Accepting a job is one of life’s big decision and requires that you put some thought into it no matter what your current situation is whether it is your first job, you are changing jobs or currently unemployed. Don’t let the stress of the job search and your current situations lead you to accept a position just to be done with the process.
If you have gotten an offer hopefully you already did some research on the company asked your potential new employer some questions, but if not it is still not too late. Assuming you have done your homework and asked questions of them you should also take time to ask some questions of yourself before accepting
1. Is this the job I want?
Most likely you applied based on a posting and description of the position, but when you interviewed did the job sound the same? Obviously the hiring manager believes you can do the job; what do you think? Do you think the job will be challenging enough or too challenging? There is nothing worse than not having enough meaningful work to do or feeling overwhelmed and trying to do a job that is beyond your current skillset.
2. How do I feel about the company?
First impressions are important so don’t discount the way you felt when you went for the interview. Think about the overall “vibe” you got from the company, how you were received and treated. What did you notice about the people you got to see, not just those who interviewed you? Did they seem friendly, nice, happy or did they appear unhappy and downtrodden? This is your first insight into the culture of the organization you are considering. How important is the culture of the company to you?
3. Is the environment important?
Is the physical environment important to you? Will you be happy in cubicle land or are you looking for an office? Would working in an old building be ok or do you prefer sleek and new? What kind of physical amenities do they offer if any; a gym, cafeteria, game room or is it vending machines and a microwave oven?
4. What about your lifestyle?
Lifestyle means different things to different people. If you have kids and need to be soccer mom or dad having the flexibility of office hours is probably important to you. On the other hand, if you are single and just starting out working twelve hour days may not be an issue.
Besides working hours, you should consider the commute and how long it will take. If you drive will there be tolls, do you have to pay for parking? Public transportation can come with its own considerations; will there be a walk involved, transfers, what about the weather?
Don’t forget about any benefits or perks like medical, dental, vacation, sick, etc. Again depending on your situation these may or may not be important to you.
5. Long term goals and plans?
None of us know for sure what the future holds, but we probably have some idea, vision, goals or plans for the future. Will this job support those? If you know up front that this is going to be a short-term gig then it may not matter. If you want to stay with a company for a long time what does is the current outlook of that company today? Will the company and position support further training and education, is there upward mobility? Again, no one knows what the future will bring but you can at least make some assessment based on how things are today.
Giving some thought to these things will help you avoid accepting an offer and then finding yourself unhappy with the position or company.