The ups and downs of today’s economy can be reflected in the job market. In some cases, many people feel pressured about obtaining a position that brings in enough money to pay the rent or buy groceries. But, before you rush to say “yes,” there are a couple things one must consider. After all you wouldn’t want to work for a company where you hate what you do everyday just to make buck.
1. Do you like it?
First, and foremost, do you like the position for which you interviewed and now received an offer and do you like the employer? A mentor of mine once gave me very good advice, which I share whenever I can when I work with people who are considering changing jobs/careers, “Since you have to work, you might as well like what you do!” Accordingly, if you’ve received a job offer, and you don’t like the job or the company, stay away!! Conversely, if you like the company and the job, that can go a long way in helping you make your decision – that gut instinct can help you intuit where you should be. If you feel positively, likely, it is the correct choice!
2. Does the offer make sense?
Do not let the excitement of a job offer take over; make sure that the offer makes sense. Read and truly learn what the job contract states and make sure it mirrors what the interviewer told you. Ask questions if you are confused and do not be afraid to ask for specific clarification. After all, you are committing to this job for a while; you want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
3. Do you understand what you will be doing?
Just like reviewing the job contract, you need to make sure you understand the job description and what will be required from you. Late hours, data entry, making endless copies, all not favorites when it comes to daily tasks but usually a requirement for many positions. Make sure you understand what you will be required to achieve and accomplish successfully and most important of all make sure you have the skills and motivation to complete the tasks you will be assigned.
4. Location, location, location!
This factor is truly a very important one to consider when accepting a job. How far away is the office? How much gas will you spend a week? How long is the commute? Remember you will be trekking to work on a daily basis make sure the trip is not a dreaded one.
5. Company culture. Do you “fit” in? Feel the vibe?
Company culture has become a very popular job factor to consider when applying to a job and much more when receiving a job offer from a certain organization. Some companies prefer the more professional take; suit and tie, coffee in the kitchen while others are trying to change things up; free beer Fridays or free gym memberships to name a few current perks. Whichever you may prefer, picking the appropriate work environment for you is important to consider. A culture is formed by the people that work there, the values the management instills in its employees, is it something you can see yourself being a part of? Much more importantly, is it an environment where you see yourself succeeding in?
6. Can you grow?
The idea of career and professional development is a factor that has become a priority for many current job seekers. Job applicants are looking for a place with room to grow and advance their skills and experiences up the career ladder. Ask questions about the timeline regarding the position you are applying for. Are there numbers you have to meet in order to move up? Does it usually take a year? Two years? Make sure you understand what the future holds for you at that company. Does it have a future? It is about starting from the bottom and going up but make sure that moving on up is actually a possibility.
7. Money, money, money
Salary is truly a make or break it factor. You need to make sure that the salary you receive will be able to cover all your necessities; rent, utilities, groceries, all key needs. Does this position allow you to continue living the lifestyle you wish to have? Will you have to make some sacrifices? Is there room to negotiate? Remember, you are accepting this new position in effort to move up and learn more but also to make sure you can pay your bills on time.
8. Flat vs. hierarchical?
As previously stated companies vary greatly when it comes to the type of people that work there and how they interact. Some companies are flat, more “open-door” policy; people are more free and comfortable speaking to executives from all levels in the corporation. Other companies are more hierarchical, the CEOs are harder to contact and speak to, you may work there for three years and never have a one-on-one conversation with the head of the company. Make sure you are okay with the structure of the company and the manner of communication between different levels.
9. Company history
What is the word on the block about the company you may work for? Do research. Ask people. You are about to commit to become a member of this working community so you may want to learn a little more about what their values are, what they are known for? Make sure you values match up to theirs since you will become a representative of the organization so make sure you know what you are about to become a part of.
10. Community outreach
This can be a very important concept regarding a job. Many applicants strive to look for a company that is more than money-hungry, a company that takes time to look out for its community. Are the employees allowed to take time to give back to their community? Do they have a positive impact? Once again you are joining this team, is it one you are proud of?
11. Continuing Education
After many years of working from 9-5, many employees want to increase their skills and go back to hitting the books. Does the organization provide any assistance in regards to going back to school? Maybe they pay for some of the tuition or are more flexible in one’s work schedule. Make sure you are informed about the opportunities regarding going back to school if that is something you could potentially want to accomplish.
Many think that obtaining a job offer is the hardest part of the job search but truly reflecting and contemplating if the company is the correct fit for all your needs may be an even harder decision.
Lexacount Search is grateful for Daphne Benzaquen’s hard work and research assistance. This posting would not have been possible without her exploration of this topic area.