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Deal or No Deal? Six steps to making your decision

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With the New Year upon us, many of us feel the urge to make resolutions and follow through with the changes we tried to avoid facing up to in the latter parts of the previous year. For many of us this is a change to our daily routine, our lifestyle or in many cases a change in your career.​

January and February in particular will see a rise in activity in the employment market as people ready themselves to move onto pastures new. This can be difficult as it will challenge you to break out of your comfort zone, however, it is a must if you feel that the opportunities aren't there for you in your current role or company.

If you feel stuck, unsatisfied, bogged down in the routine, unchallenged or uninspired it's probably time for a change.

I have always found that the best candidates are those that identify this early and can sense the warning signs. This does not mean that you need to be constantly scouring the internet to make sure you're not missing out on the next GAAPWeb advert posted by an agency. However, you will almost certainly benefit from building long term relationships with trusted agency partners that can keep you informed on the market.

Actually securing the role is another matter entirely but if you do decide to make the leap, you want to make sure you are making the correct decision, right?

The best candidates will make sure they have considered the below before accepting a new role.

1. Where does this lead to?

You need to have an idea of where this job will take you. Hopefully, you were able to ask about potential career paths during the interview process. Is it a progressive business? Do they invest in talent? Are they mindful of succession planning? Identify your path/s to success. If there isn't one, then is this really the right job for you? (It's not always just about the money).

2. How will this help me?

A bigger company may offer more training and development opportunities. Conversely, it may relegate you to “one in the herd” status. A smaller company may mean more responsibilities and allow you more chances to be part of key decision-making. Or, it may narrow opportunities to further your education and training. Look for the best growth potential.

3. Who's your boss?

Your immediate line manager may be fantastic but think about the bigger picture. Make sure there are others that inspire you too. Great talent rarely sets up a permanent camp, and your interviewer/line manager is certainly not required to inform you of his/her plans. Business is dynamic, change happens. Look beyond an immediate boss to his/her colleagues and superiors. Will a change in management be likely to offer you opportunities or block them?

4. Your resignation and the counter offer

Once you’ve threatened to jump ship, you have revealed your desire to explore other opportunities. While managers know employees are always on the lookout for greener pastures, it's possible your loyalty will be in question. Think carefully before you show your hand.

Is the counter offer really worth it? Why are these opportunities only materialising now? Is it really going to be fulfilling to stay?

5. How do we work together?

It is important to understand the team dynamics, how does it work? Will your manager's office be across the room, down the hall or on another floor? You need to make sure that you will be noticed, particularly if you are career minded. How are you expected to learn and develop if you aren't getting the face time with more experienced individuals.

6. What's the future?

Look at company histories and how each has handled changing trends. Are they followers or innovators? A well-salaried exciting job in a fading technology should be eyed with caution. Having said that, there may be a planned regeneration/innovation. Make sure you understand where the company is headed.

Hopefully, having considered all of these factors you will be confident in your decision.

The smartest candidates are not the only ones being interviewed.