Not sure about a job? Consider your options

From time to time I come across someone who has submitted an application for a job and who has a reasonable chance of getting an interview as they have been acting in the job for several months. Yet they are ambivalent about the job, uncertain whether they really want it. It could be the job does not give much satisfaction, or it actually generates frustration, or the increased responsibility is uninviting.

The risk if you go to an interview with ambivalence, is that this uncertainty will leak in out in your responses. Being in two minds reduces your enthusiasm, you will appear less confident, with possibly less structure and certainty to your responses.

At this point it can be useful to explore what you really want in a job. Another area to explore is the options available to you. These options include:

  • Withdrawing from the process. This step will save the time and effort involved in preparing for the interview and avoids any undesirable result. It does mean this opportunity is no longer open to you.
  • Continue with the interview in a state of ambivalence. The risks with this option are poor preparation and poor performance.
  • Continue with the interview and give it your best shot. This option has several possible outcomes:

You are offered the job

You make the merit list

You are not on the merit list

If you are offered the job you then have a choice as to whether to accept or not. You do not have to accept. You may have gained so much clarity by this stage that you know it is not right for you. There can be some awkwardness around declining to accept if you are dealing with colleagues. However, there is little point in taking on a new job if your life is going to be miserable.

Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist® specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.