When you’re applying for a new job, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and forget about the ins and outs of your new role. But in reality, it’s those aspects – the day-to-day routine, company culture and expectations that’ll be placed upon you as a result – which are going to make a real difference to whether or not you’re happy at work.
Because of this, it’s important to make sure that the job you’re being offered is right for you before you go ahead and accept, especially if you had to leave your old job because of a problem and want to avoid facing the same issues in your new role.
“Finding a job and career that is in line with your lifestyle is important for a few reasons,” explains Soma Ghosh, The Career Happiness Mentor. “Many of us are still burning ourselves out to serve an organisation that may not support our health and wellbeing.”
While it’s hard to work out exactly what a job is going to be like before you accept, taking the time to ask questions and reflect on the information you’ve received before you dive headfirst into a new role should help you to get a better sense of whether the job is right for you.
To give you the tools you need to do just that, we asked Ghosh to talk us through the things you should consider in order to work out when a job is right for you. Here’s what she had to say.
Will the company culture suit the lifestyle you want?
Outside of the demands of your role, the biggest thing that will make a difference to your overall satisfaction and happiness at work is the culture of the company you’re joining.
“If you have previously worked in a bad work environment or been bullied at work it’s important to get a feel for the company or organisation before you work there,” Ghosh says. “What are your working hours like? Do you want to be working evenings?”
If you come to the conclusion that the job will affect you and your personal life (for example, if it’s normal to work overtime or unsociable hours) then Ghosh recommends doing some extra reflection.
“If you feel that the demand of the work will affect you and your personal life, ask yourself: is this a job you really want?” she suggests. “Also, if you have a chronic health condition, consider whether there is a way you can work flexibly without compromising your health.”
Is there autonomy in your role?
If being able to take control of your work and how it’s done is important to you, Ghosh recommends considering whether this will be allowed before you accept anything.
“Ask yourself: can you have real autonomy over your work and work on the days that you want to? And can you ask for this in this role before accepting it?” she says. “Work out core hours and times that fit both you and the organisation before agreeing to anything.”
Are you saying yes for the right reasons?
While it’s easy to get swept away in the excitement of a job offer, it’s important to take a step back and consider why you feel inclined to say yes before diving straight in.
“Sometimes when we are presented with an opportunity it may seem perfect for us on paper, but if it’s not actually what we want, nothing will change that,” Ghosh says.
For example, you might feel inclined to accept a job at a prestigious company because you feel like it would look impressive to others, even if the hours and benefits they’ve offered aren’t what you hoped for.
While there’s nothing wrong with accepting an offer in this case, it’s important to consider what impact sacrificing the work/life balance you’d hoped for will have on your overall health and wellbeing.
Are you worth more?
While you’ll know how much you need to get paid in order to afford your bills and other living expenses, it’s important to consider whether you want or deserve more.
“If you are offered a job role and it’s below what you would normally get, think about whether you could ask for more or negotiate,” Ghosh suggests.
“There is nothing wrong with owning your worth. Many of us feel uncomfortable asking for more even if we know we have the knowledge and experience to back it up.”
If adapting to the new world of work is taking its toll on your mental health, you’re not alone. From the isolation of being separated from colleagues while working from home and the stress of relying on technology to struggles with concentration, confidence and setting boundaries, there are a number of reasons why you might find this time particularly challenging.
So, what can we do about it? We’ve got a plan.
Stylist’s Work It Out series aims to give you the tools and resources you need to take care of your mental health at work. From completing your Work 5 A Day to dealing with issues including anxiety, loneliness and stress, we’ll be exploring all aspects of work-related wellbeing, whether you’re working from home, adopting a hybrid arrangement or planning on going back to the office full-time.
Images: Rudzhan Nagiev and Lilly Roadstones via Getty
As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.