You’ve put in the time. You’ve done your part. Tweaking resume after resume; editing cover letter after cover letter. And finally, your hard work is paying off – you have a job offer. Woohoo!
But wait just one second…. Just because you got the offer does not mean that you have to, or even should, accept it. You want to make sure that your next job is better than the last, and that you can continue to grow professionally at your new job.
It can be tempting to say yes to the offer right off the bat, but before you accept that job offer, make sure you ask yourself these 6 questions.
1. Have I negotiated my salary?
About half of all people accept the first salary offer that is given to them by an employer. Considering that most employers expect candidates to negotiate their offer, you could really be missing out on a lot of dollars by setting for the first offer they give you. In fact, failing to negotiate your salary can potentially cost you thousands, even millions of dollars throughout the course of your life (Salary.com).
Of course, you must be reasonable and realistic when negotiating your salary. Research the average salary for similar positions in your city to know whether your offer is reasonable. Even then, I personally would still negotiate it.
If you are requesting a pay raise or have been promoted from your current role, you must also be very honest with yourself about your on-the-job performance. Ask yourself: Have I given my best? Is the work I do better, worst, or at the same level as my peers? If I was my manager, would I find reason to give me a raise?
My personal opinion is if a company has a problem investing in high-performing employees, then it’s best you leave anyway because they are likely cheating you in more ways than just money.
2. Do I know what the job entails?
You’ve read the job description, but do you truly know what a day on the job will look like? Will you spend a lot of time on the computer, or working with people? Often times, we get so caught up in the catchy job title that we fail to really evaluate what we will be doing everyday on the job.
3. Do I know what benefits the company offers?
Don’t just think money here. There are plenty of other benefits that a company may have available for you. It’s important to think about the benefits you absolutely want and need, and make sure the new company can provide you with your necessities.
· Health insurance
· Health perks or points
· Discounts at stores, venues, and attractions
· Life insurance
· Sign-on bonus
· 401k with employer match
· Dental, medical, vision
· Paid-time off and sick leave
· Maternity and paternity leave/day care discounts
· Work from home options
· Holiday time off
· Yearly or semi-yearly bonuses
· Profit sharing
· Professional development programs
· Free cell phone, laptop, or car
The list goes on and on…
In fact, this is another part of your job offer that may be worth negotiating. Let’s an employer was unwilling to increase your salary. Instead of receiving a salary increase, you could request additional paid time off or an option to work from home one day of the week instead.
4. Can I see myself growing at this company?
As you grow in your career, your aspirations and career goals may change, and you don’t want to find yourself at a company that will keep you at a plateau financially or professionally.
Even if your goal is not to be a manager, there may still be other positions in the company that could later be of interest to you. You want to make sure that there is opportunity to move in to those positions if or when the time comes.
You also want to be growing in your knowledge and skillset. Is this a company that values professional development? For instance, would they pay for you to attend a conference that would advance your career? You must know how the company approaches employee development (or if they do) and whether it aligns with your goals.
5. Do I understand the company’s values?
Do they value networking and relationship building?
Is there a set time you have to be at work, or is it flexible?
Does the company host events and socials for employees to attend?
Are employees friends with each other, or do they maintain a strict work relationship?
Do they value a work-life balance?
These are things you should ask before accepting a job. If you like the flexibility of being able to work from home, for example, then you may find yourself miserable in a strict, office-only work environment.
6. How likely am I to get a job offer at another company?
Typically when applying for jobs, there may be one or two companies that really strike your eye. It can be difficult if you receive a job offer from a different company before you hear back from your top companies. When this happens, you have to weigh whether the current job offer is worth potentially leaving behind an offer from a different company.
Also, keep in mind that many employers, unless really in a hurry, understand that you may have other job offers out. If you communicate this with them, many employers are willing to give you at least a little time to weigh your options.
I hope your next job is your best job and I wish you all the best in advancing your career. Remember: Know your value and continue to work your way up.