After a long job search process, getting a job offer is an immense victory. All the time you’ve dedicated to the search and all the hard work you’ve put into it has paid off, and your skills have been validated. But as big a relief as a job offer may be, there’s still plenty to think about before giving your final ‘yes’. Accepting a job offer is a big step and while you may think you have gone over all the necessary areas, there may be one or two things you didn’t consider. Before rushing into your next job, think over some of the following points.
The culture of the company.
No doubt you’ve done quite a bit of research into the company during the application process. But while that kind of research is usually more focused on what you can provide the company, you now have to look at it to see if it’s a place you can truly see yourself working. Consider the values and history of the organization. Is there anything about the practice that makes you question things or feel uncomfortable? As much as you might need a job now, you’ll regret it if in a couple of months you find yourself hating where you work.
Professional relationships are key to how one perceives their work. Having a handful of good collaborators in your office makes a big difference, and while good relationships are built over time, you can get an idea of what you’re in store for before taking the job. Consider who you’ll be working for and who you’ll be working with; your boss, your supervisor, the people in your department. Does it seem like a good fit for you? These are the people you’ll be working closely with and relying on for years to come so you should feel good about joining the team.
Hopefully you took advantage of the interview process and asked a few important questions of your own. If not, make sure you understand the expectations for the job before accepting any offers. The job description and discussing the position will give you an idea of what is to be expected of you, but it’s very important to get specific. What goals will there be? What is their definition of success in this position? No matter how much confidence you have in yourself, some employers have unreasonable expectations that no employee can be expected to reach.
Negotiating such things as benefits after a job offer is an awkward experience for some people. Some feel they come off as ungrateful but any reasonable employer fully expects to have these types of conversations. It’s important to understand what you’re entitled to so that you don’t regret it later. Judging by the recent Canadian Business article that showed the majority of Canadians would change jobs for better retirement benefits, the importance of this cannot be overstated.
Any new endeavour has some risk involved, but what makes such a decision smart is by managing that risk. How stable is this company that is offering you a job? Will you have job stability with them or will you be back on the job hunt within a year? These are questions you need to ask yourself and then weigh the risks of the answers.
For some people, a job offer is an escape from a desperate situation. Depending on how long you’ve been looking for work, your financial situation could be getting stressful and you think you have no choice but to accept any offer. But try to put aside what you’d gain from the job and consider what you’ll have to give up. It could be small things like a longer commute to the office, or it could be more substantial like settling for a job outside your field of interest. Weigh these sacrifices and decide what the job is worth.
Where do you want to end up?
Finally, before accepting an offer look beyond the ‘now’ and consider where this job will bring you. Yes, it’s security for the time being but in years to come, is this job bringing you closer to your desired goal or further away? Consider the prospects and opportunities for advancement within the company. Are you willing to stay in this position for a while or is it a stepping stone?