No matter why you are seeking new employment, searching for a job is hard work. Scanning online job listings, researching potential companies, sending out your CV, attending multiple job interviews and then waiting for a job offer to come through can be a nerve-racking and drawn-out process.
So, if you're like most job seekers, you're elated - or at the very least relieved - when your efforts result in a successful job offer. But before you rush to accept the new position, take the time to consider it fully.
Here are some guidelines to help you evaluate a job offer and whether the opportunity is the right job fit for you:
Consider the job description
This may be the single most important factor in evaluating an offer from a potential employer. Ask yourself these questions:
- Will you enjoy the day-to-day duties of the position?
- Will you be challenged?
- Is the level of responsibility appropriate considering your experience?
- Will you be able to work well with your boss and co-workers?
- Are you willing to make any required lifestyle changes (travel, work longer hours, longer commute) that may affect your quality of life?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, accepting the position might make you miserable.
Evaluate the company
Does the firm's corporate values fit with your own? A business that expects 12-hour days or out of hours work when you only want to work regular business hours is probably not a good fit for you. Also consider the work style of your future boss and co-workers, try to evaluate whether or not there could be personality conflicts down the road.
Review the compensation package
How does the salary package they're offering compare to what you made in your last position? Take a look at the proposed benefits package. How attractive or generous are the extras such as stock options, education reimbursement, holidays or parking? If you're considering two offers, these additional benefits could be the deciding factor.
If an offer meets most of your requirements but doesn't include a benefit that's important to you, it doesn't hurt to ask if it could be included in your agreement.
It is important that you are aware that despite your desire to move on from your current role, your current employers might be keen to keep you.
Consider that when you hand in your resignation, your current employer may offer a pay rise and/or promotion as an incentive to stay. While a counter-offers may be attractive and flattering, it is important to consider some key factors before making your final decision:
- Your reasons for wanting to leave will still exist. They'll just be slightly more tolerable in the short-term because of the raises, promotion or promises made to keep you.
- Your employer is likely making a counter offer more for their benefit than yours. Why did they wait until you resigned to offer you what you're really worth to them?
- Counter-offers are sometimes nothing more than stall devices to give your employer time to replace you.
- By resigning, you are demonstrating disloyalty in the eyes of your employer. You could lose your place in the inner circle and be considered a flight-risk.
- Over 80% of people who accept a counter-offer are not with the company 6 months later, according to the National Employment Association.
Making the right decision
Careful consideration of the issues discussed above will help you evaluate a job offer and reach an informed decision to accept, negotiate or reject the offer.
If, after evaluating each of these points, you are still unsure, listen to your gut instinct. Maybe there is something about the corporate culture that makes you uncomfortable - if so, it's probably wise to trust your instincts and decline. You can also read our article ‘seven questions to ask before accepting a job offer’, to help you make a decision.
Accepting a new position is a big step and you want to go into the arrangement knowing all the facts. With a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the pros and cons you'll be prepared to make the best decision for your career.
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