7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Accepting A Job | The Financial Diet
How to Consider a Job Offer
Deciding whether to take a job offer or not can be really stressful. If you are considering taking a job, there are many things you must factor into your decision, including how the job will enhance your skills, and the logistical aspects of the job, like pay and vacation time. There are also things to consider if you are being asked to relocate, or if you are thinking about taking an executive position.
Determining What the Job Means for You
Think about whether or not the job offers you personal development opportunities.In particular, think about how the skills you think you will learn at the job will affect future job opportunities, and how you can advance in the company starting at the position you are getting offered.
- Ask yourself:Will this job set me on the career path that I want to pursue? Is that something that is important to me?
- Ask your potential employer: Does the company offer training programs pertaining to various skill sets? Has there been a history of promotion from the position being offered? What requirements are needed for trainings, promotions, certifications etc. offered at the company?
Determine whether the work you will be doing is challenging or meaningful, and if those two characteristics are important to you.If you want to be challenged and excited by your work, it is important to consider whether the job you are being offered will involve work of that kind. Assess the goal of your job. The more challenging that goal is, the more motivated and upbeat you will feel is you are the kind of person who looks for engaging work.
- Ask yourself: Will I be working on exciting projects? Will I be able to apply my knowledge and skills on a daily basis? Does this job offer me a challenge? Are am excited by the prospect of what I will be doing at this company?
- Ask your potential employer: Do you find that this company’s goal challenges and excites you? Do you find the work you do interesting? Do you find that your colleagues are also excited by the work?
Consider your need for flexibility and whether or not the job meets your needs.Again, this is based on your personal needs. If you are a person who needs flexibility and the chance to pursue new ideas, you want to make sure that your job allows you to have that autonomy. If the job has very strict boundaries and a permanent schedule, you may want to consider looking for a different job.
- Ask yourself:How much flexibility do I need to be happy and productive? Do I work well if I have no deadlines, many deadlines, or somewhere in between?
- Ask your potential employer: Will I have the opportunity to set my own deadlines? Will I be able to expand my working hours without asking a supervisor?
Think about the corporate culture that you would become a part of if you took the job.Evaluate the culture of the organization in terms of its overall environment. Assess it against your personality. You may consider elements like how focused on a goal the company is, the company’s emphasis on teamwork, professionalism, how fast-paced the environment is, how casual, caring, or creative the company.
- Since understanding the culture is a tough task at the interview stage, you may have to talk to someone who is currently working there or who has worked there in the past.
- Ask the current employee: Do employees tend to get to work on time and take ownership for their work? Does your employer seem to care about your concerns? Do people work in teams, or is it more individual work? Are new ideas welcomed at this company?
Consider the amount of prestige the company has and think about what that means for you.Some people have a hard time considering working at a low-profile company. This is because they are concerned that future employers won’t know (and therefore won’t necessarily respect) this low-profile company. Alternatively, some people are concerned about getting no recognition in a large, prestigious company.
- Ask yourself: Am I alright with working at a low-profile company that people might not recognize in the future? Will it hurt my career path to choose a job at a less prestigious institute? Am I alright getting paid less at a job that has prestige?
- Rather than asking your potential employer, do some research of your own via the internet and your networking sites to determine how prestigious this company is.
Ask yourself if the physical environment of the company suits your needs.If you are a person who needs to take a break and relax at least once throughout the day, or have specific physical needs, you may want to consider your potential office space environment.
- Ask your potential employer: Is the workplace equipped with a space to take breaks? Is the office safe (ie. are there security guards in the parking garages, etc.)? Will I be sharing an office space or will I have my own office?
Learn about the team you will be working with and think about where you will fit into that team.Meet your potential team before hand if possible. Evaluate them not only in terms of how well they fit with the current job, environment and skill profile, but also in relation to your own personality. You should also determine whether or not the team seems like a strong one that will be successful. After all, a successful team has the potential to boost your career.
- Ask yourself: What kind of team do I work well with? What is my role in that team?
- Ask your potential team: How long have you been working together? Do you feel like you’ve learned a lot while you’ve been working at this company? What has their track record been since they became a team?
Considering Logistical Items for Standard Hiring
Consider the pay the company is offering you.Of course, payment is generally a large part of deciding whether or not to take a job. Find out how payment works, and what exactly you will be getting paid. Start by asking at the base pay you will receive before asking about any other sort of payment (like incentive pay, bonuses, sales commission, etc.) It can help to research what other people are getting paid for the same kind of position that you are thinking about taking.
- Ask yourself: How much do I think I should get paid for this job? How much are people getting paid for jobs that are similar to mine? Will I be able to live off of the pay that
- Ask your potential employer: How does the payment system work at this company? Are employees given bonuses? Is there any type of incentive pay? Is there the potential to increase my salary through good work and time?
Determine whether or not the commute will be challenging for you.It can make your life easier if the job you are looking at is close to your home. If this is not the case, you will have to figure out how you will get to work, and potentially negotiate terms like flexible hours or working from home.
- Ask yourself: How far am I willing to commute for this job? How will I get to this job every day?
