26 Sep Decisions – Decisions… A Few Things to Consider when receiving a Job Offer!
After you have thanked your chosen representative agency or potential employer, take some time to carefully consider the offer before committing to your new job. It is fairly safe to assume that the hiring manager believes you are a good professional and cultural fit – now you need to ensure that the role is the right ‘fit’ for you, particularly if new information has come to light.
Make sure that you and the employer are ‘on the same page’ regarding the basics of the job and what success will look like, by asking yourself:
- Do you have a clear as possible understanding of the work you’ll be doing every day?
- Have you agreed on a job title that accurately describes the work you’ll be doing, fits into the company’s existing structure, and meets your professional goals?
- Don’t get hung up on titles though if the content of the work and actual role are in line with your career path
- How will your success be measured? What are the specific goals and outcomes, and how will you be evaluated?
- What are the business hours, and what schedule will you be expected to work?
- What is the start date, and when does the company need to have your decision?
If you don’t have a job description, ask for a copy, and review all of the expectations and responsibilities. If there are differences between what you discussed in the interview and what you see in the job description, or if you have lingering questions, call your representative agent or the hiring manager to get clarification – who is probably as eager as you are to have you start, and would be happy to answer your questions.
Salary and Benefits
A crucial factor to consider is your salary and benefits package, which is much easier to negotiate before you start the job than it will be down the line.
- Are there other financial considerations you should make—like a longer or more expensive commute?
- Is the salary in line with comparable positions in your area, and does it work for your personal budget? If not, are you able to negotiate?
- What does the benefits package include, and for what benefits are you eligible? When does your eligibility begin?
- Are there other benefits the company offers its employees—things like gym memberships, flexible work hours, tuition reimbursement, or wellness programmes?
If you don’t have a formal offer letter, ask for one, and make sure the salary is in writing. If you have questions about how your salary compares in your field, do some research on sites like Payscale.com, Careers24.com, Mywage.co.za, and LinkedIn, or seek advice from your agent, friends and contacts.
Benefits vary widely from company to company, so you don’t want to assume anything in this area – call your agent or the hiring manager to ask for details of the benefits package or if you have questions.
A supervisor can make or break a position, so if possible do try and meet your future manager and be sure that you’re comfortable with your boss (hopefully, Leader)-to-be.
- What do you think about the people to whom you’ll be reporting? Is your supervisor someone you can learn from, and who can and will help you grow?
- Will you be given the tools and support you need in order to be successful?
The Company and Co-workers
We spend far too much time at work to not be happy there! Also, considering how often you’ll interact with colleagues, it’s important that your new company and team is a great fit for you.
- Are you comfortable with the company culture and working environment?
- Have you met your potential new co-workers? Can you see yourself getting along with them in a professional setting?
- Is this a company that you can believe in and feel excited and passionate about?
If you are unsure, talk to someone you know that is within the company, or has worked there before, about what it’s like. Hopefully your agent represents your interests and will share any information that may be useful for you. If you don’t have any contacts there, do some additional digging to get an idea – Read through the company’s website and social media pages and check on current news articles and reviews (e.g. Glassdoor) – although it is wise to take disgruntled reviews with a grain of salt.
Another insider tip: Look up profiles of the company’s current and past employees on LinkedIn. Do people typically stay for years at a time? If the company has a high staff turnover, that could be telling.
Finally, as excited as you might be about getting a job offer, it’s important not to lose sight of your short- and long-term professional goals.
- Are you genuinely excited about this job—not just about getting an offer?
- Does the position use your talents and skills appropriately?
- Will the role help you advance your professional goals? If it doesn’t, what are you getting out of it?
Take some time to seriously think about what your goals are and how this role fits into them. You should be given a couple of days to consider the offer and take the time to make sure it’s the right fit – as best you can. Taking too long may signal that you are not that keen so make sure you apply for roles that you may actually want to get!
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can accept the position—or not—knowing that you’ve made the most informed decision possible. And remember: No matter how grim the job market may look, you don’t have to take just any position that comes your way. After all, it’s worth finding a job that will truly be a good fit and won’t have you looking again a few months down the line.
Go to: “The Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer” and “It’s All in the Name: How to Ask for a Better Job Title”, to read Angela’s original articles. Other related articles include “How to Tell if a Company’s Culture is Right for You” (Lily Zhang), “5 Red Flags in a Job Interview” (Michelle Yoon), and “Negotiation 101: Expert Advice for Getting What You Want” (Victoria Pynchon) published by themuse.