The Right Decision
It can be nerve-wracking when changing management consultancy jobs and it is natural to wonder if we’re making the right decision. It won’t always feel like an easy transition and can often bring about nervousness in doing so. Sometimes these factors are easy to define and sometimes not. Here are some things to consider:
Why doesn't it feel right?
While this may sound like a throwaway comment or bad excuse, there is in fact a biological reason for this feeling we all experience when things just “don’t feel right”. Speaking in broad terms, the human brain is divided into two main parts. Our newest brain, the homo sapiens brain (neocortex) is what allows us to analyse, to apply logic, rational thought and language; amongst others things. The other is the limbic brain. This is the side that deals with our feelings. Things like trust and loyalty. This is the side of the brain that is responsible for all of our decision making and it has no capacity for language. This is sometimes why the statement “it just doesn’t feel right” is the best our brains can muster when we’re not fully bought into something.
In a fascinating Ted Talk back in 2009, Simon Sinek talked about the idea of buying into why companies and people succeed, as opposed to how. This same logic can be applied to the interview process. Do you believe the company knows why they are doing what they do? Do you believe in the journey and want to be on it with them? In short, do you share the same values? If the answer is no, then you need to ask the next most logical question….
Do I know the full picture?
Interviews can often be very long and drawn–out endeavours, but it is important not to lose sight of the end result. While in the short-term, we may want to quit a job to escape a bad situation with our current employer, get on the great project or even just get paid again as soon as possible, we must always consider the long-term happiness and satisfaction that this role may or may not bring to us. This simply won’t be possible unless we have enough facts about the business we’re considering. It is therefore important to do the right research and ask the right questions.
Any good company that truly believes in its purpose should welcome challenging questions and will want to present itself as clearly and as passionately as possible. If you haven’t “got the feeling” yet, it could just be that you haven’t heard what you need to hear. We’ve all heard the term “gut feeling” Well, it’s got nothing to do with the gut. It’s all going on in the limbic brain. If we don’t feel that we share the same values, beliefs or goals with our prospective employers then it could just be that we haven’t asked the right questions yet. Just because you haven’t heard it yet doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t there.
Think back to when you first looked at the site or got the call from the recruiter. What was it about the company (other than the money) that you like the sound of? Have you really considered what values you look for in an employer? Why did you take your last job?
Speak to them
While the website may paint a good picture of the company, in reality, it’s just the frame. A company is not a website, a logo or a mission statement. It is a group of people doing business and it’s only by speaking with those people that you’ll get a much clearer idea of who they are and how they operate. If you are truly concerned about the company’s ethos, purpose and beliefs (and you absolutely should be) then do not rely on the website as the primary source for this information. Consulting is a people business so it’s imperative you speak with the people involved to draw the most accurate conclusion. Speaking directly to the people working there should help to put your mind at rest about if this company and role is right for you.
In summary, to make up one’s mind one must try to keep an open mind. Ask the right questions and trust your instincts. Just make sure your instincts have all the information they need.
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