When you are given a job offer, there is more to consider than how much you will be paid. There are various important factors you should consider when deciding whether to take the job or to turn it down. In this article, we list five things to consider before accepting a job offer.
1. Are the People Right For You?
The number one thing to consider–even more than compensation and benefits–is the people you will be working with. Your coworkers, managers, your direct boss, and everyone in your workplace will be around you all through every working day. It’s hard to estimate how you will get along with people based only on the recruiting or interviewing process, but there are some things you can look to for clues. Were your recruiters friendly, and what kinds of questions did they ask you? Is there anyone who is or has been part of the organization who you know and can talk with? There is no single perfect method for checking out the organizational atmosphere of a prospective employer, but any effort you make to do so will be worthwhile.
2. What Is the Workplace Environment Like?
Carefully consider whether the prospective workplace is a fit for your preferences. Corporations, nonprofits, and startups all have different characteristics that have a large impact on the work environment. Some workplaces are more collaborative and others more competitive. Some jobs place emphasis on working late hours and others promote a more dynamic work-life balance. During the interview process, consider asking for a short tour of the workspace if one is not offered.
You should also think about the physical location of the prospective job. If your commute is going to be a daily chore, or if there are limited food or exercise options nearby, you may find getting up and heading into work a challenging chore.
3. Does the Employer Have Stability and Staying Power?
Before you make a substantial commitment to a new job, evaluate how stable the new employer is. You certainly do not want to make that change only to find your position is being eliminated or the company is shutting down in a year.
This process is different for everyone depending on their willingness to accept some risk in return for the prospects of high growth opportunities. Some people have fewer family obligations and highly transferrable skills and may be willing to accept a higher degree of risk. Someone who is responsible for providing for others and is less willing to restart a job search is likely to place a higher priority on a company’s stability and track record.
4. Will the Employer Promote Your Career Development?
You should always discuss your preferred career path with your recruiter or hiring manager. Evaluate the prospects for advancement within your chosen path with the new employer. Ask questions about how the company hires new personnel–do they promote from within as well as hiring people like yourself from the outside market?
Ask about how the employer provides opportunities for continuing education or training. Find out if they normally support certifications or licensing requirements.
5. How Will the New Job Affect Your Loved Ones and Your Personal Work-Life Balance?
Consider whether your new position will affect your lifestyle significantly. Will you need to move or take on a radically different schedule? You should have open and detailed discussions with your family members or loved ones who might be impacted by a move or a significant change in your existing work-life balance.
If you are not completely sure about any of these factors, you should carefully consider the cost-benefit analysis comparing the prospective new job with your existing position. It may be possible that you can use the new job offer to negotiate better terms with your existing employer.