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How to Evaluate a Job Offer before Accepting

After spending hours on job applications and interviews (Link to submitted article, 7 Tips for a More Successful Interview), you might experience an overwhelming sense of euphoria when a job offer finally comes through. However, it’s important to not let that euphoria impact your evaluation of the job offer. While it can be tempting to quickly accept an offer, you’re more likely to make a decision that serves both your personal and professional goals if you take some time to fully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a new job.

The decision to accept a new job can be life-changing, and there are a wide range of factors to carefully consider when you receive an offer. It can be difficult to develop a comprehensive pro-con list, so here are some of the most important things to evaluate before accepting (or declining) a job offer:

Job Description

Although you’ve probably been studying the job description since the start of the application process, it’s important to reassess the daily responsibilities and tasks associated with a new job. In an article on the Glassdoor website, John Fleischauer, a global talent acquisition manager at Halogen Software, explained that it can be useful to consider whether you would want to do the job if money wasn’t a concern.

Similarly, you should think about how a new job would advance your career and propel you into an industry, environment, or daily role that corresponds with your interests and professional objectives. According to Fleischauer, a company’s employee development and performance management policies are also potential indicators of how well a position will serve your professional growth.

Office Environment

Many people spend more time at work than at home, so your quality of life can be largely dependent upon whether or not you have an enjoyable and rewarding work environment. When evaluating a potential work environment, think about the structure of the organization, the office pace, and the company culture.

The type of organization, whether a startup or an established corporation, can have a large impact on your work environment. For example, a corporation might offer a more hierarchal environment with structured procedures, while a startup might offer more flexibility and better work-life balance.

You should also consider how the physical working environment will impact your daily experience. An office with natural light or an open-concept layout might influence your mood, productivity, and interactions with coworkers. 

Commute

Along with workplace environment, you should consider how your quality of life will be influenced by the commute associated with a new job. While evaluating this factor, make sure you know how long it would take to get to the office and back home during the times you would be making the commute. A long commute can steal hours out of your day that could be better spent on things like exercise and hobbies, which can impact your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Salary

Since most people work to cover their living costs and save for retirement, the salary tied to a new job offer can play a major role in your decision to accept a position. After receiving an offer, think about how the salary corresponds to both your financial requirements and the demands of the job. A less than desirable starting salary might be acceptable if the position offers long-term growth and career advancement opportunities.

As you weigh the workability of the salary, also consider the non-monetary benefits associated with the position, such as the ability to work from home or work flexible hours. Many career experts further note that you should try to negotiate the salary if you want the position and the proposed salary doesn’t meet your financial requirements. 

Benefits

When a job offer comes in, the proposed salary might be the first thing you notice, but a competitive benefits package can be just as important. Glassdoor emphasizes that benefits like healthcare, vision, dental, and a 401k match can significantly increase the value of a job offer.

If an employer offers a competitive benefits package, it can also indicate that the company is financially stable and willing to invest in its employees.

Stability

Job stability is another key factor when considering a job offer, and you should spend some time researching the employer to learn about their financial status, hiring activities, and growth pattern. It can be difficult to truly ascertain the stability of a company under volatile economic conditions. However, this research can help you get a better understanding of the longevity of the employer and the position so you don’t accept a job that will disappear in a year.

People

During the job offer evaluation process, one of your top considerations might be the people you’ll work with in the new position, especially if it’s a collaborative role or work environment. Your coworkers and managers have a large impact on your success and job satisfaction, and you’re unlikely to stick with a position if your colleagues aren’t a good fit.

To assess fit, think about your interactions during the interview process and reflect on how you were treated. You can gain a lot of insight from the tone of the interview and the different personal and professional questions that were asked.

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