Congratulations!  After an interview (or six!), you’ve finally been offered that new job.  Or perhaps you’re testing the waters – updating your LinkedIn profile and telling your network that for the right gig, you might be available.  But how do you know whether the job you’re considering is worth taking?  Here are the four B’s that can help you determine that.

1.      Budget

A compliance department cannot operate without a proper budget.  One of my friends describes her program as being put together with “bubble gum and duct tape.”  That is not a tenable situation, and the inability to afford travel, training programs, and enough staff to make the program work means one of two things: either the company isn’t really dedicated to compliance, or its financial situation isn’t good enough.  Either way- skip a job in a company without a decent compliance budget.

2.      Boss

Who is the boss of the compliance program?  If you answered, “an independent Chief Compliance Officer that reports to the board and CEO,” congratulations!  If you answered, “the General Counsel,” or “the head of Audit,” proceed with caution.  These functions aren’t always aligned with compliance goals, and having compliance filtered to the board by another party can undermine the program’s effectiveness.  I’ve seen very well run compliance programs run by General Counsel, but it’s never as ideal as being part of an independent function.

3.      Behest

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “behest” as “an urgent prompting.”  Behest is closely aligned with mandate.  Has the CEO, board, and other members of the C-suite made it abundantly clear that Compliance has authority to do what it needs to do, and the business must do what is asked of them?  If so – great!  If not – this may be a black hole job.  Without mandate, you’re basically asking the business to do you a favor and comply, which is not a situation you want to be in.

4.      Baseline Culture

Before accepting a new role, look at the baseline culture of the company.  Does the company showcase its values?  When you visit, how does the place feel?  Tired?  Grumpy?  Invigorated?  While you may be in charge of changing culture, that instruction can take a long time to complete.  Look at the baseline culture now and decide whether you want to take on the challenge. 

It’s always difficult to know whether to take new job.  But if the four B’s line up successfully, you’re best off taking the job. 

This post is inspired by Chapter 4 of my new book, How to Have a Wildly Successful Career in Compliance, available on and at bookstores throughout the world.