You will have done really well to have received a job offer in this day and age, pat yourself on the back and enjoy the fact that the ball is now in your court. As great as you feel right now, don’t rush in to any emotional decision. My advice is to stay level headed and allow for careful deliberation, especially if you’re sitting pretty at the moment. Give yourself a few nights of good sleep for the old noodle to mull over the pros and cons:
1) Does the offer add up?
Ensure everything in the documents adds up to what you were offered verbally already. Details to look out for are title, department, location, reporting line, work hours, vacation entitlement, salary, benefits, start date and more. Clarify any discrepancies with the HR representative sooner rather than later. I have seen candidates rejecting job offers solely due to the written offer containing wrong information; this is obviously not a great first impression for any candidate.
2) Is the remuneration fair?
How does it benchmark against your peers and your industry? Make sure you are happy with the pay now and find out when the next pay review will be for you, and how realistic it will be to get an increase at that point. The package you start with has to keep you happy until the next pay hike.
3) Is the location going to work for you?
By this I mean both the office layout as well as the physical location of the office. Some people can’t stand an open office landscape, others thrive. Some of us love an hour’s commute in the morning as it gives them some quality alone time. Others think a minute commuting is a minute wasted. You need to visualize what it will be like to travel there and back, day out and day in.
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4) Will you like the people?
Does your new team and boss seem like a happy bunch that will welcome you or will they leave you to your own devices? Is the corporate culture in line with your own values and ideas? If you connect with people, they are likely to have the same feeling for you and they will naturally support you.
5) Do you understand exactly what you will be doing in your new job?
Your work load must be realistic and worth the compensation you get for it. Make sure you understand exactly what the company thinks they will get from you. If you don’t fully know, request a document outlining your tasks and their expectations on you. This will serve as a yardstick against which you can measure your progress in the role (you know your boss will be doing the same). Furthermore, a detailed job specification will help you with future salary reviews as well as prevent your new employer from giving you random tasks that have nothing to do with the job you accepted.
6) What are the career prospects?
Will you be performing this role for the next five years or are you expected to move up a rung on the ladder every year? You may or may not want to move up beyond this position, whatever your plan is you will want to make sure the company has the same plan and that they know of your intentions. If your desire is to be promoted, ask for examples (call it case studies to impress) of other employees that started out in your role and got bumped up.
7) How does it all compare to your current job?
Assuming you do have a job at the moment, what are the odds of you being promoted if you stay? Could you get more money or a home office if you asked your boss?
Review your offer against the points provided in this text and write down the pros and cons. Always think on paper when making a big decision like this. Take your time to picture yourself doing this job every day for the next years. What gut feeling does that leave you with? Whatever it may be – this is your answer to that job offer.
Please tell me now… Did you take the job or not?