Don't Settle for a Job that You Will Regret

Nancy Anderson
Posted by in Career Advice

No one starts a job search with the goal of being miserable, but you can easily end up in a lose-lose situation by settling for anything that comes along. Any feelings of security you gain from landing an unsuitable job quickly wear off, and both you and your new employer ultimately suffer the consequences of poor engagement and dissatisfaction. When you can't muster any enthusiasm about a job offer, consider walking away without regrets.

Unemployment, financial strain and discontentment are among the most common reasons for job hunting, and any of these factors can prevent you from making good career decisions. A job search is stressful even when you're currently employed, and your resolve may wane the longer it takes to find the right opportunity. Courting employers forces you to put yourself out there, which can easily awaken insecurities about what you have to offer. As a result, you may feel pressured to finish your job search sooner rather than later, motivating you to dismiss many reasons why a job isn't a good fit.

Rejecting a job offer when you don't have a guaranteed backup can seem foolish, but waiting for a better position is often less risky than settling for a job you know you won't like. Career fulfillment has a big impact on your personal happiness. Spending every day in a role that clashes with your personality and strengths can weaken your performance, hinder professional growth, destroy your sense of self-worth and affect your health. Not to mention, the negative vibes you give off when unhappy can spread to your team and mark you as someone who doesn't deserve more responsibility or advancement.

Staying focused in your job search can help you drown out fears that drive you to act against your best interests. If you feel obligated to accept a poorly suited job, ask yourself what is more daunting — an unknown future or a definite career path that drains the enjoyment from your life. Reinforce your confidence and enthusiasm throughout your job search by evaluating what you want out of your career and how your unique strengths can serve potential employers. Answering these questions can help you be honest with yourself when you feel little or no excitement about a job offer.

At the same time, difficult circumstances can justify taking a less desirable job, as long as you're motivated to keep moving forward. You can gain valuable experience and insight during a career detour, especially if it gives you the peace of mind you need to concentrate on building a business or finding a great long-term position. The key is to weigh your options and consider which choices you're most likely to regret. Whether you accept or decline a job, embrace the outcome to get one step closer to finding your purpose and obtaining career fulfillment.

Don't ignore your mental alarm bells when they're screaming "don't take the job." Settling is a normal reaction to doubt and anxiety, but you can overcome it by staying committed to the goals of your job search.

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