Before You Sign the Dotted Line
Congratulations! Your countless hours of writing cover letters, sending out resumes, and preparing for interviews have finally paid off. Now that you got a job offer you can just accept it, right? It’s not that simple. There are a few factors to consider before you accept the job – and it’s more than just money.
Continue your research
Researching the company isn’t just limited to the interviewing process. It’s important to find out what the organizational culture is really like, what kind of work ethic is expected of you and the management style of your boss. What you have read and memorized on the “About Us” page won’t suffice. Check out glassdoor.ca and see what former and current employees say about the company. The reviews can give you a rough idea on what to expect.
Does it satisfy your needs?
One of the more obvious things to consider is if the job will satisfy your financial needs. Take into account all the expenses you can expect while working there. If you’re unclear on some of the expenses, be sure to check out the Budgeting Breakdown page. You will also need to be aware of the benefits the company is offering such as health and dental insurance, retirement plans, vacation and sick days or parental leave. When you are assessing a job offer you might want to think about the total compensation rather than just the salary. It may actually be better (and more cost effective) to take a lower paying job with benefits than one that does not offer such extras.
It would be wise to think long term as well. Aside from the compensation and benefits, you need to consider the skills you will be learning and the abilities you will refine. Ask yourself if the job will strengthen your career as a whole? Be mindful of the career paths that can open up for you.
That covers some of the more tangible benefits but what about the intangibles? This can be in the form of happiness, motivation, or job fulfillment. This part often gets overlooked when money becomes the motivational factor of getting a job.. However, it is important to consider all of these characteristics. Does the company effectively utilize your knowledge, skills and abilities? Will you find meaning in the work you will be doing?
Consider other potential job offers
You may be in a situation where you get multiple job offers from different companies. Regardless if it’s your first choice or not, you should put some thought into it. Thank the employers and let them know you would like a bit of time to think about it. Look at how the jobs stack up against one another and see how well they satisfy your needs. If the companies are in the same industry, you might be able to negotiate some of the benefits. Don’t push your luck though! Just be reasonable.
Alternatively, you might be in a situation where you do not think another offer may be coming. If it’s not your ideal choice, should you just take it and continue looking for another opportunity? Unless you urgently need it, it would be wise to turn down the offer and keep looking. If you only intend to stay for a few months until you find your perfect job, you’re not doing yourself or the organization any favours. It may not bode well for your reputation in the industry and can have a detrimental impact on your professional network.
Now that you have thoroughly evaluated your job offer, it’s time to make a decision. After successfully conducting your research, identifying all your needs and considering all your other offers you should have a pretty clear answer on what to do. If you need more assistance, don’t hesitate to visit the Alumni Career Services page