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5 Steps to Evaluate a Job Offer

Wong Shu Lee  

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  November 04, 2022

Congratulations – you got the job! You feel excited, relieved, and proud of yourself. And so you should. Securing a job offer is a significant achievement! 

 

But before you call to accept, you might want to take a moment to pause to re-read the offer letter. 

 

For many of us, a job isn't just a job – it's our career. It's where we spend most of our time and, if we're lucky, it's our passion. So, it makes sense to objectively evaluate any job offers we receive, even if our initial reaction is to reach for the phone and gleefully accept. 

 

Many important things rely on you securing the right job – your happiness, relationships, career prospects and progression, self-confidence, well-being, and health, to name just a few. What if you make the wrong choice? You might get stuck in a job that you don't really want, regretting that you never took the time to consider it properly.

 

Give yourself time to evaluate a job offer objectively and thoroughly, and politely request a minimum of two days to decide whether it's really the job for you. At the same time, remember to be realistic – the offer may not be perfect, and you may have to compromise on certain elements of the job – but your ultimate goal is to progress, and improve on your current position.

 

A good starting point is to evaluate your job offer against these five criteria:

 

Research Your Prospective Employer

 

Your prospective employer has worked hard to assess your suitability for the job. But have you thought about whether it is suitable for you?

 

Take some time to "play detective" before you accept the offer, and investigate whether the organization is the right fit for you. Social media is an excellent source of information, particularly if you want to assess public opinion of the organization. Read comments about the company on social networking sites or check out any current news stories about it. Better still, talk to someone who already works there.

 

Try to gather as much information as you can about the organization's people, reputation, values, working environment, culture, and your potential boss's management style. Could you fit in seamlessly or would it be a culture shock? Would you be proud to say that you work there?

 

Salary

 

Many people see salary as the key factor when they're deciding whether to accept a job offer.

 

But you need to evaluate how much your skills and experience are really worth before you accept the salary that you've been offered. Websites such as vault and glassdoor can give you a good idea of the average salary bands within your industry, position, location, and company. 

 

If the salary offered is significantly higher than what you should receive, you should be extremely careful and do more research on the employer. Job scams are everywhere nowadays. 

 

Benefits and Perks

 

Benefits can make up a substantial chunk of your compensation package so it's worth assessing this part of your contract carefully, as their value is often less obvious than the value of the salary.

 

The salary that you've been offered might be higher than your current one, but if your employer's retirement plan contributions are lower, you could be worse off in the long term. On the flip side, a generous benefits package and retirement plan can make up for a lower salary.

 

Benefits and perks differ from company to company so, if details of your package aren't included in your offer letter, ask to see a full list of the contract terms. Find out what benefits you'll be eligible for (and when), and assess their value for you.

 

Savings and Expenses

 

One of the biggest expenses to consider when evaluating a job offer is your commute. Will your travel costs increase or decrease?

 

If the position isn't flexible, your new job might require you to move house. If this is the case, you'll need to take relocation costs, changes to your property and taxes, and changes to your insurance rates into account. 

 

Sometimes we forget about the hidden costs of a new job offer – a new wardrobe, for example, or insurance cover (if you aren't yet eligible for the company insurance plan). If you're working from home, will the organization provide you with decent equipment?

 

Career Path

 

Getting a new job might be your priority right now, but you still need to think carefully about how it will impact your long-term career prospects.

 

If you accept a job offer on impulse and it doesn't work out, you might end up desperate to leave. Repeat the same mistake again, and you could find that your résumé becomes littered with several short-lived jobs. This could make you look unreliable to potential employers, leading you even further away from your chosen career path.

 

If it's the work itself or the potential career progression on offer that appeals to you – rather than the salary or the benefits – then it's especially important to consider how the job will serve you and bring you closer to achieving your career goals. Ask yourself whether it will challenge you, expose you to new experiences, and enable you to grow.

 

It's wise to take the time to objectively assess a job offer, and whether it really suits you and your long-term career goals. Remember to look beyond the salary, check through the terms of the offer thoroughly, and assess how the job will impact your life beyond work. Also, consider the company's culture and values.

 

Once you've evaluated your job offer thoroughly, you will be in a much better position to judge whether you should take the job, try to negotiate a better deal, or reject the offer completely.

 

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