JOB SEARCH / OCT. 24, 2014
version 6, draft 6

How to Evaluate a Job Offer

job offer

Evaluating a job offer must be a decision that is made with careful consideration. Rushing into making a decision is a recipe for disaster because it is quite possible you’ll regret the choice you made. There are various ingredients that go in to making a job offer highly beneficial—excellent salary, great benefits, good hours, positive workplace atmosphere and personal considerations. This article will discuss these factors and assist job seekers in learning a good process on how to evaluate a job offer.

See Also: How to Align Employee Development and Growth

1. Financial Compensation

Before you began your job search, you should have already ascertained your desired salary. Knowing the specific financial compensation that you need for your personal budget will help you identify which jobs are viable options. Monetary compensation shouldn’t be your only deciding factor. However, it is listed first because it is an important one. You will not always be offered the specific salary that you are looking for. Since that is the case, it is vital that you learn to be flexible within a certain salary range. There will be some offers that are too low that you cannot accept for personal budgetary reasons as well as professional self-worth. When you have a salary range in mind, you then know that you can go a bit lower than your expected rate. The best case scenario is that you receive an offer that is what you expected or even higher.

2. Benefits Package

A great benefits package is a highly sought after commodity; especially in today’s current employment climate. Your benefits package can include: health insurance, life insurance, vacation, personal and sick days, disability and 401K plans. When you are meeting with your employer or the HR manager to discuss the job offer, be sure to get clarification on the types of benefits offered. You need to ascertain what portion of benefits the employer covers and what percentage you will be required to contribute from your paycheck. Some companies offer various types of benefits packages which employees can choose from. Do your due diligence and ask for detailed information on each of these packages before making a decision on which one you’d like to opt for.   

3. Working Hours

In addition to the salary and benefits you will receive, you need to get clarification on the expected working hours. If you are offered a salaried position, ask about whether comp time is given for overtime hours worked. If you are offered an hourly position, get clarification on whether or not you will receive time-and-a-half for overtime work. Some jobs require travel and you need to ascertain whether the required amount would fit in with your personal commitments. Before you accept the job, it is vital that you completely comprehend the amount of hours required of you. If the job requires you to work more than 45 hours a week and you have never worked more than 40, take the time to think about your limitations and whether or not you can handle the additional hours. This third factor is where you will also take into consideration your commute to work and whether or not the travel costs are feasible within your prospective salary.

4. Workplace Atmosphere

In addition to salary, benefits and hours, it is important to also consider how well you will fit into the workplace culture. Ascertain what type of workplace atmosphere you will be immersed in. For example, is the atmosphere more flexible or rigid and professional? What type of work environment have you been used to working in? Are you ready to make a change in that working environment or do you need the same type of structure? These are the types of questions that you must ask yourself when deciding whether or not to accept the job offer. If you have children, you may appreciate a more flexible workplace environment where management is family friendly. In order to thrive in the workplace, you must be comfortable with the workplace environment.

5. Personal Considerations

We all have our own individual set of personal circumstances and those factors need to be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer. Your reasons for accepting a job will be different than someone else’s reasons. You may think the salary is not great for your current financial situation; whereas, that same salary, may work well for another applicant. The basic point is to correctly assess your own personal situation before actually applying for a job and then carry that assessment into your evaluation of the specific job offer. Intuition can play a key role in your decision making process. However, you should balance that intuitive analysis with a review of the facts as well as the benefits and disadvantages of accepting the job offer.

See Also: How to Develop Strength as an Employee

Be sure that you are making the right decision before you accept or decline the offer. If you accept the offer and later realize you made a mistake, it will be more difficult to quit the position than if you had declined in the first place. Considering the five factors listed in this article will help you to make a more informed decision on whether or not to accept a job offer.

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