Important factors to consider when evaluating a job offer

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of competing for a job, nailing the interview, and nabbing a job offer to boost your ego and reaffirm your professional value.  It’s all too easy to jump at the opportunity without stopping to consider whether or not the offer is right.  Alternately, you might hear a lowball salary and say no without even trying to negotiate or considering the value of other benefits.

The point is, you needn’t be hasty.  When a job offer is made, you need to take the time to carefully mull it over, present a counter-offer if you’re not satisfied, and then choose whether or not it’s the right fit for you.  Here are just a few important factors to consider when evaluating a job offer.

Salary

The best way to evaluate a salary offer is to understand whether or not it’s fair.  You can search online to find industry standards for median salary ranges related to your position, but keep in mind that a number of factors could affect an offer, including the region, the size of the company, and your education and experience.

In addition, most companies will try to start you at the low end of the pay scale.  They want to save as much money as possible.  It’s up to you to decide if the offer is fair, and if not, what you expect to be paid.  Never dismiss an offer out of hand because it is too low.  If you want the job, be willing to negotiate for a fair salary.

Benefits

Some companies simply don’t have the ability to offer competitive salaries, but they can sweeten the deal by throwing in a variety of benefits.  Health insurance is pretty standard these days, and many businesses also offer 401K plans with matching (often 3-6% of annual salary), stock options, opportunities for bonuses, and paid vacation and sick time.

You can also try to negotiate for extras like remote work options, especially if you have a long commute, or flexible hours if you have children or you simply want to take 3-day weekends, for example.  It’s never good to look greedy, but you should definitely negotiate for a deal that keeps you and your employers happy.

Opportunities for Advancement

This is a biggie.  You should always consider a less than desirable job offer if there’s ample opportunity for advancement within a company.  There’s nothing wrong with paying your dues now to get ahead down the line.

Ask your future employers to provide their perspectives on opportunities to grow and how they will evaluate your performance.  It’s smart to know the time frame for performance appraisals and reviews before you join the company.

Prestige

Finally, consider the prestige of the company.  You might be willing to compromise on your title in the short-term at a prestigious company  just to put the name and the experience on your resume.

If the opportunity represents a move forward for you and your career and you like the culture, receiving an offer can be thrilling, just make sure to consider everything before you commit.

 

Post by Sarah Harris

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