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Making Your Next Job Your Best Yet

By Marty Nemko

A major reason people are unhappy at work is because they didn’t evaluate the position carefully enough before accepting it. They were so desperate for a job or so worried about impressing the employer that they accepted the position knowing little more about it than was in the want ad. That’s like buying a car based on an advertisement.Here’s how to boost the chances that your next job will be your best yet.1. Do a good enough job search that you’re getting lots of interviews and multiple job offers. That will give you the confidence to carefully vet each prospective job. (For an article on how to do a time-effective job search, read The One Week Job Search.) 2. During the interview, ask questions such as, “What will I be expected to accomplish in the first weeks?” “Did someone hold this position before? Why did they leave?’ How would you describe the office culture? What sort of person is happiest in this job?” 3. Before accepting a job offer, ask your prospective boss to tell you more about the work you’ll be doing, and ask questions such as, “Every boss is different. What’s key to working well with you?” and “How many hours a week will I be expected to work?” Ask if you can visit the worksite. Assess the place’s feel: do your potential co-workers seem engaged but not overworked? Content or disgruntled? At their desks or in the break room, ask employees such questions as, “Is there anything I should know before deciding to work here?” and “Is there much turnover in this office?” Of course, some employers won’t be candid, but you’ll probably learn something of value. There’s nothing to lose by asking.The time it takes to carefully vet your next job will likely improve your life more than any other few hours you could spend. Take the time.

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