Updated: Feb 2
Stop Ignoring Your Gut: How to Assess a Job Offer with Your Intuition
By Rachelle John
In a world where data and logic are held in high esteem, intuition is often seen as an unreliable and fallible way of making decisions. However, that way of thinking may have prevented you from quickly making a choice. Your gut feeling isn’t based on nothing; your body has a “second brain” or the enteric nervous system. In research published by Flinders University, study author Professor Nick Spencer found that specialized cells in your gut can communicate with your brain, and both work together when you approach a situation intuitively. By paying attention to your body and thinking critically, your intuition can guide you when making major life choices, such as your career. Finding the best job for you is not an easy task and requires a lot of consideration, but it can also lead to overthinking and stress. Your gut feeling can help you harness your past experiences, education, and current needs to help you make a quick but informed decision regarding whether to take a job offer. Here are some ways you can develop your intuition when assessing new career choices: Build self-awareness
Self-awareness—having a good knowledge of your character, thoughts, and emotions—is crucial to strengthening your intuition. Lifestyle design strategist Kierra Asnauskas in her audio course Permission to Pivot explains how self-awareness should be at the heart of your career journey. By changing direction based on your knowledge of who you are, what you need, and your potential impact, you can find success, avoid traps, and make intelligent adjustments to your career. Try making a list of personal qualities or your strengths and weaknesses to see how they align with the offer being made to you. You can use the questions in our post “How To Do A Career Pivot” to help you get started with understanding yourself and your skills. Another tip we recommend? Talk to people. Having a sounding board (or three) can be a great way to get good advice.
Check your reasoning
When mulling over a job offer, you might come up with various reasons to justify the decision you’re thinking of making. You might start saying things to yourself like: “At least I’ll have a job,” or “They probably made a mistake.” While you think you’re intuitive, you might just be talking yourself into taking a job while disregarding your feelings—this is the opposite of trusting your gut. You could be trying to quell anxiety by ignoring distressing feelings by looking to facts and logic. This is known as intellectualization. Psychology Today defines intellectualization as a defense mechanism when people use reasoning to avoid uncomfortable emotions. This has been shown to harm your mental health when done too often. Instead of making a choice just to get things over with and justifying your reasons after, let yourself feel your feelings and see where they might be coming from. Embracing your feelings can help you redirect some focus inward, allowing you to tap into your gut for some guidance.
Pay attention to the details
You shouldn't disregard tangible information when trusting your gut; those things are often needed when making an intuitive decision. It’s nor
mal for companies to show their best side to potential employees, so making the correct observations can help you better understand what you might be in for and give your intuition more to work with. As you consider the job offer, take stock of the small signals you’ve been getting. Is the company or its representatives good at communicating with you in person and digitally? Do people working at the office look gloomy or relaxed? Is the offer transparent or vague in its demands and roles? Listen to what your intuition tells you based on what you’ve noticed. You can also try visualizing yourself working in the role and the environment, then let your gut lead from there.
Assessing if a job offer is right for you can be equally exciting and frightening, but using your intuition can help you make the best choice. Utilize what you know about yourself, your feelings, and your observations to help develop that trust in your gut feeling. Give your mind a relaxed environment and enough time to make all the connections; you will soon realize just how powerful your intuition can be.
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