DeVaughn Narratives

Creating digital stories that resonate and inspire

Month: October 2017

How to Decide if a Job Offer is Right for You

Job Offer - Accept or Decline

Accept or Decline: How to Decide if a Job Offer is Right for You

After weeks (or maybe months) of job searching, you’ve become a pro at finding the names of hiring managers, writing personalized cover letters, and, of course, mastering the interview process. And then it happens: You’ve just been offered the job.

Congratulations! That was the hard part, right? Maybe not. On two separate occasions, I had multiple job offers so determining whether to accept a job can be just as challenging.

In today’s economy, many workers spend five years or less in a job. Being able to evaluate whether a prospective job offer is a good fit for your immediate and long-term professional goals is critical.

Ultimately, I have either turned down great jobs or accepted the wrong job for a myriad of reasons – some good, some bad. When evaluating a job offer, you need to keep the following in mind:

Research the company and the position.

During the interview process, ask questions about the company’s future direction and its corporate culture to assess whether working there will be a good fit for your professional goals. If you’re on the fence after receiving the offer, you may want some time to think it over then go with your gut. If you have a bad gut feeling about a job offer, you shouldn’t ignore it.

Be realistic about your prospects.

If you know you are a final round candidate for multiple jobs at once, you’ve got some flexibility when it comes to making a decision. However, if you only have one offer on the table, it can be difficult to compare with other possibilities. If you’ve been out of work for a while, you may not be in a position to hold out for a better offer that may never come.

There is no “dream” or “perfect” position.

No job will ever be perfect. Whether it’s an annoying co-worker or a long commute, there’s a downside to just about every job. As objectively as possible, weigh the pros and cons of accepting this new position. If the salary is not as high as you were expecting, will you be learning a new, valuable skill or significantly expanding your professional contact base that could offset a lower salary? If the commute is longer than you want, are there opportunities for telecommuting or flexible hours? Talk to the hiring manager about how you can shape the job to better match your professional and personal needs.

Never take a job out of desperation.

I know all too well about taking a job out of desperation just to get back to work. If you do end up in the wrong place and want to leave again fairly quickly, you’ll now have a pattern that makes you look like a job hopper. It also means you could end up in a job that you’re not good at and get fired from. Then you’re unemployed, with a firing to explain, and an unhelpful reference from your most recent employer. That’s inflicting a lot of damage on yourself just to get out of a bad job a little more quickly.

You need to be wary of “rose-tinted spectacles” you might wear if you are unemployed or have been searching for a long time. Instead of talking yourself into something, you may want to explore other alternatives like accepting the job for a short-term period, while you look elsewhere. If that’s not possible and you really need the job, know the risks. Many people underestimate the impact of switching jobs and what it does to your client relationships, network, and prospects.

Whether it’s a mismatch in company culture or lack of professional challenge, don’t be afraid to walk away from a job offer that just doesn’t fit your needs. If you feel like you’re taking a job out of desperation, you may resent the position and ultimately underperform. As stated above, this could damage your industry reputation and hurt your candidacy for future positions. It’s better to be honest with the hiring manager about why you are declining the position than accept a job that ultimately will make you – and everyone around you – miserable.

There is a downside to this. The honest truth is there are times when you’ll have to take any job you can get, even if you know it’s a bad fit. Maybe your house is about to be foreclosed on, you can’t make rent, or you have a family depending on you for income. There will be times when finding ANY job is a priority over the PERFECT job.

Have you ever walked away from a job offer?

Are Business Cards Dead?

Are Business Cards Dead?

Business cards date back to the 17th century when they were used to announce the arrival of a distinguished guest to the keepers of an estate. Although a networking event isn’t exactly the announcement of your arrival in an elegant horse-drawn carriage, a business card can still work in your favor.

Many people have mixed feelings about business cards. Some people contend business cards are dead with the younger and tech-savvy generation preferring to exchange information on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn. They claim business cards are the last vestiges of the era of paper and print.

I maintain those people are wrong.

Business Card with QR CodeContrary to popular belief, research has shown that the business card is far from waning. Business cards may be small, but their impact is huge. A business card plays an important part in making a lasting impression upon those you do business with. In fact, business cards are evolving in style and design and catering to the needs of entrepreneurs. Research has also shown that a large majority of people still hand out business cards and people on the receiving end still find them useful.

