How to Evaluate a Job Offer

Evaluating a job offer

Receiving an offer after a challenging job search can feel like hitting the jackpot in a lottery for the chosen candidate. While it can be tempting to say yes on the spot, you need to take a deep breath and contain your excitement. Remember that the decision you’ll make will determine your career, success, and future. So, it would make sense to take your time and carefully evaluate the offer before sealing the deal. Here’s how.

1) Know your worth

Identifying your worth is a critical step in evaluating a job offer. This helps you make an informed decision whether the offer on the table is worth your yes or not. In most cases, professionals who find a new job would typically have a “magic number” of what they are worth in mind. For instance, you are a Business Development Manager who earns an annual salary of $83,000. It would be natural for you to expect a salary that is around this figure or higher.

Using your previous role’s salary as a baseline seems logical and realistic. But this is not always the case. Keep in mind that companies pay for similar job titles may differ. So, doing your research to validate your assumption is a must. Some of the tools you may find useful include Glassdoor, Salary.com, and PayScale.

When conducting your research, identify how salaries look like for similar roles in the same or comparable industry and location. You also need to consider how the job’s responsibilities and requirements align with your level of expertise and experience. Having the right data will provide you with a better understanding of your value.

Based on the data you gathered, does the job offer match what you should be paid? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to close the deal. On the other hand, don’t lose your hope just yet if the offer is a bit off. Most employers typically have some flexibility around salary and compensation offers. In such a case, be prepared for salary negotiation and attempt to establish a mutually beneficial agreement.

2) Take your personal needs into account

Your personal needs are another factor you need to consider when deciding whether to accept a job offer or not. Let’s be realistic. Unless you’re a cave dweller, you need money for your personal needs.  Your new job should ideally generate the resources you need to pay for your necessities and support your other personal financial needs.

To determine if the offer is enough, identify your potential expenses when you accept the job. How much would you need for your rent, food, clothing, healthcare, and other needs? If you’re offered to work remotely due to the pandemic, will you be required to report in the office when things get better eventually? If so, would the job require a move or a longer commute? If you’re a parent, would you need to spend money on daycare to supervise your child while you’re at work?

What starts as a lucrative offer can slowly be eaten away by unforeseen expenditures. It may seem a lot to think about, especially if numbers are not your cup of tea. However, understanding your potential expenses ensures the offer on the table would suffice for the things you need and are important to you. It will also allow you to determine whether the non-monetary benefits are beneficial for you or not.

3) Consider both monetary and non-monetary elements

When it comes to evaluating a job offer, pay is generally the number one factor most candidates consider when making a decision. However, there’s more to a job offer than the salary elements. It also comes with perks and non-monetary benefits. In fact, non-monetary benefits make up 31.3% of a compensation package. So, if you’re judging the worth of the offer by the salary element alone, then you’re leaving money on the table.

Here are some of the things you can consider other than the salary.

  • How many vacation days will you get per year?
  • Does the company offer a flexible working arrangement?
  • Will you be eligible to receive a severance package when you leave the company unwillfully?
  • What kind of healthcare benefit does the company provide?
  • Does the company offer parental perks like paternal or maternal leave and childcare support?
  • Does the employer provide incentives such as bonuses and raises?
  • If you decide to pursue an advanced degree or take a certification, will the company reimburse the cost?

4) Think about the company culture

While competitive salaries and benefits are great, staying happy and feeling fulfilled at work takes much more. Although it may sound cliché, company culture plays an essential role in this aspect. Imagine you’re a fun-loving person, and you work for an all-work and no-play type of organization. Would you enjoy going to work every day? We doubt you’d say yes.

Working for an organization with a culture that aligns with your personal values and working style encourages productivity and creativity. This would allow you to do your best work and grow in your career. So, when weighing a job offer, take time to examine your personal values and see how those align with your prospective employer’s culture. Here’s how you can get some insight into the organization’s culture.

  • Visit the company’s website.
  • Check social media and review sites like Glassdoor.
  • Examine how well you got along with the people you talked to during the interview stage.

Reach out to the people in your network who work in the same company and ask for insights.

5) Determine alignment with your long-term career goal

Ideally, each job on your career ladder should take you a step closer to your long-term career goal. This means your new job will play a critical role in your career progression. So, taking a step back and reflecting on the following questions is essential before making a decision.

  • Do the presented set of responsibilities sound like something you would enjoy doing every day?
  • Does the role fit your long-term career goals, or could it be a stepping stone to reach them?
  • Could you gain valuable experience from the job?
  • Can you see yourself committing to the job in the next 12 months or longer?

 

As they say, there is no such thing as perfect. The same is true when finding a new job. It’s unlikely that there is “the one” that will meet one hundred percent of your requirements. Hence, it’s essential to take a holistic approach when evaluating a job offer. Think about what really matters to you. Knowing your priorities and carefully assessing the job offer will enable you to make an informed decision whether the job opportunity will be worth your while or not.

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