Weighing the pros and cons of a job offer might seem silly when you just need a job, but making sure you have found the right position can mean the difference between a successful career move and one that could set you back.
When you finally have that job offer in hand, take some time to step back and mull it over. There are a few points you should consider – even some potential deal breakers.
1. Does This Job Get You Something You Want?
Is this job going to advance your career in any way? Even if the position is considered a lateral move, will it help you advance your career? Gain new skills? Work with someone you have long admired and respected? If the job isn't going to help you do anything but get out of a job that is holding you back, then it isn't going to help you at all.
2. What About Benefits?
There are benefits that give you real monetary value and benefits that don't come with a dollar amount. A great health plan, dental coverage, and a solid retirement plan translate into real dollars for you. But what about the intangible benefits? Is there some flexibility in shift planning? Are there opportunities for a mentoring relationship to take hold? Does the company encourage professional development? Those invisible benefits can offer essential opportunities.
3. Where Could You Go?
Could this job lead to new places? In this very mobile world, a well-planned new job can bring you closer to a place you have always wanted to live. At the very least, you might have a chance to try out a new city for a while. If travel is something on your to-do list, opportunities for training or working in another place might tip the scales for you.
4. How Valuable Is Your Time?
Can you handle the traffic-jammed 90-minute commute for your dream job or is the 30-minute carefree ride going to make your life easier? A commute can really have an impact on the quality and quantity of your nonworking hours. If a long commute gets you to the job you have always wanted and are happy with, you might lose hours but gain life satisfaction.
5. Do You Know People Who Like Working There?
Do you know current employees who can give you the scoop on the working environment? At the very least, you can get a sense of the company by the little things. Do they have perks for employees? Even a couple of free breakfast seminars or company-wide celebrations can make a difference in morale.
6. What Does Your Gut Tell You?
Do you feel a great sense of accomplishment and excitement about accepting the offer or do you have a nagging voice wondering if you are making the right decision? If you have done all your homework and the offer looks great on paper, you have to have some faith in your heart to make the right decision. If something is bothering you about the offer, clear it up to your satisfaction before you sign the deal.
Julia Quinn-Szcesuil is a freelance writer based in Bolton, Massachusetts.