When seeking a new professional opportunity, there are many considerations to keep in mind when assessing a job offer. Understanding these considerations can help you decide whether you want to commit to a company, and they can help you compare two competing offers as well. The more factors you consider when deciding, the more information you have to guide your choice. In this article, we discuss the importance of considering a job offer and 18 considerations to help you make a decision.
Why is it important to consider a job offer before accepting?
The job you choose can affect many areas of your life, from determining how much money you earn to the amount of free time you enjoy. Understanding the most important job offer considerations helps you make a more informed decision so that you're more likely to choose a job that leads to satisfactory work-life balance.
18 important job offer considerations
Some of the most important considerations to make when evaluating a job offer include:
1. Base pay
The first consideration when reviewing a new job offer is usually the salary or hourly wage. An employer often provides this information to you when making the offer. It's important to assess the income your potential employer offers and compare it to your financial needs. You may be able to supplement an initial offer by negotiating a higher rate.
2. Benefits package
Your salary is not the only way an employer may choose to provide financial benefits. Supplemental benefits packages may provide substantial value. Benefits can include financial incentives, such as stock options and retirement plans, as well as indirect financial benefits, such as health insurance. Vacation pay, sick pay and family leave are other items that may appear in a benefits package. When comparing two job offers from different companies, if one contains a more generous benefits package, it may be the more financially valuable offer regardless of if it has a higher base salary.
Related: FAQ: Negotiating Benefits
3. Working hours
The hours you're required to work each week are another item to assess when evaluating a job offer. Both longer and shorter hours can be beneficial in the right circumstances. For a salaried position, for example, a job offer with a shorter work week raises your hourly compensation, allowing you to enjoy more free time or further supplement your income with a second job. When working hourly, a job with longer hours may have appeal as it also means more compensation each week.
How you get to work each day can play a large part in your enjoyment of a job and daily life. A job with a short commute may allow you to have more free time, for example, but a longer commute to a job you greatly enjoy may be worthwhile. You might also consider the type of commute, as you may prefer using public transit, driving or riding a bike, and different job locations may be better suited to different options.
5. Work style
Understanding how you like to work can help you find a job that aligns with your preferred working style. Work style considerations can include your preferred work environment and your skill set. Finding a work style that aligns with your preferences can have a significant positive impact on your overall workplace happiness.
It's important to find a job that allows you to be happy in your daily life, and the duties and responsibilities of your job can be one of the most important factors in maintaining your professional happiness. An ideal job offers a variety of responsibilities that you're interested in, providing enough work to keep you engaged while still holding you to reasonable expectations. Consider both the challenge your potential duties pose and whether they provide work you find interesting and can enjoy completing each week.
7. Job title
Your official title at a company can be a meaningful consideration when assessing a job offer. Your job title provides stature and can also help to clarify your position within an organization. Attaining a position with a higher title than your previous job shows career progression and can be beneficial for future promotions or job searches.
8. Career advancement
When taking a new position, you may want to consider what it means for your career in the long term. A job can benefit your career advancement in three ways.
The most direct method of advancement is by accepting a job that is a promotion from your current position. You may also examine the opportunities for future advancement within your potential new employer. A company that has a record of internal promotions may provide a viable career path to a higher role. Finally, a company offering a job that can help you build your skills and experience may allow you to seek a higher position at a different company in the future.
9. Company culture
Working at a company that matches your personal style and preferences can play a large role in your professional happiness. Whether you prefer a more relaxed workplace or a more traditional approach, you can benefit from assessing the culture at your potential employer and deciding if you would enjoy working in a company with that approach to the workday.
10. Coworkers and manager
Similarly to assessing the overall culture at a company, if you can get to know your potential supervisor and coworkers prior to deciding on a job offer, it can help you make a more informed decision. Having peers you relate to can make your days more enjoyable and facilitate easier cooperation. For your supervisor, it's beneficial to work for someone you respect and whose leadership style you enjoy.
11. Networking opportunities
Building a professional network is a valuable skill that can help you both personally and professionally throughout your career. When assessing a job offer, understanding how it can affect your ability to network may help you determine if the job is a good fit for you. A position that comes with strong networking opportunities can have a positive effect on both your ability to do the job you're accepting and to position yourself for advancement in the future.
12. Professional field
If you have a diverse set of skills or possess skills that apply across a broad range of industries, you may want to spend time researching the type of work you want to pursue. Consider what work in each field of interest entails and how it aligns with both your needs and preferences to determine if the job offer is in the right field for you.
13. Family considerations
The decisions you make for your professional life also impact your personal life, so understanding how a job offer will affect those you love can also be beneficial. Discussing a job offer with your family allows you to better understand the impact that accepting it might have on your family. It also allows those who know and care about you the opportunity to offer their opinion.
14. Current situation
When considering the value of a job offer, often one of the most significant factors is your current professional situation. By comparing your current situation with your expectations from the job offer, you can compare and contrast the relative strength of both accepting the job offer or declining. When assessing your current situation, if you have a job presently, you can use the same considerations to decide on the relative value of each opportunity.
15. Company stability
When considering a new position, you may benefit from looking into the finances and projections for the company prior to accepting an offer. Working for a company with strong financial performance may provide stability, as they are more likely to retain staff and even expand.
16. Professional challenge
Many employees value a job that offers challenges. A job that requires you to grow professionally in order to succeed allows you to develop new skills that benefit you both in your current role and when seeking promotions. Examining the areas for growth that you see in a job offer can help you determine if the proposed position is likely to help you improve professionally.
17. Work demands
The expectations a job places on employees can vary by employer and position. In addition to considering the demands a position provides during the workday, you might also look at whether there are work expectations outside of working hours. A job may require you to be available on weekends or feature regular overtime work, so it's important to consider how these expectations can affect your enjoyment of the position.
- Negotiation opportunities
When a job appeals to you but has one or more concerns preventing you from accepting, you may be able to negotiate an agreement that allows you to accept. Even when you intend to accept a job offer, entering negotiations may allow you to get more favorable terms to make the job offer more appealing.