Congratulations, all of your preparation and hard work throughout the job application and interview process have paid off and you now have a couple of job offers! You haven’t reached the end quite yet—it feels great to have options, but now you need to determine which position is the best fit for you and your career. This decision will affect you for years, and you don’t want to have any regrets.
Here are 6 key aspects you should consider before accepting an offer. Examine everything carefully so you feel sure the job you choose is the one for you.
Very rarely do people stay with one job or company for their whole career anymore. Therefore, you need to evaluate each position and determine if they will really help get you to where you want to be long-term. Does this company offer training or continuing education opportunities to help you keep learning and becoming more valuable? Look for perks like taking days off to attend conferences, tuition reimbursement programs, and on-site courses. These opportunities show whether or not a company prioritizes professional development.
Are there opportunities to move up at this company, or will you be stuck in the same position for years? Will this position make your resume more credible and you more marketable? Will the day-to-day job responsibilities help you acquire and develop new skills, or at least improve the ones y0u have?
The vibe at work is a factor that will likely affect your job satisfaction daily. Figure out if you would feel comfortable working at the companies you are considering. Every company will be a little different. Which one best fits your personality?
Do they require a suit and tie, business casual, or casual clothing? Are they strict, consistent, and predictable, or are they always making changes and looking for new ideas? What do these companies value? Honesty, creativity, teamwork, or competitiveness? If you strongly disagree with the way a company gets things done, treats people, or handles business, you will find it difficult to care about your work and will be at greater risk of burnout. Choose a job that will be about more than just a paycheck to you.
To get a really good feel for company culture, ask good questions in interviews that will give you further insight and talk to current or former employees if possible. Can you see yourself working in that kind of environment?
You might be offered your dream position, but if the people that surround you in that position are unkind, difficult to work with, or unsupportive, you might hate your job. The opposite is also true—you might dislike your job responsibilities, but if you work with great people, you might still look forward to going to work every day. It’s hard to judge how well you’ll get along with people after only meeting them once or twice, but pay attention to how you were treated in the interview process and how employees seem to treat each other. Are people kind and professional when talking to you? Do they seem supportive of each other? You’ll have to make a judgement call based on first impressions, but trust your gut feeling.
There are a few reasons to take a company’s location into consideration.
Evaluate how the job location will affect your daily routine and decide if you would be happy working there.
Before taking a job, determine if the pay and benefits offered are fair based on the job responsibilities and description. Compare the position to similar ones at comparable companies in the area, and be sure to look at not just pay, but other perks offered as well. Take into consideration potential raises, how soon and frequent raises could/would be, and how it compares to what you make now.
Make sure to consider more than just compensation and collateral benefits to potential jobs. Learn as much as you can about the day-to-day responsibilities and make sure you understand well enough to get a clear picture of what the job would be like. What would be expected of you? What would you be doing with your time? How would you be evaluated? Would you be working mostly alone or in a team? Is this really what you want to be doing for several hours every day?
These 6 things might not be make-or-break it factors when deciding to accept or reject an offer, but they are things that will affect your day-to-day life on the job. Consider and prioritize these concerns according to what is most important to you. Determine what sacrifices you are willing to make and what will help your career and happiness the most. Sometimes you have to take a job that isn’t perfect because it will get you to where you want to be long-term, but other times you have a couple of good long-term options and you can be more picky about the details. Carefully consider each offer and be confident in your decision.