When financial times are challenging, it’s easy to settle for any job you can get. However, it’s wise to be very thoughtful about accepting a job offer can change the course of your life. You may have to move to a new city that’s more expensive and adapt new coworkers and a new work space. A hasty decision can be harmful to your finances, career, and your happiness at home.
Ask yourself these very important questions before accepting any job offer:
1. Will I be happy here?
This can be a gut-level decision. Some companies just “feel right” for some a reason you might not “know” right away. Other situations feel wrong. Ask yourself if the culture of the company is a good match for your personality and needs.
2. Where is the company headed?
Companies going through bankruptcy proceedings still need someone to answer the phone and turn off the lights. Educate yourself on the past performance and future projections for the company. Is the industry growing or slowly dying? What are the prospects for growth over the next 10-20 years?
3. Is the pay being offered fair for the job description and compared to my abilities?
This is an important factor for all job seekers because while money isn’t everything, it’s the primary reason we work.
● Most jobs pay fairly, but this is not always true. Know what your skills are worth in the marketplace and what level of pay goes along with that. Is the offer in line with the industry in your area? Will the salary pay all your bills?
4. Do I have room to grow from this position?
Small companies or certain departments can have limited opportunities for growth. This might not be a big deal if you’re in a position to change companies every 2-3 years to move up. It might not be as feasible, however, if you have school-age children and your household needs more stability.
5. Are the benefits adequate?
Don’t only consider the salary. How much is your portion of the medical insurance? How good is the coverage for not only you but your family? Are the investment options in the 401(k) program attractive? Is there an employer match? How much vacation will you have? How long will it take to earn more? Consider all of the benefits before signing up.
6. Who will be my direct superior?
A new job can be great, but a bad boss can make your work life miserable. The best managers give clear direction and foster growth in their employees. Ensure that you will be an effective employee under your new boss.
7. Will I like my coworkers?
Business is all about relationships and there are almost no jobs that don’t require interacting with at least a few coworkers on a daily basis. Ask to meet with the people that you’d be working with. Do they seem like friendly, helpful people? Do you have interests in common outside of work? You’ll be spending most of your time with them for 40 hours every week so you need something to talk about.
8. Will I enjoy living in the area?
$50,000 is enough to live very comfortably in rural Iowa, but you would be struggling just to pay rent in Southern California. Does the climate agree with you? Is there enough for your family to do? If you’re a city person, living in the sticks might be tough.
Getting a new job offer is an exciting event. Few things can change your life more. Consider all factors, proceed cautiously and focus on more than just the salary.