The job search and interview process can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. You filled out the application, underwent a personality test, took a phone interview, went through a multi-person panel interview and had lunch with the President. You now find yourself with a job offer in hand and you want to make sure you’re making the right decision.
First of all, congratulations! Secondly, you should give the offering a company a deadline for your decision. If you wait longer than a week (without proper, logical explanation) you risk being seen as uninterested, fully engaged, or stalling for time. Your offer then is at risk of being pulled plus you may burn bridges for any future relationships/networking with the company.
To help you make a decision in a timely manner, here are three things you should assess before signing your name and agreeing on starting.
1. What is the compensation?
This may seem obvious, but you mustn’t overlook compensation through a logical lens. Does the offer meet your expectations? If not, why? Is the company promising a bonus? Remember bonuses are never guaranteed.
Did they offer you more than you expected? Will you be paying more in medical benefits? A good company will be upfront and explain their benefits before the offer stage.
Ultimately, take a deep dive in reviewing everything. Then determine what your potential take-home income will be and make sure that fits your budget.
2. What are some of the indirect benefits and/or concerns?
Aside from monetary compensation, you must look at the indirect benefits as well as any concerns you may have. For example, consider the commute. According to US census data, the average commute is roughly 28 minutes. That’s almost an average of one hour in your car per day. Now take into account when an accident occurs or there is inclement weather. Could the commute affect your punctuality or your attendance?
What is the potential for advancement within the company? A larger company can offer a bigger web of advancement, but you may also be lost within the crowd. A smaller company allows you to have closer work relationships but there tends to be a smaller potential for progression due to fewer avenues of promotion.
Keep in mind the company structure, hierarchy and support system. Who are you reporting to? How big is your team? Is your division part of the main business model or an outlier? All these factors can affect job stability.
Maybe the company has other perks and advantages. It could be small things, like free coffee or you can wear jeans every day. Some companies partner with other companies and can offer free car rentals or discounts on specific merchandise. How important are these to you? How often will you use them?
In any case, determine if these perks and/or concerns are enough to sway your decision.
3. How do you fit in with the company culture?
Jeans, free coffee or third-party discounts are not always leading indicators of culture. Incentives and gratuities can mask a high-pressure or an overstrain and under supported environment. Don’t be fooled. Asking the right questions, along with research, during the interview process should give you an idea of the culture.
Be aware of the type of environment you are successful in and decide on whether you can be in a new one.
Remember, you are also interviewing a company as much as they are interviewing you.
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