by Brad McNally, Head Editor, INALJ Ohio
3 Things to Consider after Receiving a Job Offer
For those that are unemployed and looking for a job in information sciences (or any field), the answer to that question might be “accept as soon as possible.” For those that are currently employed and looking, the answer may be much more complicated. Even if you are in panic mode and need the job, there are a few things you should consider before giving an answer.
Is the fit right?
Unfortunately, many people forget that while you are interviewing for a position you also need to be evaluating the prospective company. Many times, candidates jump into a position and feel confident only to find out that they don’t fit well with the environment or that the position isn’t quite what they had in mind when they accepted. Ask questions during the interview process, of course, but when an offer comes, ask more if you think it is necessary. If possible, talk to other staff at the new company, get a feel for their thoughts. Check sites like glassdoor.com or careerbliss.com for reviews of the company from former employees. Any information you can gather is important, but remember to take some of it with a grain of salt (sometimes former employees may exaggerate, and web reputation management could build a positive image around a negative company).
Is the full package worth it?
The salary might be exactly what you expected, but what about the benefits? Is there an adequate amount of vacation/sick leave available? Although an offer is exciting, be sure to consider the entire package of the offer, not just the dollar value stated aloud. This is another time to ask questions. Find out how much the employer share of benefits costs them, for example. Two similar positions may be close in salary, but if one employer will pick up 90% of your benefit costs, and the other only 20%, you still have a bit to think about. Everyone has a different situation. Some job seekers need to worry more about health benefits than salary. Some have that covered by a spouse’s employment and won’t consider it a factor. Evaluate the offer based on your needs, and by all means, negotiate.
Will they give you time?
Accepting any position is a major decision. You may want time to think it over, and that should be understandable. If an offer is made, you can ask for time to think it over and make a decision. While it is important to give them a decision in a timely manner, they should understand if you want a few days to think about it. If they push you to accept quickly, there may be a reason. It could be perfectly legitimate, but don’t commit until you are sure you want to be there.
It is hard to slow down and think logically during the job search process. Often the excitement of an offer is enough to cause you to hurry the process along. If you are in a situation where any job is better than where you are, such as someone who is unemployed and needs to get back to work as soon as they can, perhaps you can bend a little on what you accept. Remember, once they have made an offer, the ball is in your court. Handle it carefully.