Call it a privileged, millennial mindset if you will, but I am a believer in finding a career that you love. I know that not everyone has the luxury of being in a career that they enjoy. However, I still believe that at the very least, we should all be actively working towards getting a career in something we love.

Jobs are hard to come by right now. I know that for me, I feel inclined to accept anything that comes my way, because I am afraid it will be the last opportunity. But do I really want to make life-altering, huge decisions out of fear of the unknown? Nah. I want to be in charge of my life and make decisions that I believe in.

So say you did the hard part and landed the job. Congrats first of all! You’re awesome. But, what if you’re not so sure about the job offer? Just because you got the offer, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

Here are a few questions to think about before making the life-changing decision.

Is this the right industry for you?

Industry isn’t everything, but getting started in the industry of your choice is a great thing. You’re already passionate about it and you’re more likely to care about what you’re doing there than in an industry you aren’t familiar with. Weigh the importance of the industry you work in. Is it very important to you? Can you see yourself being in a different industry?

What impression did the interviewer give you?

If you’re a good at reading people, this will be a dead giveaway from your first in-person interview. It has been for me in the past. The bad signs were crystal clear from the very beginning. Now, going forward in interviews, I know that my first instinct is a great one. If I get bad vibes immediately, I’m steering clear.

What vibe did the office give you?

Did people seem friendly? Hard-working? Intimidating? What is the set-up of the office? Is it open or closed-off? This stuff becomes more important than you’d expect. The vibe of the workplace is critical to either enhancing your happiness at work or dragging you into a negative sinkhole. I wouldn’t say it’s a huge reason to not say “yes” to the job if everything else is amazing, but it’s something to think about.

How can this environment make you grow?

Is it more of the same or is it going to challenge you? Challenges are amazing in any form. Maybe it’s not the industry or location of your choice, but if you’re looking to grow in your field or as a person and this career can offer that to you, it might be worth pursuing.

Do you want your soon-to-be boss’ job?

A great indication that you’re in the right spot is if you want to be where your supervisors are. How hard would you be willing to work to get their job? If the answer is, “so freaking hard” then this job is looking good for you, my friend.

Where do you see yourself?

Urgh, the dreaded question. But you have to be real with yourself. We all daydream about where we’ll be in the future. What does it look like? How can this job benefit you in the future? Will you be able to land your dream job after getting experience at this work-place for two years? Take some time to visualize it. If it doesn’t get you closer to where you want to be, then what benefit does it serve?

What matters to you the most? Money? Free time? Maybe money is more important than time to you, so you’re willing to work 60 hours a week for the big cha-ching. But, maybe free time means more to you. Don’t feel bad about what is important to you. Just remember to be true to yourself in the decision process.

Are they offering the pay you deserve?

Do some research on what you should be making. Glassdoor is an incredible resource. You can most likely get access to what competitive positions are paying for a similar position. (You can also see employee’s reviews – very helpful!)

What happens when you find the job of your dreams, but the salary sucks? Personally, I would probably take it, but go in with a negotiating mindset. You can’t expect to get what you want without asking for it. If you can’t negotiate salary, see if you can negotiate more time off or work from home days or something else that matters to you. Make sure that you’ll be able to re-negotiate your salary after 90 days. Work your butt off in that time to prove that you’re worthy of a higher salary.

Making the right decision is tough, but remember to stay true to yourself when choosing the career where you’re going to be spending a majority of your time. Your time matters and so do you.

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I’ll leave you with some awesome quotes about doing what you love in attempt to fuel your fire.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

– Maya Angelou

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

– Steve Jobs

“I think the foremost quality – there’s no success without it – is really loving what you do. If you love it, you do it well, and there’s no success if you don’t do well what you’re working at.”

– Malcolm Forbes

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