Happy at Work? – 10 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Get a Job Offer


When looking for a job, most people focus on the responsibilities of the job to find a good fit. While getting hired to do a job that is interesting and well suited to your background is important, there are three other pieces of the equation that should not be overlooked – your fellow workers, your manager, and the company. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself when you are seriously considering a particular job. Of course you will want to do this when you have an offer but I am suggesting that you review the questions before the offer is made and even before the interview so that you can create the questions to ask and look for clues during the interview.

  1. Will you be comfortable working in this office? Look around. Are employees moving about the office or are they in cubicles or offices and rarely move. What kind of office environment will allow you to do your best work? A talkative, friendly client once found herself in a job that required she interact with scientists who worked alone behind computers all day. They viewed her friendliness as an interruption and she felt they didn’t like her. Hard to work in an environment where you feel unwelcome.
  2. Are things as they seemed at your interview? Now that you know what the hiring manager says about the job and the company, why not get the real story? Speak to someone who has worked at this company in the recent past? Locate a former employee from this group or division and talk to him/her about the position and the company? Try LinkedIn or your own network to locate people.
  3. What are your work/life balance needs and will the job accommodate them? What time do people leave the office and arrive in the office in the morning? Is it routine for employees to work late? What are your own personal needs and desires? Again the more you can ask someone who works in the company and group you are considering the more accurate the information you will have.
  4. Does the firm live its values? What are the stated values of the firm? What are the values you observe and hear about from employees? Are they the same or different?
  5. Have you researched the firm? Is the firm profitable today? Last year? What is the forecast for the future? Working for a firm that is in a decline or in an industry that is declining can be a negative experience. Employees feel the stress and often get secretive and territorial – not the place to be when you like collaboration. Might be good if you are a strong leader with turnaround experience. There are people who enjoy the challenge of making a company profitable again.
  6. Is it a fit and will you really be doing the job as described? Does the job description match your skills, talents, gifts? Is it clear that the department you are going to be in really needs that job or are there more pressing needs? A client told me she was hired to do one job but the needs of the business required that she do another. The job she ended up doing was something she had little experience with and hated.
  7. How are you being treated by the hiring manager? Does he/she make you feel wanted and needed or is your impression that he/she thinks you are lucky to be offered the job? Does the person you are going to work for value what you have to offer?
  8. Can you work for this person? Is the style of the manager compatible with yours? Will he or she be able to manage you in a way that is supportive and helpful? Just recently a client told me he had the perfect job except his manager was terrible. One clue he said was that during the interview the manager talked most of the time and never gave him a chance to express his ideas. If you’ve had bad managers in the past, think of the clues that tell you he/she would be hard to work for. Do a Google Search on the managers name to see if there are any online clues.
  9. Is the team one you respect and feel comfortable with? If you are going to be part of a team, have you met the members of the team so that you are convinced you can work with all or most of them? Ask them questions about the work, the team members, and the expectations of the team leader.
  10. Can you make a contribution in 90 days? You will need an immediate accomplishment to assure management that they have made a good decision. It will also help you to get your next job if you are very focused on accomplishments from the beginning. Look for the places you have an opportunity to impact quickly and hit the ground running when and if you start the job.

Not Happy at Work? Not Ready to Change Careers or Jobs?

Your brain is wired to see the problems in front of you.  It was very useful in the wild when we had to be on the lookout for danger.  It is still useful but we don’t need it on constantly as we did in the past.  It takes practice to dial it back so you can see the good things happening and feel joyful about them.  If you are tired of constantly feeling on edge at work or at home, I can help you to relax and see the good around you.  This will help you to be happier, more confident and less stressed.  Call me at 781-598-0388 or email me at asparker@asparker.com for a sample session.


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