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7 Things to Think About Before Accepting a Job Offer

Jul 14 , 2022

Handing out an envelope.

Job searches are stressful, but when you finally get a job offer, you need to decide if it's one worth taking. Before you say "yes" to that new job, here are some things you need to consider.

1. Will the job further your career or meet other goals?

With everything you know about the job, it's important to think about whether it would be a good next step for your career or whether it meets other goals you have. There are times when an equivalent or even a backward step can be appropriate. For the most part, you want each new job to be a step further down the career path. 

You don't want to end up taking a job that will bore you to tears in a month or leave you feeling stifled. You should look for an opportunity that will stretch you or that feels a step or two out of reach. Those are jobs that will make you grow.

2. Will you enjoy most of the tasks and responsibilities?

Almost every job will involve tasks you won't necessarily enjoy doing, but you should enjoy or feel positively about most of them. If much of the job seems tedious or unpleasant on day one, it is only bound to get worse. 

Unless you are in dire need of income and feel forced to take whatever job is offered to keep a roof over your head, you should hold out for a position that seems interesting to you from the beginning. 

3. Are the job's salary and benefits fair? Are they negotiable?

Ideally, you will have a pay raise and/or better benefits when you take a new job. If not, you should consider whether the pay and benefits are fair. You can also try to negotiate for higher pay or more benefits even if you think the salary is satisfactory. You don't want to leave any money or benefits on the table you could get simply by asking. 

Negotiating for a higher salary is tricky. You must be diplomatic. If your attempts to negotiate are rebuffed, you have to consider whether you want to take the job at the originally offered amount. If they can't budge on the salary, sometimes you can negotiate additional benefits like working from home or additional paid time off.

4. Are there red flags?

Red flags can be anything about the job that bothers you or that you foresee becoming a problem. They are as individualized as each candidate. What might be a red flag to you would not be a problem for someone else. 

Think about the interview process and the people you've met so far. Does anyone rub you the wrong way? That is not likely to get better. 

What about your responsibilities? Does anything seem inappropriate or not right for the position? What about the way the job is structured? Does it seem in line with your expectations given your experience so far?

If anything jumps out as a red flag, you can do one of a few things:

  • Carefully consider whether it's a deal-breaker for the job.
  • If so, address your reservations with the interview team or recruiter.
  • Turn down the job if your reservations are serious.

Interview.

5. Is there room for growth?

Another thing to consider is whether the job has room to grow in terms of your skills or career. Will you have opportunities to lead or branch out into different areas? Are there opportunities for advancement? In the absence of room for growth, a job may not be a good long-term prospect for you, though it could be a stopgap if you need to fill in some time.

6. Do you fit into the culture?

It's difficult to feel comfortable when you don't fit into the existing corporate culture. It's a good idea to investigate the culture and evaluate how you'll fit in. While some people have been able to work in a very different culture than the one that represents their beliefs and values, it can become an impediment to others and keep them from being satisfied long term. 

7. Do you have to decide right now?

As you consider all the pros and cons of a particular job offer, it may take time to come to a decision. You may also have several opportunities in the pipeline and need time to get responses from all of them before you make a final decision. Asking for some time to think about an offer could help you in all these ways as you consider the best option.

Most companies will want a decision rather quickly, but in some cases, you may get a a little time to think it over. Ask for all the time you think you'll need, but understand it isn't always possible to get that long.

For help in discovering new opportunities that can make the most of your skills, GDH offers several ways to connect. Join our talent network to be informed of new opportunities to advance your career.