The process of looking for a new job can be challenging. It takes time sifting through job board adverts, researching companies, and drafting and sending out resumes. It can be even more testing if you’re already in a role as the business of finding a new job can become something of a covert operation to be managed on the side.
It’s not surprising then, that when a formal job offer comes along, you may be tempted to accept the position on the spot. However despite the rigours of job hunting, it is worth assessing exactly what’s on the table to decide if you should accept the job offer.
Time spent here can spare you the hassle of going through the whole job hunting process again in the not too distant future. To help you decide whether the opportunity is the best choice for you, we’ve compiled three key steps to follow:
1. Scrutinise the job description
The job description is the single best tool you have to gauge exactly what you will be doing on a daily basis. So go over the details one more time and be honest with yourself about whether:
- The requirements of the role match your level of skill and experience
- You will be engaged and challenged by the job
- The day to day activities are something you will find fulfilling and enjoyable
- There is scope for you to engage and collaborate with other staff
- The role offers ample opportunities for career development
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, you could be left frustrated or miserable if you accept the job offer.
2. Evaluate the company
Next, consider the hiring firm. What sort of reputation does it have in the market – do the corporate values and culture match your own?
Importantly, does the firm have a reputation for high staff turnover or are employees given opportunities to develop their skill set through a clearly defined career path?
3. Review the remuneration package
The remuneration package being offered may look good on paper but the litmus test is how well it stacks up against market rates of pay. Make an accurate comparison by checking out the Robert Half Salary Guide.
Next, review any perks that may be available - like options for flexible work arrangements. These sort of non-cash benefits can be the deciding factor if you are weighing up more than one job offer. If there is a particular benefit you are looking for, it doesn’t hurt to ask if it could be included in your employment contract.
4. Be prepared for a counter offer
Employers don’t like to lose good talent, and there’s every chance your employer will make a counter offer not long after you’ve tendered your resignation. A counter offer can include a range of enticements from a pay rise or promotion through to promises of involvement in exciting new projects. As flattering - and tempting – as these offers can be, think back to the reasons you began looking for a new job in the first place.
A counter-offer may provide a temporary solution but research continually suggests that employees who accept a counter offer are unlikely to remain with their employer for more than just a few months. Moreover there can be real risks associated with accepting a counter offer. For instance, your employer may simply be biding time until you can be replaced. After all, why did the boss wait until you resigned to offer a better pay packet or a promotion? At the very least, your relationship with your employer and even your colleagues can become strained. Your loyalty to the firm will be questioned and you may be considered a flight risk.
A job offer is about a stepping stone
After weighing all up all the pros and cons, it can come down to trusting your gut instinct.
You can never really know what a new job will be like until you have stepped into the position but if you have given the hiring firm and the role due consideration, you should have a firm answer to the question ‘should I accept the job offer?’.
The key is to think things through to determine if it is the best stepping stone for your career.