How To Choose Your Next Job (Checklist/ 6 Points)

How To Choose Your Next Job

This is a crucial one. A bad decision can have a highly negative impact on your resume and career evolution.

After all, you seek more responsibility, more money and personal growth, right?

Here are the 6 questions I recommend to minimize this risk of a false move when it is about the question how to choose your next job. And I would only accept a job offer if all points are positive:

The Science:

  • What is in for you? If you are in the first 20 years of your career, it should be a real step forward in terms of responsibilities. If you have achieved the peak of your career and your career path flattens, it should however look consistent with your evolution, and stay at least the same level. Bear in mind that the next position will determine the job afterwards. You will always be judged on the current/ last job – and not on what you have done before
  • Do you fulfil at least 70% of the technical requirements, can you do the job? 70-80% is a good value for me to a) ensure the success of the candidate and b) keep him/ her motivated for the next years. Do your risk management properly and do not accept an offer if it is a) too much or b) not enough responsibility for you
  • Are external factors such as the time to commute OK for you? I have seen many candidates who underestimate the time spent in the car or public transport, who accepted an offer only to leave a few months later. Also the salary and other benefits are important. Are you happy with the offer? Make sure you do not have a bad feeling every time the pay-check arrives, because otherwise you will also not stay. I personally recommend not to go below the last base salary

The Art:

  • Can you imagine working with all the people you met during the interview process? Does it feel good? Do you trust them to take care of your career for the next years following?
  • What was the atmosphere, the company culture when you arrived at the reception desk or when you observed the employees? I remember being a job-seeker years ago: it turned me down to observe the interaction of the reception desk staff and the employees and I had taken my decision (not to continue the process) even before meeting the hiring manager…
  • How is your overall gut feeling? No compromise on this one! You should only go if you had a positive fit with your future direct superior. Do you want to spend the day with the your potential boss, more time than with your family? If the answer is no – then the answer is no!


A false move when choosing your next job can have a disastrous impact on your career. The Leitmotiv of my job and this blog are to bring together the art and the science, align your head and your guts. And as I said in other postings, the gut feeling will tell you what to do. Yes is yes, no is no and maybe – is no…

Jorg Stegemann
Jorg Stegemann - Headhunter, Certified Coach and Business Writer - is the CEO of Kennedy Executive Search. Apart from running Kennedy's company blog, he writes for Forbes, BBC and other media.

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