When you spend 40-60 hours a week in a place that is not your home, and doesn't involve nurturing your relationships with friends and family, hobbies and interests, feeding your soul, sleeping in or taking in all of world’s delights, you better love what you do. If you don’t absolutely love what you do, then a paycheck becomes one of the only consolations you have for working at all. At the same time, don’t ever allow satisfying work get in the way of a satisfying life, that’s a slippery slope that will only let you down in the end. Ok, I’ll carefully step down off my soap box now and tell you a few more misnomers about work:
Myth: You should be 100% certain that this is the right job and offer before accepting.
Fact: You can never be 100% certain that it is the right job until you’ve worked for the company in the role for at least six months. If you’re 100% certain, then either you have on a big pair of rose colored glasses, or you didn’t do your homework on the company or the job. No job is perfect.
Myth: You should have at least two written offers in hand before making a decision
Fact: The offer process rarely works in our favor relative to timing. Some companies take hours to make a decision, others take weeks or months. You need to work with what is real and in hand. Get comfortable with pro and con lists, and use past positions and offers as a comparison to the offer in hand. If you are still uncertain after 24 hours whether this is the offer for you, ask for more time. A week is considered generous. Anything more than that, they may start having doubts about you.
Myth: You need to take 24 hours to think about the offer before making a decision
Fact: If you need to sit down and talk about it with your spouse, friend, adviser, then by all means take the time you need. However, nothing says “I’m sure” like a well-timed phone call to the hiring manager within 12 hours to say “I accept”. If you are hoping to use this time to leverage your other offers, then go back to whether or not you really want the job.
Myth: You need to commit yourself for at least one year to the new employer
Fact: If by the time you have accepted and started the new job, a counter-offer or other offer has been received and it’s the one you really want, better to cut the cord quickly. The reasons have more to do with your new employer than you;
a) There’s a good possibility there were two likely candidates for the position, and the other candidate could have been a great fit and the better match for position, but the hiring manager chose you first because of chemistry or salary fit. Give the company an opportunity to re-fill the position quickly so that they don't have to start the search from scratch.
b) The company can't get back the time and money invested in both the search and training of a new employee. You could save them a little of both by letting them know early that you made a mistake. They’ll likely be unhappy, but at the end of the day, you’re doing everyone (including yourself) a favor. You can also avoid having to put the company/position on your resume if you’ve stayed less than three months, and no need to concern yourself with asking for references either.