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Congratulations! You’ve received a job offer. Now what? Hopefully, you spent the time upfront to evaluate the company and the position prior to pursuing it. Sometimes things happen faster than you expect and you haven’t fully explored the opportunity. There are a lot of important aspects to research and consider when you are evaluating an employment opportunity. Here are things to consider before you accept the job offer.
The more you know before the offer, the better position you’ll be in. A company’s values, vision, and corporate culture are going to fundamentally affect you on a daily basis. Does the company you are evaluating motivate and speak to you? Just as dating someone with a fundamentally different belief system would be a great challenge, so will working for a company where you do not buy into the mission and vision.
What about the size and hierarchy of the company? Are you more apt to want to wear several hats and take broad responsibilities? Do you want a close working relationship with top management and the ability to see the impacts of your personal contribution? If so, a smaller company may offer you the best fit.
Are you focused on training or mentoring programs and a clear career path? Do you have specialized skills that you want to focus on specific endeavors? If so, a larger company may be for you.
No one is expecting you to be best friends with everyone in the new organization, but from the middle management to company directors, it’s good to get an overview of who you will be working with.
Knowing that you will feel comfortable in the work environment is essential if you are to flourish in a new role. All jobs are challenging in their own way, so there will be times when the support of those around you will be an indispensable tool in making it through.
Of course, determining whether all of the above is applicable in the short window a formal interview allows would take some pretty impressive powers of deduction. However, first impressions are important and should not be discounted when considering if the job is right for you.
The Day to Day
Location, hours, and flexibility are also important considerations. work-life balance should be very important in your decision to take the job.
If you have to relocate, you’ll want to evaluate the area, cost of living, housing options, and community amenities. Will you need to commute? If so what are the costs and time required? Is there flexibility in terms of hours worked in order to avoid traffic? Can you work remotely for some portion of the week? Will the position require travel?
Being equipped with as many facts as you can gather about the role on offer and the responsibilities attached can really help you make an informed decision when it comes to potentially saying yes to a career change.
Will you be expected to work in a primarily autonomous manner? Does the position involve supervising other staff? Are the hours suitable to your current life situation?
Many candidates dread that moment towards the end of the discussion when the interviewer says, “Do you have anything you want to ask?” But it is a vital part of the process. After all, knowing from the start whether any ‘extra responsibilities’ will slowly sneak their way into your in-tray might mean the difference between acceptance of rejecting a job offer.
The company’s background and tenure can be discovered via press releases, newsletters, and annual reports. Take the time to inquire about the company by tapping into professional networks, alumni career offices, current employees, and even competitors.
Conduct a search on the internet or pick up the phone and ask the front desk who you might speak with. You’ll want to consider the company’s products & services, market position, industry, age, size, employee turnover, and financial condition.
Once You Get the Offer
Negotiating a job offer can be difficult. How do you get what you are worth without killing the job offer or selling your self-short? Before the negotiating begins, remember not to let the “heat of the moment” take over before you’ve had a chance to think it through. Don’t feel pressured to accept the offer.
What Can Be Negotiated
Now back to that offer you received, is the compensation package in line with expectations? Is the salary competitive? What is the overtime or compensated time off policy? What are the benefits? What does the overall package entail? How does the compensation package compare to the industry?
Again, the more research you’ve done upfront, the better you can evaluate the terms you are being offered.
The bottom line probably does not boil down to one number. Salaries may be structured to offer an equity piece or bonuses.
Flexibility, training programs, promotion opportunities, salary/performance review, vacation, insurance and other perks are an important part of the overall remuneration you will be receiving.
If you choose to negotiate the pay or benefits, the more research you have done, the better you can present your case. There are many sources of salary information by industry and role such as salary surveys by professional associations, the National Association of Colleges, and websites like Indeed and Monster, or the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Speaking with people in your professional network within the industry, consulting employment ads, and discussions with external recruiters can give you a lot of insight into the current compensation trends.
Source – Earnest.com
Read the Fine Print
Finally, remember that a written offer letter is often regarded as a contract from a legal standpoint. It is important then that this offer covers any aspects that are important to you and reflects the conversations that lead up to it. If official company policies are codified, ask for a copy to review.
Typically you only have a couple of days to review and accept a job offer. Be prepared, know what is realistic as well as what you want and where you have room to negotiate. Good luck with your new job!