The hiring manager phones and tells you the job is yours. Wow. That’s exciting and always good for the ego, but what now? Do you accept or run for the hills?

A new job offer can be an exciting time and too often job seekers rush into accepting an offer before having thought things through properly, and ensured that it is going to be the right job for them, and that they are adequately prepared for what will be a life changing event.

In a bad economy job seekers can be inclined to rush into and accept any job offer, out of fear that nothing better will come along. In a tough market it is so easy to overvalue an offer, and ignore warning signs that it may just not be the right fit for you.  It is so important, to evaluate any job offer very carefully before agreeing to anything.

There are a couple of things that you need to consider before signing on the dotted line, to ensure that you make the right decision for your career long term. It is really important not to rush into accepting a new job offer, and if you are not sure whether you should be accepting the offer, or walking away, rather ask for more time to consider the job offer before making a final decision.

Accepting a job that you are not sure about can be disastrous as you will either have to decline the role after having accepted it, which is not ethical and embarrassing, or start the job and then decide you are unhappy and have to resign not long after, or stay in a job that you are unhappy in.

Firstly it is very important that you have done your homework in terms of salary and that you have negotiated a salary that is fair for what the job involves and ensure that you are not underselling yourself. You need to consider not only your take home salary but the entire compensation package i.e. salary, benefits and any perks. Also factors such as health insurance, retirement plans, vacation and sick leave etc. need to be carefully looked into before committing yourself to a new job.

Ensure that you understand all aspects of your compensation package and don’t be afraid to ask if you are not sure. In the giddy excitement of getting a job offer, it’s easy to gloss over what can be slightly confusing details and think you will figure it all out once you start the job. Rather ensure it is all clear and you understand exactly what you are signing up for first, and avoid being in for a rude awakening further down the line.

Whilst salary is very important as you have to be able to pay your bills every month, it is very important not to let the salary be the only deciding factor in terms of whether you accept an offer or not. Remember that enjoying the job, liking the people and the environment and having a good feel about the company are all very important factors. We spend such a significant time of our lives at work that is so important to ensure that you are working in an environment where you are going to be happy.

What is vital to consider as well is whether or not the job is going to be a good fit for you, that you are going to find it stimulating and that you are going to enjoy it, as well as if it is going to adequately challenge you, and provide for  long term career advancement.

Think about the company as a whole and whether or not you are going to be happy working for it. Do your homework on the company, dig around for as much information as you can find around the company, the culture and the people you are going to be working with. Also what is very important to consider is the companies financial situation and its future prospects.

So always take a step back and think very carefully about any offer you get, weigh up the pros and cons and avoid signing yourself into something you may live to regret.


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