When you’re considering a job offer, it’s important to take the time to evaluate it carefully. There’s more to think about than just how much you are going to be paid. Salary is, of course, important, and it could be the deciding factor in accepting an offer, but other parts of a compensation package should also be considered.
It’s essential to know what a good job offer should include because the last thing you want to do is make a hasty decision that you will regret later on.
Here are things you should consider before making a leap, including what to look for when evaluating a job offer, and when it can make sense to turn one down.
Many people see salary as the key factor when they’re deciding whether to accept a job offer. It is indeed an important factor, but it’s not the only consideration. Make sure to evaluate how much your experience and skills are really worth before you accept the salary that you have been offered.
Also, think ahead and consider your future prospects. The salary might be suitable for now but, without guaranteed annual increases, your income could diminish over time. If you’ve been offered a commission-based salary, are the bonus structures rational? Ask your prospective employer how often people reach their targets, or whether there are any clauses relating to the bonus structure.
Benefits and Perks
In addition to salary, review the benefits and perks offered. Benefits can make up a significant chunk of your compensation package so it’s worth assessing this part of your contract thoroughly. If you’re not sure about the benefits that are offered, ask for additional information or clarification.
Find out details on health and life insurance coverage, sick time, vacation, disability, and other benefit programs, such as retirement plans. The salary that you’ve been offered might be higher than your current one but, if your future employer’s retirement plan contributions are lower, you could be worse off in the long term. Inquire about how much of the benefit costs are provided by the company, and how much you are expected to contribute. If there are many options available, request copies of the plan descriptions so you can compare benefits packages.
Hours and Travel
Before accepting a job offer, be sure that you are clear on the hours and schedule you need to work. Also, confirm if any travel is involved.
If the position requires more than the hours you’re used to working in a week, consider whether you will have difficulty committing to the schedule. If the nature of the job requires that you will need to be on the road on some days, be sure that you can commit to that, as well.
Travel expenses should also be considered when evaluating a job offer. Will your travel costs increase or decrease? Is the commute going to take an extra hour or will there be parking fees you’re not paying now?
Your new job might also require you to move. If this is the case, you’ll need to take consider relocation costs, changes to your property and state taxes, and changes to your insurance rates into account.
Getting a new job might be your priority right now, but you still need to think carefully about how it will impact your long-term career objectives. If you accept a job offer without considering your future plans, and it doesn’t work out, you might end up desperate to leave. This could make you look unreliable to potential employers.
Also, consider how the job will serve you and bring you closer to achieving your career goals. Ask yourself these questions:
- Will it challenge me?
- Will it expose me to new experiences
- Will it enable me to grow?
Your Values and Inner Voice
What qualities are important to you in a prospective employer? Do your values align with the company’s? Take some time to think about your personal values and those of the organization.
Listen to your inner voice when evaluating a job offer. Our instincts are usually right, even if we can’t come up with a rational explanation for them. Does your gut tell you to move forward with the company? Do you feel ready to show up bright and early once you start, or do you have a weird sense that this may not be the right job for you?
Whether you’re considering an offer for a medical job, legal job, accounting job, or healthcare job, it’s important to give yourself time to evaluate it objectively and thoroughly. Politely request a minimum of two days to decide whether it’s really the job for you. At the same time, remember to be realistic. Job offers may not be perfect, and you may have to compromise on certain elements, but your ultimate goal is to progress and improve on your current position.