I just read this very useful article in the National Association of Female Employees’ (NAFE) newsletter. Hope it’s helpful to you!

5 Tips for Deciding Whether to Take That Job or Consulting Assignment

You finally get the offer for that new job or consulting assignment you interviewed for. And, of course, you could certainly use the money. Before you decide to accept, big-business escapee and NAFE member Babs Ryan (former GE new product division head, Citibank VP of business development, now a small business owner with clients in 207 countries) recommends you give the offer this Five Tips sniff test. These tips and more can be found in her book America’s Corporate Brain Drain.

1. How was the interview process? Companies are on their best behavior when trying to attract talent. You will never be treated better than you are during the interview process. So, if it took four people and two months to make a decision and get you an offer in writing, multiply that times three, and you’ll have about the number of people and time it’ll take to get a decision made on your business proposals. If no single person is empowered to make a decision, you will never be empowered in your job either.

2. What will you own? Is it a process job? Process jobs are those where you are responsible for getting others to do their jobs but have no authority over those people. Process jobs rarely have budgetary responsibility. Typical titles of process roles are project manager, new product development guru, service quality/Six Sigma manager, or strategy chief. Businesses create these roles because the people who do have the authority and budget aren’t doing their jobs and they won’t fire them. You’ll be the scapegoat. Own the budget and authority over staff, or don’t take the job.

3. Can you escape? That retainer or two-year contract sounds great, until you realize that Godzilla is your boss and there’s a massive financial penalty if you want to leave before being chewed up. Never sign a contract without an out that won’t bankrupt you.

4. Who was doing the job before and why isn’t that person there? Dig deep, real deep. Bully managers cause a target to leave every 17 months, and find a new target in 2 weeks. And women bullies target women 84 percent of the time. Make sure you’re not next. Go on. Ask the manager if he/she “liked” the person who just left, and the one that left before that.

5. Big or small? Seventy percent of workers in big companies are unhappy at work. Big company employees are not only three times more likely to be bullied, but exponentially less likely to ever create, develop, and launch a new product. The majority of women who started their own businesses said “nothing” could get them to return to a big company. If part of your job will involve bringing change to the organization, if you have multifunctional skills, or expect a broad scope of responsibility, it’s probably better to think “small”– and go for a smaller business.