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Posted: 21st of September 2017 by Desiree - the ecommerce career mentor

#AskDesiree: Have I accepted the wrong job offer?

Career Advice & Tips

Our ecommerce career mentor opens her office for her very first career dilemma question, and it’s a big one! Over to you, Desiree…

Accepting the wrong job offer – what should you do?

Welcome to my first official #AskDesiree blog. I received this question from an anonymous panda in Watford, so here it goes…

I need more than two paws to be able to count how many times this has happened to friends of mine. When a job is sold to you as a perfect step forward in your career, it’s easy to forget the questions you need to ask in order to accept a job offer with complete confidence.

Accepting the wrong job offer can be really deflating. I imagine it feels like getting home and finding there isn’t enough bamboo in for dinner. Actually…that’s probably a mere inconvenience compared to realising your new dream role isn’t what you thought it would be.

There’s nothing you can do to change the past…what’s done is done, you accepted the job. What I’m going to talk you through today is…

A)      What you can do right now

B)      What you can do in the future to avoid this happening again

Determine what the problem is…and fast!

If you accept the wrong offer, the feelings of uncertainty will cloud your thoughts. This will make it hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about the new job that isn’t clicking.

You need to take a step back and analyse the situation. Are you not feeling challenged with new responsibilities like you thought you would? Perhaps you’re not gelling with the management team or your colleagues?

Try not to feel bamboozled* by what I’m sure will be a stressful time as you try to determine your next step. I used to tell myself that I was a strong and professional ecommerce panda…remember there are bumps in your career that can be ironed out.

**Please note, my blogs will be full of panda puns #SorryNotSorry

Who, if anyone, can address the issue?

If you’ve accepted the wrong job, you are not as alone as you think you are! Not only do you have the support of family, friends and Desiree but you have a wide support network in your career.

  • Former colleagues/mentors – Building professional career relationships is important for this very reason (and a number of others, of course!) These people understand the job you do, have worked with you and know the various career pitfalls. Even if it’s a chat for general advice, speaking with them will put your mind at ease.
  • Recruiter – If you worked with a recruitment agency for your job search, speak to them. They would have talked through the brief countless times, so will understand if something that was promised is unfulfilled.
  • Management – Ultimately, you will have to discuss issues with the management team to see if anything can change. Note down your reasons for having doubts, but don’t forget to have suggestions of your own on how this may be resolved. It’ll show you’re serious about your career and making your role a success.

What happens if nothing can change how you feel?

I know the cranberry panda team, myself included, would not want to see our wonderful candidates placed into a role that simply isn’t right for them. I wouldn’t recommend leaving right away, however.

You need to give the role a chance, with 100% of your effort being out into making this a success. Get to know your colleagues, find some spots to eat lunch and get stuck in as much as you can. A big change will take some time to adapt, so I urge you to try talking to someone and giving everything a chance before you decide on anything.

I truly feel that, if you’ve accepted the wrong job and nothing changes that feeling, you should begin to search elsewhere. If the stress affects your wellbeing especially, I would say it is time to find something that suits you better.

I would start with reaching out to agencies, discussing opportunities and finding a better fit. We will get to how to dodge this bullet in your next job search but I wanted to impart some panda wisdom first. I would 100% recommend using an agency who you feel can represent you and your skills.

There will be the issue of a gap in your CV should you choose not to include the role you accepted. I think an agency can represent you and your decision to move on, especially if they have close relationships with their clients. It will put your mind at ease, knowing that the right recruiter for your job search can address the issue. 

How to avoid accepting the wrong job offer

 To avoid accepting the wrong job offer, it all starts with the role you are in right now. If you’re thinking of looking for a new job, assess your reasons for doing so and abide by your criteria for the new job without diverting from them. Be strict with yourself! Here’s what else you should consider…

  • How will this role help your career plan and progression? You don’t want to feel like a role won’t take your career to new places, so make sure a new job offers this.
  • Company culture is key – find a company that shouts about their culture and values confidently. Don’t be afraid to ask if the process includes any time to meet the team either. It isn’t a huge demand and will show you’re interested in the team setup.
  • A strict checklist – Salary requirements, commute length & route, hours, benefits and industry…just a number of things to include on your strict checklist! It’s not frowned upon to have particular needs and wants…just make sure you know what they are and stick to them.
  • Get insight – If you’re working with a recruitment agency, this will be particularly easier to do. They may have placed candidates before or work very closely with the employer which gives them a sneak peek into how a company works.

Ask Desiree – here for your ecommerce career questions

Well that was great fun! I had a pandabulous time answering that question, thank you to the concerned Desiree fan in Watford…I hope I’ve helped.

While this advice can be applied to many career industries, I am still looking for ecommerce career questions that you need help with – from job search anxieties to hiring calamities. You can send all questions to me at desiree@cranberrypanda.co.uk! Look forward to hearing from you.

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