I was out of work for a while during Covid and didn’t have much response from employers. I’ve now suddenly started getting interviews because I’ve widened the pool of jobs I’m going for, drawing on transferable skills. I’ve now been offered a role as an administrator which is great, but I really want something that is more relevant to my background in mental health which is more hands on. I’m really more of a people person and this is likely to be my last job. Should I take the job I’ve been offered or hold out for the job I really want? I’m in my early 60s.
While job hunting can be exciting, it can also be daunting because of an uncertain job market post Covid and an ever-changing economy. Each candidate has their own set of benefits they’re looking for in a position whether it’s around salary, flexible working hours or job content. This makes it hard to determine when to accept a job offer if it does not meet your standards in every area. While a pros and cons list can help, it may not always show a clear answer.
There are a number of reasons candidates take a job that might not be perfect – these could be around having a flexible position, needing stability, needing benefits or wanting a promotion to name a few. Although you may want to hold out for a position that’s more relevant to your background in mental health, I’d recommend weighing the pros and cons of the position that’s been offered, for example, if your family relies on your income – which is something to consider without making a hasty decision to wait for a better option.
Some people worry about having too large of a gap on their CV under their employment history, so they consider accepting a position they’re not excited about whilst keeping their eyes open for that perfect role.
It’s great to hear you’ve started to get interviews – clearly your CV is working! The key is knowing how to sell your skills to employers and it sounds like you can do this too! Self-awareness is a great place to start; and the fact that you know your skills you’ve gained over the years and your transferrable skills is fantastic! There are many jobs out there that suit those who describe themselves as a ‘people person’, especially if you’re casting your net wide and if you have a strong network.
It’s always lovely to be offered a role, it gives you a positive feeling and one of excitement. That said, my advice would be that it needs to be the right role. If you’re in the wrong role, it’ll start to show over time, and you’ll likely want to leave at some point. My advice would be – to be authentic to yourself and to choose the right role for you – one that’ll make you happy and play to your strengths and interests.
If this is likely to be your last job, you’re going to want it to be memorable and you’re also going to want to talk about it with friends and family with excitement.
There will be pros and cons to accepting/declining this role and there will be a lot to consider holistically. It’ll depend on other reasons, for instance, how soon you need to land a role. It’s so important to enjoy the job you have. If you’re in the financial position to do so, it’s worth waiting for a job that’s more suited to you, otherwise you run the risk of wanting to leave shortly after for something better.
Have you been actively interviewing? Are you waiting for more decisions to come through?
Possible reasons to take a job that’s not the perfect role:
Possible reasons to decline the job:
I believe everyone deserves career satisfaction and career success. My advice would be to trust your gut; accept the role you really want to do, providing you can financially wait for it.
*Liz Sebag-Montefiore is a career coach and Director of 10Eighty, a strengths-based HR consultancy. For more information, please visit www.10Eighty.co.uk.