Whether you’re looking for a career change or you’re just looking for a career, it can be easy to jump with joy and excitement and take the job you’ve been offered. You applied for it, people might think it’s reasonable you’re ready to get into it straight away. But the process leading up to that offer is an experience that informs the applicant, not just the employer. So, before you say yes, it’s worth taking the time to review what you’ve learned to make sure it’s the right decision.
Does it fit your life?
This is the most important question. No matter what you want to do, you have to make sure you can find some measure of work-life balance in there. Is there enough flexibility to allow you to be a mother, for instance? Is it the next step in part of a career plan you have going? The answer to this question might be given or supplemented by some of the others we’re going to look at, but it should be the central theme running through your mind when you’re making the final decision. Remember, if you got an offer for a job you want but not at an employer that fit your overall life plans and responsibilities, you have proof positive you’ll be able to get the offer that does in future.
How were you treated during the process?
Respecting your employer and the people you work with is important. If you don’t, you’ll hate where you work and you’ll probably some measure of the same in response. That can create a truly toxic employment experience. A good guess at whether you’ve got a boss worth respective is to look at how you’ve been treated during the recruitment process. Were they engaged during the interview? Did they make sure there were few or no delays or at least give you plenty of warning if there were? If they didn’t even manage to greet you politely, you can rest assured they’re not going to be much nicer when they have authority over you.
That same look back at how you were treated can apply to the work culture at large, as well. Company culture is becoming a term that’s better defined by the day, but mostly you get to really know it when you’re actually in the job. However, there are ways to get the skinny before you accept the offer, as well. You can look at the company’s annual reports if they’re public, first of all. How much do they focus on profit as opposed to employee performance? Are there any measurements of employee satisfaction, communication, and so forth? Take the opportunity of the job offer to ask a few questions of your own if you didn’t during the interview, too. Ask about dress codes, about reporting to superiors, or about how risk-taking is rewarded. These subtle questions can help you find out how strict, how relaxed, how organized the company is and more.
Never ask about money before you’ve been offered the job. That’s rule number one. Also be aware of how much flexibility a job offers in its rates of pay. If the company is entirely rigid on them and states that upfront, then know you won’t have any wiggle room. Otherwise, however, do your research. There are sites that offer average wages and salaries based on similar roles at that company and others. Don’t be afraid of starting salary negotiations at the top of the bracket, either. Your employer will know that you’re probably not going to get that, but you give yourself more room to negotiate.
But not just salary
Money isn’t everything. Benefits can be worth their weight in gold. But it’s not just about what benefits you can wring out of your employer; it’s also about how the employer presents them. Looking at the Belk employee benefits, it’s easy to see that several examples are listed up front and given a priority on the website. That’s a good sign that an employee takes the role of benefits very importantly. If you have to eke out a benefit during negotiations and it’s as hard as pulling teeth, then it’s a sign that the employer probably isn’t too interested in the advantages they can offer you as a person. That’s not a good sign of employee respect.
Where’s the progression?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving into a position that’s the exact same as what you did before or even if you’re taking a step back to make a lateral move to a position that’s technically beneath past work. If it has any progression to it, it has worth. In particular, you want to look at new skills and new qualifications you might be able to learn at your next employer. Upward mobility is the name of the game. If all you’re getting from it is pay and you’re not getting on the next rung of the ladder of personal development, it’s fair to consider it a waste of time.
How’s the employer doing?
The fact an employer is hiring isn’t enough evidence to suggest that they’re doing well. In fact, if they have a terrible retention rate with their staff, it could be evidence of the exact opposite. Research the company through the Better Business Bureau, any press appearances, and even online sites that take reviews from past employees. You can also find people that work for other businesses they’re partnered with and see if you can get good references for them. How well a job pays and how good the role sounds won’t matter all that much if the job isn’t going to be there in a couple years because the company won’t be there in a couple years.
Hopefully, the answers to all of the above are positive. If they are, then what are you waiting for? Few jobs can offer you all the answers you’re looking for. Those that can are like finding a diamond in today’s job market.