- Ask your potential employer: Is there a shuttle service for people who do not live close to the office? Is it possible to work flexible hours that accommodate a long commute? Is is possible to work from home some or all of the days of the week?
Determine how much vacation time and other benefits you will be given.It is important to find out what the company’s policies are on vacations, and what benefits, if any, the company will be giving you. If you are a person who does not have health insurance, a company that has health benefits might be a necessity for you.
- Ask your potential employer: How much vacation will I get? Will this vacation time increase the longer I work at the company? Will I be required to come in on holidays? What benefits does the company offer?
Do some research to determine how financially stable the company is.When assessing a job, it is important to look at how stable and profitable the company is. If it is a new company, this might be hard to do, so do some research on the profitability of companies like the one that you are thinking about joining.Look at:
- When the company was established.
- How successful the company has been.
- The company’s stock.
- How often raises and bonuses are given (if you have access to this information).
Find out who you will be reporting to and what that means for you.Your supervisor may make or break your experience at the company.If you have to regularly fix conflicts with your boss, you will most likely not be as productive or happy as you could have been at another job. If you meet with your supervisor before accepting the job, look for things like:
- Does your supervisor seem approachable or stiff and standoffish?
- Does he or she seem flexible when it comes to extended vacations, odd hours, or new ideas?
Learn about the retirement saving opportunities.If you are in the older sector of the workforce, you are more than likely thinking about retirement savings. It is important to find out what the opportunities for retirement savings are at this company.
- Ask your potential employer: Does the company offer a retirement plan? How much income will I get when I retire?
Consider the position title you will be given.This element is similar to considering the company’s prestige. Your job title can affect your future employment opportunities, so it is a good thing to consider if prestige and job title are important to you. Position titles matter because they present the breadth of your job responsibilities in just a single word. Because of this, if you had a more prestigious title at your last job, it might make your resume look less respectable if you take a new position that has a lower title than your last position.
- Ask yourself: Is this new job title above or below my last job title? How will this job title look on my resume?
- For example, if you were a Manager at your last company, accepting an Assistant Manager position might not look as good on your resume, unless it is with a more renowned company.
Considering a Job Where You Have to Relocate
Learn about the assistance the company will give you if you have to relocate.If the company that is giving you the job offer is not in your area, and you are not able to telecommute, find out whether or not the company will help you with the relocation process. Moving is a big process and can be very expensive.
- Ask yourself: Am I willing move for this job? Can I afford to move if the company does not help pay for the move?
Find out if the company will pay for a house hunting trip.When moving, it is easier to house hunt when in the area you are moving to, rather than looking at houses online. Because of this, it is important to find out if the company will pay for your house hunting trip. The company may also have a relocation specialist who can help you with your house hunt. On the other hand, the company may direct you to hire a specialist yourself and they will reimburse you.
- Ask your potential employer: How does this company handle house hunting fees? Does it cover the costs of relocating? Will the company reimburse me for the money I spend while looking for a house? Is there a specialist I can talk to?
Find out what temporary housing options are available.It may take some time to find a good house and move into it. You may choose to instead arrange for a temporary housing set up. While considering the company’s offer, find out how they handle temporary housing. It may in fact be included in the ‘house hunting expenses’.
- Ask your potential employer: Does this company cover temporary housing expenses? Is there a meal stipend that is included in the coverage? Does this include my partner or child’s expenses?
Discuss moving fees and find out what the company will cover.When you do find a house, you will have to deal with actually moving to this house. This can be quite expensive, so it is helpful to find out beforehand if the company will pay for any (or all) of your moving expenses.
- Ask your potential employer: What moving expenses, if any, does this company cover? Does this include hiring a moving company?
Considering an Executive Position
Find out whether or not the company offers you a bonus.If the company rewards your position with performance based incentive, you may want to find out about these bonuses beforehand, as they can may make a large difference when it comes to your income. Learn about them in detail and discuss various scenarios with your potential employer.
- Ask your potential employer: How many bonuses are given per year? What is the formula to calculate the bonus? Is it a percentage of your base salary?
Ask about benefits.Ask about other perks or separate plans that may exist for executive employees. You may have a separate package that is specific to your position. Talk to your potential employer about these benefits. The benefits may include:
- Health insurance.
- Retirement benefits.
- Having a personal secretary.
- Dress code waiver.
- Personalized parking slot.
- Membership to different clubs.
- Unlimited vacations.
Consider whether or not the company will provide you with a company car.If the potential employer is offering you a car, it is important to discuss the details of the car, and what policies apply to the company car. For instance, it is important to talk about whether fuel is included in the coverage.
- Ask your potential employer: What car would you be provided with? Is the fuel included? What other policies apply to the company car?
Discuss contractual agreements.At the offer stage be sure to discuss in detail what reimbursements you may have to make in case you decide to leave before a certain time period. This includes going over the contract rather than just discussing it verbally.
- Determine whether or not the employment is set for a start and end date.
- Talk about whether or not you will get to reevaluate details at a later stage.
- Discuss the conditions under which you would be asked to leave the job.
Video: 5 Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer
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