“I think the job will be great… BUT… my friend told me…”

17 Jul 2013 | Naomi Marshall

When considering leaving a role or taking on a new opportunity it is natural to talk to your friends and family about the situation to gain their feedback. Now, while I do think it is a good idea to hear different perspectives on a situation before making a decision, I always advise candidates to be wary.

I so often hear of candidates leaving or rejecting a role because they have been advised by friends or family to do so. Now while some of their opinions may be valid I want to share three scenarios with you that could help you to take those opinions on objectively.

“My friend worked at company X and hated it”

If you receive a job offer (or are considering applying for a role) with a company that your friend has worked for, and they are telling you that they hated it, ask yourself the following questions…

  • Are you going to be working in the same department that your friend did? Therefore, will you be interacting with the same people?
  • Do you have the same personality etc. that your friend does? Is it possible that you and your friend may have different tastes in jobs?
  • Is it possible that your friend hated the job because they were being managed out? E.g. was the employer micro-managing your friend because they were underperforming? Could it be a possibility that your friend was turning up late every day and then proceeding to spend half the morning in the kitchen gasbagging and eating breakfast?

Now I know that we never want to think badly of our friends, but I also know that people have a tendency to bump up the truth a bit, or miss certain facts in a story to make it appear as though they have done no wrong, or to get you on side, or to justify poor performance.

“My family told me to take the job with the higher pay”

This is a very common one! If you are offered two jobs and one is paying more money, I encourage you to seriously consider your options before simply jumping on the higher paying role because of the money. When you have a decision such as this to make, your family and friends are likely to say that you’re CRAZY for not taking on that higher paying role straight away, but consider….

  • Have your family and friends worked in the same industry as you have? Therefore do they have an adequate view of the market and which opportunity will actually be better for your long term career?
  • Do they have as much knowledge about the two opportunities as you do?
  • Have you considered the location of the two roles? Is the higher paying one more difficult to travel to? Travel time is an important factor when considering a role. No matter how much you are paid, if you are travelling hours a day you’ll eventually burn out.

“My Mum said….”

All Mum’s are protective and just want to see you do well. They want you to be in a ‘stable’ job. It’s risky to face a redundancy. They worry about you moving around a lot or taking risks. Remember they came from a generation when you got your first job out of school and often stayed in it for 10 years, or more!

The old sayings ‘get a job in a bank’, or ‘become an Accountant, you’ll never be out of work’ are just not true these days so use your own initiative and knowledge to make educated decisions about your own career path.

Don’t get me wrong, the opinions of friends and family are very important; however they need to be taken in context, and with caution. At the end of the day, YOU are the one that will be working in the role and you need to be comfortable with your decision – sometimes you just need to experience things for yourself!


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