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Summary: Make sure you ask yourself these questions before accepting a job offer.
When you’re ready to get out of a bad work situation or you’ve been unemployed for some time, it’s easy to jump at the first job offer you receive. Getting a job offer is great news - it means that you’ve made the right impression on a business and that they’ve chosen you over many (even hundreds) of other applicants. While they’ve vetted you and determined that you are the right fit for them, are they and this position the right fit for you?
When you get the exciting news of a job offer, say thank you and then ask for some time to think about the offer. It’s incredibly common, so do not worry that they will take offense. If you feel the need for an explanation, simply say you need to discuss the decision with your family (even if that means your parents). Taking on a new position is a big commitment. Most people, unless their job is just horrible, stay in a position for at least a year to feel it out. That’s a year of your life and you should not take it lightly.
Now that you have a day to a week to decide, you have the opportunity to take a step back and look at the opportunity more rationally. There are many important considerations to be made when accepting a job offer and to help you, here are five questions that will help you make a decision:
Does the company align with your values and goals?
If you’re going to be working for this company and furthering its goals and ambitions, it’s important that those goals align with your own. Would you really want to be spending all your time working for something that you don’t believe in? Probably not. It would likely lead to an unhappy situation on your part and another job search down the line. Research the company if you haven’t already and think about what you’ve learned during the interview process to make this determination.
Are you happy with the salary offer?
There are some situations when moving jobs mean having to take a paycut, especially if you’re moving to a city with a different cost of living or you’re making a career change and have to start out lower on the totem pole. However, you should determine what your absolute cut off is for a salary to meet your needs. In addition, do some market research and determine whether the salary offer is fair based on similar positions in the area. If you feel the offer is too low, try negotiating your way up. If that doesn’t work, you might need to pass up on the opportunity.
Is your boss someone that you can respect and get along with?
Having a difficult relationship with your boss can make life incredibly stressful. If you don’t work well together and rarely see eye to eye, every day will be a battle or full of misunderstandings. While not everyone gets along perfectly, make sure your boss is someone you can respect if you’re going to be working for them and with them. It’s hard to tell 100% in an interview process as everyone puts their best foot forward, but see if you can find any information on their background, hobbies, and social involvement. Combine that information with how you felt during the interview process and make your best judgment call.
Do you like the work environment and your coworkers?
In all likelihood, your interview process involved going into the actual office where you’d be working. What was the vibe there? Did people seem muted with their heads down or was there a more lively interaction? Did people seem passionate about their work? Most people can get a general feeling when you walk around a new environment, so take that intuition into account when thinking about whether you’d fit into the office. In addition, if you met your potential coworkers or if they were involved in the interview process, how did you get along? Just like you need to respect your boss, your coworkers are people you’ll be spending most of your day with so take them into account as well.
Is the commute feasible?
Sure, we all want a job right near our homes but that’s often not the case, especially if you live in a big city. Look into how long it would take you to reach your place of work and return home during rush hour. Would you take public transportation or would you drive? When you think about how much time you’ll be commuting and add that to your time at work, is it feasible for you? Will it leave you enough time to spend with your family, partner or friends? Will it give you enough free time for hobbies? Think about what you’re willing to sacrifice if you end up with a longer than ideal commute.
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