You made the leap and started your own business. Things are going well when an opportunity presents itself to go back in-house to a “real job.” A dream job in your profession. How do you evaluate a dream job when you work from home?
How do you evaluate the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur versus a dream in-house job?
Your mentors, friends and significant other just supported you on the leap to becoming a business owner.
With your stomach is in knots, you aren’t sure who to call on for advice.
How to Evaluate a Dream Job When You Work from Home?
First, you are not alone. I faced that situation too.
I lost sleep struggling with the pros and cons of going back in-house.
The pros and cons of being an entrepreneur.
I kept the drama bottled up in my mind.
As you grow you business new, exciting and unexpected opportunities come your way. Sometimes these opportunities pop up out of the blue. Sometimes opportunities are the result of consistent lead nurturing.
How do you evaluate what you could gain from these unexpected opportunities against the goals you’ve developed for yourself and your business?
The best method of evaluating all of your opportunities is by getting back to the basics.
Get Back to the Basics
For me, it took a friend of a friend who had little knowledge of my industry to cut the crap out of my mental gymnastics. We went back to the basics to evaluate a dream job vs working from home.
Ask yourself some questions
- What do you love most about your current career opportunities?
- What do you love most about working from home?
- What do you like least about your current career opportunities?
- What do you like least about working from home?
Below are some of the my answers. Your answers might be the same or they might be different.
I wanted to share part of my list with you, some of the things I really considered, so you will feel less alone with your thoughts then I did.
- I LOVE working outside. Whether its from my back porch, from my mother in law’s front porch and at the neighborhood coffee shop patio. I love getting to sit outside and work from my laptop.
- And I love not being stressed about getting to an office on time.
- I also love being my own boss.
- I like the people I collaborate with and do work for
- I enjoy the type of work I currently do.
I started to realize that I was very worried about losing the flexibility that comes with working from home. You too?
My impartial friend had a brilliant idea, if offered the job, she suggested I should just negotiate for that flexibility the same I would negotiate the salary.
Her outside perceptive was free of preconceptions and advice so simple.
What About the Actual Job is Dream Worthy?
What makes this job dream worthy or sought after?
Does solving those problems or leading that team excite you?
For me, the topic of the new in-house opportunity was sought after in my profession. But the more I thought about it the more I realized I wasn’t going to be excited to wake up every day to solve those problems.
My impartial friend continued to ask questions though.
The primary topic of work, would I enjoy doing it on my own as a consultant she asked? Was it worth learning it from them so I could use the knowledge to restart my own business in the future?
This is something I hadn’t considered at all. Had you?
The Interview Process
I am a strong believer that you should always go to the first interview if invited. So I did.
And for good or bad I kept going. I could not bring myself to get off the interview train.
At each step of the interview process I convinced myself and the interviewer that I was excited about their job opportunity. This was after all a career making position. A dream job.
I worked on writing assignments and and interview presentation. I researched the topic and spoke to industry experts.
The farther I got down the track the more I began to understand that not only was it not my dream job but more importantly it was no longer my dream career path.
The interview research led me to an interesting conclusion that had nothing to do with the assigned topic.
When I got back to the basics I realized my personal definition of career success had changed.
To me, getting paid to work on topics I enjoy is much more important in my definition of success then it had previously been.
I stayed on the interview train until the end and went to the final interview. I finally allowed myself to hear their vision for the position.
If I had listened the answers they gave to my questions at an earlier interview in the process I would have withdrawn from the final interview.
If I had withdrawn from the final interview I wouldn’t have completed their research assignment and gained valuable insight on my definition of career success.
When you are faced with something you are uncomfortable sharing with your mentors I encourage you to get back to the basics.
Find an impartial observer.
It’s important to get the drama out of your head so you can make a productive pro/con list and have the clarity to listen to your instincts.
What are the things you love or are frustrated about being self-employed? What are the things about the opportunity that excite or concern you? For me I love the flexibility of creating my day and choosing my work. Maybe for you commute time, regular travel or lack of travel are your key motivators or concern.
After I cleared my head and evaluated the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur I spoke with a mentor or two. I was able to hear their guidance in a productive way because the drama was gone. Growing your career is never easy. Finding your dream job, client or contract can feel like a needle in a haystack.
Maybe this opportunity is exactly what you are looking for. Don’t let concern about letting your support system down stop you from going for it. You mentors, supporters and significant other will cheer you on. At the end of the day they all want you to find your joy.
The exciting part of being self-employed and being an entrepreneur is the opportunity to seek out work that you enjoy. Work that will grow you career in the direction you want to grow. The opportunity to choose to say yes or thank you for thinking of me but no thank you.
Business development isn’t always easy. But as my dad likes to say, “if its easy everybody would be doing it.” If the in-house opportunity looks like a life raft because your business growth has stalled get back to the basics there too. In my post that that provides a check list of what to do your first week working for yourself I highlight a number of easy ways to jump start client development.
Clear out the mental drama and listen to your instincts. Don’t feel pressure to accept an opportunity because it sounds great on paper. Do the work and build your career toward work you enjoy waking up to do every day.