Job hunting can be a long, stressful process, and it may be tempting to get it over with as soon as you get a job offer. You shouldn’t necessarily jump at the first offer you’re presented with, though. Even if the salary is your primary concern, money isn’t everything. Here are some of the main things you should consider with every job offer, and remember that there are good reasons to decline some offers.
A good compensation package can certainly make a job look attractive, but it’s important to look beyond that to evaluate if you’ll really be a good fit for the job—and vice versa. For example, if you didn’t know much about western apparel, would you really be a sensible candidate choice to sell it? Keep full job descriptions in mind during your application process to save yourself time.
You may be able to land interviews for jobs that aren’t great fits for your experience, but you’ll be unlikely to progress further, and it can be demoralizing in addition to wasting time.
Environment and Culture
It’s also important to remember that job interviews are a two-way street. An interview is an opportunity for you to evaluate a company as much as it is for the interviewer to evaluate you. Just because you have the skills and experience for a job doesn’t mean you’ll be happy at that specific company.
Compare the company’s goals to your own to see if they align. If you don’t believe in the mission, or how it’s meant to be achieved, then you won’t be a good fit. Some companies might place you on a rigorous and structured path when you start, whereas others might allow for a more open-ended approach. Choosing an approach that works for you is critical to your job satisfaction and longevity with a company.
You’ll likely consider the position’s salary the most crucial aspect of your compensation package, but it’s far from the only important one. Benefits including retirement plans, health insurance, vacation days, and sick leave can all be make-or-break factors in your decision.
Not all jobs offer full benefits, so you might have to look for a reasonable medical insurance quote. It could be that you’re fine with this, but you have to consider all your perks or lack thereof. Make sure you’re getting everything you need out of a job before you accept the offer.
Not many people want to stay in the same job for the rest of their lives, and if you have higher career ambitions, you’ll need to think about how you can follow them. If you see advancement opportunities for yourself in a company you’re considering, then you may have just found your new job. If not, you might want to think again.
Learning how much new team members are expected to contribute, how often different departments work together, and how much your potential supervisors invest in employee development are all things you can find out during the interview process.
Keep in mind, though, that you likely won’t see the whole picture. Pay attention to coworkers when you accept a job, and see if they’re being challenged or doing the kind of work you want to do. There’s no shame in looking elsewhere if a new job isn’t suiting your goals.
Most people probably think of numbers when they hear about negotiations, and while it’s perfectly acceptable to negotiate salary if your skills and experience back it up, there are other things you can ask for. Time can be an important one if you’re still working your previous job or considering multiple offers.
Don’t feel pressured to start a new job right away if you’re uncertain. Asking for more time to consider can be the best decision you make, and interviewers/managers should be respectful of your request.
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