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Mom and Dad always told us to be careful. When we were first trusted to leave the house and cross the street on our own, the "look both ways" advice was repeated endlessly until it was permanently instilled in our minds. Today as adults, most of us continue to follow that advice.

My thoughts are for when a person has a job offer and is considering acceptance; you need to look both ways, up the street to the future and down the street to the current position and prior experience. Like a small child chasing a loose ball into the street, people can impulsively fail to consider the dangers of accepting a new job. The new job may look good on the surface, but you need to evaluate several factors. "Looking both ways" simply means to be cautious and consider your past work experience and what this new job will or will not do for your future. Listed are three areas of consideration and questions to be asked before accepting a job offer.

Your new position should reflect an advancement in your position title. Does this job offer increase your responsibility? Is the job title in line with other companies in your industry? Is the company committed long term to this job if it is a newly created position?

Does this move increase your future market value? Changing companies just to get a promotion or a new title will make it appear, in the future, that you are unable to excel in the long-term. It’s best to be promoted at least once at your current company before changing jobs. How will this job and new company look on your resume three to five years from now?

The income package is listed last because it should never be the prime motivator in accepting a job offer. Don’t get me wrong, money is important. Everybody wants more money. If you accept a job based only on the money, you may be disappointed in the long run. The new company will know they bought you. Easily bought can be easily sold…that is, replaced by a less expensive employee. The opportunity, responsibilities and increased career equity must express a smart career move before you negotiate the money package.

[QUICK TIP] During an interview, when you are asked, "Why did you leave a prior company?," your best answer is always for an opportunity with more responsibility and challenge. The answer should never be for more money. Even if more money is the prime reason, don’t reveal that during an interview. This reason for this non-disclosure is because the new employer will conclude that your primary desire is for the compensation package which could be enough not to hire you, because you may turn around at any time and leave them just for more money. You never want to confer the impression that you are for sale.

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George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.