So you got a job offer — congratulations! Now the question is, are you going to accept?
In today’s market, many candidates are fielding multiple offers. As a job seeker, this is an exciting position to be in, but figuring out which job to accept can be challenging.
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer. Are there multiple offers on the table? Is it checking all the boxes? Sometimes the decision can feel overwhelming, so here are a few things to take into consideration.
This is an obvious one. Is the compensation package exciting to you? Does it meet your bottom line? While compensation is definitely not the only factor to consider when accepting a job, odds are it will factor heavily into your decision. In certain positions, there may also be a performance-based incentive that would elevate your base salary. Before embarking on your job hunt, you should always take stock of your expenses and cost of living in order to determine your bottom line. Plus, it’s crucial to understand the worth of your years of experience, the industry you’re in, and more. For a comprehensive guide of salary benchmarks in every industry, download our Market Trend Report to see if your salary expectations are within reach.
If you’re working with a recruiter, it will help with the negotiations. We understand the ins and outs of the hiring market, which salary benchmarks are relevant to you, and the hiring company’s budget for the role. Recruiters can act as strategic advisors and will advocate on your behalf to your potential future employer.
Evaluating a benefits package can be complicated. You may expect certain things to be included, but it takes some digging to understand the monetary value of the total package. If you’re comparing two job offers, you may want to ask: do both contribute equally to a retirement account? Do they both cover an equal percentage of employer-sponsored healthcare? You can assign a concrete value to perks like gym memberships, home office/internet stipends, or subsidized child care – but other perks may be trickier to calculate. For example, how much is schedule flexibility worth to you? Taking the full benefits package into consideration is important – and remember, these may be negotiable!
3. Company Culture
First, you should decide what your ideal company culture looks like. Do you value collaboration, or do you prefer autonomy? Do you want to work for a company with specific hourly expectations, or do you want to be a part of an all-hands-on-deck team? Some people look for a job where they can clock out at 6:00 PM and put work out of mind for the evening. Others are willing to put more hours in now, anticipating the payoff of performance-based incentives later. This may be the difference between working at a startup or working for a more established company. There also tend to be differences depending on industry and of course, position and level of seniority. However, what you need from your company culture all comes down to individual preference.
If you’re unsure what the company culture looks like, it’s important to ask probing questions in the interview and to talk to your potential coworkers. Some questions might include:
- Are team members encouraged to work until the job is done, or to clock out at the same time every day?
- What is your favorite part about working on this team?
- What does the brainstorming process look like for new initiatives?
4. Growth Potential
Accepting a job with room for growth is a huge factor for many job seekers, and there’s a lot to consider in this category. Let’s say you’re offered a job that’s not exactly your dream come true, but there’s potential to turn it into exactly what you want. Maybe you love the company and just want to get your foot in the door. If the job title is the only thing holding you back, ask about the growth potential. Look at current employee’s LinkedIn profiles to see how they have advanced, and how quickly. This may be a good indicator that the company prefers to promote from within.
Another scenario to consider is overall career growth. Maybe this position offers you on-the-job training that will bring you one step closer to your dream job. Maybe accepting this job offer will make you more marketable and qualified for your eventual dream job. Too often job seekers turn down opportunities because they are worried about settling. Some would argue: take the job. Learn from it. Know that it will make your resume more impressive the next time you search. This is especially true for early-career professionals. For example, if you eventually want to work in tech, but you only have financial experience so far, apply for entry-level opportunities in FinTech to bridge the gap in your experience.
5. The People
There’s nothing better than working with people you like. These are the people you will spend upwards of 40 hours a week with, and if you enjoy the time spent it can make a huge difference in overall job happiness. How comfortable did you feel interacting with them during the interview process? Did they seem distracted during the interview, or invested in getting to know you both professionally and personally? This may be a sign of things to come and reflect how you will be treated once you get the job.
If you didn’t connect with the team right away, that’s okay too! The interview process can be brief, and it’s sometimes difficult to get a full picture. Or, you may have been interacting with a hiring manager who won’t have much day-to-day interaction with you on the job. You can check the company’s social media platforms and see what their employee engagement is like, or if the company frequently shares photos of company events. This will help give you a sense of the people, how they interact, and what the social atmosphere is like.
6. Your Intuition
At the end of the day, that special gut feeling you get will tell you a lot. Sometimes trusting your intuition is the best course of action. You can ask everyone you know for advice, but choosing whether or not to accept a job offer is a very personal decision. Things like compensation, benefits, and company culture are important, but the move also has to make the most sense for you.