistent with yours are the values/beliefs/passions of the people you’ll need to connect with?

4. Is there anyone you’ll be depending on who may have it in for you? Do any of them covet the position you’re getting?

5. How competent and committed is your new boss? Is there any chance that your strength will pose a threat?

6. Are you absolutely sure you’ll be granted sufficient authority to succeed?

7. What kind of influence does your new boss wield in the organization? Is that power base sufficient for him or her to be your champion? Will that make this person sufficiently fearless and risk-taking in support of your outside-the-box thinking?

8. Are you absolutely sure that the resources will be there to achieve the goals that you or others have set for you?

9. What sharpened skills, which you may not have needed in the past, will be necessary for you to hone?

10. How well does your current temperament match what you can see now is going to be called for later?

11. Ask people who know you well this question: “If there’s one thing that’s likely to be a barrier to my success in this new situation, what would you guess that will be?

12. Are you really up for the learning curve that will be required?

13. How do you account for the degree of success others had before you in this circumstance? Any lessons for you here?

14. If it doesn’t work for you, is there an out? If there is not one, are you creative and resilient enough to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear?

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