The Job Description: Questioning the career path before you

The Job Description: Questioning the career path before you

Jeff Gipson | March 30, 2022

The job description. It can be the beginning or the end of interest in a career move. While it is true the hiring market currently favors candidate career mobility, looking at job descriptions alone can result in a significant loss of opportunity.

Your general description of the position is just that—general. It is a snapshot of the role—incomplete and without any solid, real-world context until, as a candidate, you talk to a  manager or another decision-maker who can truly flesh out the role and show, in great detail, how it connects you to the company and its culture. 

Risk aversion is natural, but filtering yourself out of the hiring market before you even dip your metaphorical toe in because a job description “isn’t quite right,” is no way to capitalize on a market and time that truly favor career development and advancement. If you feel like a move might be advantageous, there are elements you should rightly consider that go beyond what we can write down in 100 words or less.

Money

We will start with compensation because, ironically, it is the last thing you should consider before making a move. Money definitely doesn’t equal happiness professionally and greater pay does not guarantee growth. Your inquiry should approach other essential boxes you want to check—aspects that will add value in the long term.

Culture

Without actually interacting with company culture, it is a dynamic that is nearly impossible to convey in even the most detailed job description. Real relationships and connections require the human element to be present. Get a feel for how they respond to inquiries. Ask managers and other employees you talk to about their work experience, what they enjoy about their working environment and how your potential employer enables them to succeed and grow. 

Career Development 

We never want to settle for stagnation—a dead end that offers no mobility or chance for further advancement within the structures of the business. A new role should never be the end of the line. It should be just one more step in your career’s journey—a chance to learn more and overcome greater professional obstacles. 

Challenge  

Boredom is the enemy of ambition. As you explore the dynamics of your new potential role through a job description, ask about the current challenges facing their teams and the measures they have employed to manage these setbacks. Experiencing and overcoming difficulties is a hallmark of personal and professional development, and that challenge may be just what you’re looking for along your path to greater professional fulfillment. 

As you think about entering the job hunt, making a move, seeking a change, whatever you would like to call it—always remember that an inquisitive mind is your greatest tool. A job description is only one small clue in the greater job search. Ask questions. Find your answers. Find your new professional home.


The James Allen Companies wants you to take every opportunity for growth but only if it is right for you. Take the time to learn if the role beyond the job description matches your future goals. We look forward to starting a conversation.

About the Author

Jeff Gipson
Jeff Gipson Sr. is a veteran of the staffing industry, with more than 30 years of experience. He got his start working for an international staffing organization where he focused on information technology placements across the country. In July 1992, Jeff continued his staffing career with a St. Louis based information technology staffing company. There, he was strategically involved in launching the organization’s first branch office — and subsequently three additional branch offices over the next several years. In July 2000 Jeff made another move — this time to launch his own staffing company, continuing his IT focus. In 2003 the organization was reinvented. Relying on his earlier sales career in the insurance industry, the company changed course and began building the firm around the insurance industry. The company continues to put all their energy in the insurance sector filling positions of all titles across the country. Jeff and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1980. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
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