Despite living in a digital world, business cards can be critical to the development of your business. These small but effective tools that are often handed to customers and prospects can be a highly personalized form of marketing. A well-organized and aesthetically appealing business card can make a better impression than any website address or social media account, which can easily be lost in translation.

Reasons Why You Should Have a Business Card

They Create a Solid First Impression

Business cards should be part of your self-introduction. These eye-catching 3.5 x 2 inch pieces of heavy-duty paper contain all the vital contact information needed to capture your prospect’s attention and help you remain in their memories well after your initial meeting. Today, contacts also expect business cards. They can enhance your credibility and legitimacy and give your prospect a better sense of your professionalism.

They’re Direct Marketing Tools

No other form of marketing is more effective than face-to-face communication coupled with a handshake. Business cards can go wherever you go, making them an essential marketing tool that can facilitate the process of establishing and maintaining new clients for future business opportunities. You never know when you’ll run into a potentially valuable prospect, so you should always be prepared. By keeping a stack of business cards on-hand, you’ll always be ready to market you or your business when the opportunity arises.

They Help Build a Brand

Business cards are a simple way to establish your brand, which in turn makes either you or your business more easily recognized. A successful card should contain your company’s logo, advertising slogan and necessary contact information, including a phone number, website address and email where you can be easily reached. Remember that just because your business card is made from paper doesn’t mean it can’t also be tech savvy. Many business owners now use QR codes on their cards that can be scanned by a smartphone to direct customers to the business’s website or social media page.

They’re Budget-Friendly

One of the biggest advantages of a business card is its affordability. Businesses can print business cards for less than it costs to produce other types of marketing materials, such as commercials, press kits, and product samples. When the price is so low and can be easily fit into any business budget, why not always keep business cards on hand? A business card is an excellent way for a business to gain momentum with an attention-getting design.

One of the worst mistakes a business owner can make is to misjudge the importance of a quality business card to brand identity and business development. It can act as your first impression and directly reflect how potential prospects and customers look at your business. While there’s no denying online marketing has become a popular tool for business professionals, traditional marketing still remains strong.

What Information Should Go On a Business Card?

Business cards serve many purposes, but their primary purpose is to tell what you do and give the recipient a way to contact you. Don’t leave off the information the recipient needs most.

At the very least a name and contact method (address or phone number) should go into a business card design. As for where to put this information, there are hundreds of possible arrangements, but there are a few commonly accepted guidelines for where to place the essential information.

Other information is optional but as a minimum, the business card design should usually contain:

• Individual’s Name and/or Business Name: Whether using a horizontal or vertical arrangement, the person’s name or the business name are usually the most prominent text item on the card. It is usually placed in the center or upper half of the card and emphasized with a larger or bolder font.

• Individual’s Title or some other descriptive text to indicate what the person does if it’s not obvious from the business name.

•  A way (preferably multiple ways) to contact the person such as phone, fax, email, web page, mailing address, street address, etc. This information is usually placed in the lower half of the card (left, right, or centered). The preferred method of contact (such as phone number or email) is often emphasized with a larger size, bolder font, or more prominent placement.

Other information to keep in mind when designing your business card may include:

Slogan:

Taglines are always important for business cards. As the space provided is small you require filling in important details. Taglines can always attract people.

Simplicity:

Keep your card simple to make it look clean and organized. A simple business card design will have more space for you to fill in important details. Always try using both sides of the card so that the information doesn’t look cluttered and/or disorganized. Make your card look attractive and unique.

Image:

Images are very powerful. Anything that is visual appears more attractive. Your goal should be making your card more aesthetically pleasing. The image should represent your company well. The image should be such that your clients remember your card for its aesthetics.

Company Logo:

Always place the company’s logo in a prominent area so that it is visible and clear. The logo represents your company; hence giving importance to the logo can you gain potential clients. The logo should create a positive impression about your business.

Unique:

Always try to create a business card that is unique and that stands out. You can opt for designs that use varied shapes for your card. You can fill in your card with colors Boring Business Cardbecause the traditional white may look boring. Your ultimate aim should be making your card look attractive and unique.

Always remember your business card is the face of your business.

Like it or not, business cards are here to stay.

Do you carry business cards? Why or why not? Share your thoughts.

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