Work & Career
Don’t Even Think About Accepting That Job Offer Before Reading This
Hunting for a new job takes a whole lot of patience, but don’t let your excitement for a change get the better of you. Here are the ten questions you should ask yourself before resigning.
Do the benefits meet my needs?
Of course, you know the salary, but have you asked about the benefits? Consider your specific needs from saving for retirement or insuring a family and allow those needs to influence your decision. “Make a list of your must-have benefits and compare it to those that are offered,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director of job placement firm Robert Half, advises. “Does the overall compensation package include paid time off? Medical insurance? 401(k)? From there, you can evaluate whether the terms are acceptable.” Of course, simply offering these benefits might not be enough, so make sure you read through all of the details to find out how much health insurance premiums will cost you, what kind of coverage you will have, and how much your company matches retirement contributions.
Is this a competitive job offer?
Don’t accept a job before making sure that the salary you are being offered is in line with what others in your role with your experience are being paid as well. According to Devay Campbell, Career and Professional Development Coach, the key to answering this question is doing your research before saying yes. “You should have solid information about whether or not it is a fair offer,” says Campbell. “You can reach this answer by using sites like LinkedIn, Payscale.com, and Salary.com. Once you complete a profile, you will be given the salary range. If you have a mentor or friend with industry knowledge, ask them what should expect in the area of salary.”
Will I like this job?
Don’t get so caught up in how much a job pays or how it might advance your career that you forget to ask yourself this simple question. If you don’t like your job, what is going to get you out bed and into the office each day? “Find a job that aligns with your strengths, skills, and what you like doing—and that will pay you well,” advises Jessica Sweet, career coach and licensed therapist. “It may take some work to find a job like that, but doing the work to find it is far less painful than going to a job you don’t like every day, year after year.”
Can I add significant value to this company or role?
Most of us think long and hard about how we will benefit from a new job, but it is easy to forget to ask what good you can do for the company offering to hire you. Don’t forget that ultimately, you are performing a service of some kind and you don’t want to set false expectations about what you can accomplish in your new role. “Only accept an offer when you can see how it aligns with your skills and strengths and how you will be able to add value, not just be a warm body,” says Sweet. “If you feel like you’re just filling in a blank in an organization, there’s no way you’ll stand out and you won’t be doing yourself or your career any favors.”
Will this job help me advance on my career path?
Successful people are always thinking several steps ahead before taking their next big step in their career. The immediate benefits of a new job are certainly important, but so is the path this job will lead you on in the future. A little self reflecting is a good way to determine just how beneficial a job may be in the long run, according to Sweet. “Ask yourself, will this next move be good for me in terms of where I’m ultimately trying to go and in terms of what I define as success? You must be strategic in each move you make, so that you can grow in each role and have each new role be a stepping stone that positions you for your subsequent roles.”
What are my nonnegotiables?
What you want from a job is unique to your own life circumstances and dreams for the future, but you may have to decide what matters most to you and what you are willing to compromise. “Have a list of your ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves,’” Campbell advises. “The offer process is a give and take. Hopefully, you will get everything you want and need. Having a list of these items will make it easier for you to arrive at a ‘yes’ and help you when negotiating.”
What will a day in my job look like?
You can’t fully understand if a job is the right fit for you until you know what a typical day at your job will look like. Don’t say yes until you’ve had a run down of each aspect of your new job. “Make sure you understand the job duties and responsibilities of the position you are considering. If you accept a job requiring significant client contact and you are an analytically minded introvert, then you will probably hate the job and be miserable. You’d be surprised how often this mistake happens,” shares Brian Weed, CEO of GradStaff, a national college recruiting firm specializing in entry-level hiring.
How are new employees trained?
Consider how you learn best and what job specific training you will need in order to become proficient in your new role. Make sure your expectations align with how your potential employer trains their new hires. “Every individual learns and retains information differently, so the company’s approach to training will have a significant impact on your ability to find success in the position you’re offered,” says Weed. “Is it classroom-based or is it delivered one-on-one by one person or a team of people? Is it modularized, meaning you will apply what you learn as you go?” Not sure how you learn best? Find out what your learning style is by taking this quiz.
How do current employees feel about their jobs?
Everyone experiences burnout or frustration with their job from time to time, but if your potential colleagues aren’t passionate about their jobs, that should be a big red flag. Check in with the people working at the company you are considering joining to see what they believe you should know before saying yes. “Do the people you interact with during the interview process buy into and exemplify the mission as it’s stated?” asks Weed. “Be cautious about companies where the employees seem disconnected from the mission.”
Will I fit in with the company culture?
“The word ‘culture’ can have a variety of definitions, depending upon who you talk to,” explains Weed. “What you want to determine is whether employees generally share a common perception of the company. Words or terms like entrepreneurial, team-oriented, inspirational, fun, family-friendly, work-life balance, etc. may indicate some shared philosophies that are important to you.” When you’re ready to move on, make sure you do these things on your last day of work.