An employment offer is the goal of every job hunter. It is the culmination of the preparation, planning, and implementation of your personal job search strategy. Once you have received a job offer, there is an important decision to be made.
Information is the secret in evaluating a job offer. Use every resource available throughout your job search process to research a potential employer. Preparing in advance and asking the right questions with a detailed knowledge of how the company operates will give you a good start in making the decision. Just as the employer has a series of requirements against which you were evaluated, you should have a list of prerequisites for evaluating each job and each organization.
Included among the factors you will want to review are the following: job duties and responsibilities, geographical location and environment, salary and benefits, colleagues and superiors, growth potential, status and stability of the organization, training and development programs, and opportunities for advancement. These factors fall into four basic categories: job-related, geographical, monetary, and others.
These are usually the most obvious. As a result of the interview process, you should have a good idea of what the job entails, what the working conditions are, what kind of people will work with you, how much the work interests you, and so on.
Factors stemming from location might include such things as the climate, the proximity to friends and relatives, appropriate leisure opportunities, work and recreational outlets for your spouse, good housing, the level of crime and pollution, and transportation considerations.
The beginning salary is the most obvious monetary factor. However, it is not the only one. Other factors to take into consideration are the frequency of salary reviews, the cost of living in the area, the security of the position, bonuses, and the “total package” including fringe benefits.
Finally, there are other factors you will want to consider in evaluating the job offer. One factor has to do with philosophy. Do you believe in the job? The size of the organization is another. Do you prefer working for a large organization or a small one? If continuing your education is important for your future career plans, then the opportunities for additional education will be a factor to consider.
The industry or type of service may impact your decision. Is it, or does it promise to be, sound in the global economy? Do the general characteristics of the industry interest you? There may be additional factors in all of the categories that you will want to consider. Everyone’s list of pertinent factors and the relative weight of the various factors will differ.
A final question to ask yourself: Do the job and the organization fit your interests and qualifications, and provide potential satisfaction for your expectations and lifestyle? Only you can decide according to your own value system. For additional assistance in evaluating job offers, see the Job Evaluation Matrix in The Career Services Job Search Guide or contact Career Services.