Congratulations, you’ve received a job offer! But, now what? Do you accept…decline…negotiate? Well, that depends. Here are three key questions you should ask yourself before accepting an offer of employment:
1. Are the salary and benefits competitive with similar positions in your area?
If you aren’t sure, research your salary on sites like salary.com and payscale.com and find out where your offer falls. Be sure to enter as much information as possible about job duties, your experience, the company size, region, and more, to get the most accurate results. Remember, this should only be used as a guideline.
Next, carefully review their proposed benefits package. If this has not been explained to you, ask them to send you an overview of their benefits. If it isn’t clear, be sure to ask when you become eligible for them. The additional cost savings, or expenses, you may incur will give you a better picture of the true value of the offer being made.
In addition to standard benefits such as PTO and health insurance, other considerations may include commute, dress code, flexible schedule/work options, performance-based incentives and bonuses, opportunity for advancement, and “extras” like tuition reimbursement, gym memberships, discounts for good/services, or on-site daycare options.
Depending on what’s most important to you, robust health insurance benefits or flexible work options may be of more personal value than a higher salary without these benefits.
2. Are you comfortable with the company culture and would you be proud to work for this organization?
Hopefully, you asked some good questions during the interview process to get a better idea of what working for the company will really be like. If not, now’s the time to tap your investigative skills and get resourceful.
Talk with friends or family who may have first-hand knowledge about the company. Explore your LinkedIn network for connections to current employees, and ask: “I’m a prospective employee for your company. Would you be willing to share a little about what it’s like to work there?” Don’t overdo it though. One or two inquiries is fine, but refrain from sending messages to multiple employees.
Another great way to use LinkedIn: research current and former employee profiles (especially in similar roles to yours) paying special attention to tenure and career progression. Other online research could include exploring the company’s Facebook page, and checking out their reviews on Glassdoor.com.
3. Does this position put my talents to good use, or help me reach my professional goals?
This one is all you. Only you can answer this question, and it’s a tough one if you really need a job fast. The reality is that when there are bills to be paid, sometimes your personal goal of needing to pay them is enough incentive to answer this question with a resounding yes.
However, if you are able, take some time to think about how this opportunity fits with your unique talent and future goals. And don’t be afraid to ask for a few days to consider the offer before making a final decision.