How to Avoid Regret after Accepting an Offer

“If I had taken longer to think about what I wanted to do, I wouldn’t have taken that job”.

When she said it, I felt it.It was an emotional gut punch.BecauseWhen you decide to resign in the first 6 months from a position that you were so excited about, you can’t help but think about the dozens of micro-decisions you made before accepting the offer. They are like those tiny flicks on the side of your head from your sibling when the parental figures weren’t looking.You can only ignore them for so long.When it comes to those micro-decisions,you can’t help but think, I should have known better.It can happen to anyone

  • Ignore the yellow flagsGet tunnel visionLook for the reasons to say, yes
  • After all,Great leadership positions aren’t sitting around waiting to get plucked up and there is the World of the Unknown Future to consider.During the interview process, you may have thoughts like:

  • This may be the best offer I can getI can make this workI’ve been at this too long and I want to work on something besides getting a job

When did it go wrong?Some would say when the interviews started and the cautionary flags starting waving.Some might suggest that you had too much confidence in your ability to get others to do something they didn’t want to do.Others might say that sometimes you just don’t know until you get there.Those all sound good.They all may be partially true. But they aren’t going to get you into a job you love.My football analogy to help make a pointThe best defense is a good offense.The adage has been around longer than me, but not all adages hold upso let’s break it down.A defense is what you are guarding against.  It’s what you’re protecting or shielding.An offense is what you are actively advancing towards. It is the collection of actions you’re executing to move forward.When executives find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of an extended or unanticipated job search, they will often make use of typical offensive strategies

  • Your referral networkYour former colleagues/bossYour online job searchYour executive recruiter network
  • Together they can be a great offense because you’re taking steps towards a desired outcome.But it’s only half the equation.You probably already know that the winningest teams have both – a great offense and a great defense.When it comes to making a smart career moveWhat makes a great defense?If a great defense are the things you are protecting…What are you protecting during your job search?  It could be your time, your mindset, and your energy to name a few.In practical terms, it can look like this:

  • Being very clear about your professional non-negotiablesNot spending time on unnecessary resume rewritesNot reading the latest headline designed to instill worry and anxietyNot wasting your energy on the confidence stealing activities of woulda, shoulda and couldaNot measuring your value against the last not interested email you received
  • Just like the winningest teamsIt all starts with your strategy1.     Taking inventory of your skills, strengths, talents, and experiences2.     Evaluating what types of companies are desirable to you at this stage in your career (you’ve lived, you’ve learned, now make it work for you)3.     Creating a plan4.     Execute and iterateMany executives are doers and want to jump the hurdle of a job search so driving an offense feels like the best thing to do.The smarter move is to create a strategy that understands both sides of the ball are necessary to put yourself in a position for the most wins.You never see a winning team without a strategy – trying hard is not a strategy.You never see a winning team without a coach – someone who is investing in your win.You never see a winning team without dedicated practice – it makes execution much more effective.BecauseMastering your career move requires a strategy that gives you a great offense and a great defense. Get out there.You got this.