By Marian Li, Toppel Peer Advisor
The hardest part is over, the
hiring manager called with great news: the job is yours! It’s smooth sailing
from here, right? Maybe not. Determining whether to take a job offer can – and
should – be a difficult decision. If you’re eager to get out of your current
job or if it’s the job of your dreams, then it can be tempting to accept the
offer; but before you take the job, you need to evaluate the situation
carefully. Experts say that people switch jobs on average every three to four
years, which means that being able to evaluate a job offer is a critical skill
for today’s college grad and aspiring professional.
Shape the offer along the
way – When the hiring
manager or recruiter calls you with the offer, it shouldn’t be the first time
you discuss specifics. People should have a conversation about their
aspirations for the job way before the point of the offer. Answering questions
like, “what are you looking for in your next role?” honestly will increase the
likelihood that the offer that’s extended includes things on your wish list.
Deciding whether or not to take a job usually isn’t a simple yes or no choice,
so prepare for the offer conversation as a negotiation. Rarely should you
accept something at face value, if you don’t ask for anything you’re missing an
More Research – One of the biggest mistakes that
people make is not finding out enough about their potential employer. Dig
around for as much information as you can about the organization, the culture,
and your future co-workers. There’s a surprising amount of material people can
sift through nowadays. Finding out what you can about the organization’s future
prospects is crucial as well, determining the company’s future can help you
ascertain the industry as well as your future job security.
Interrupted Timeline – But what if you receive your first
offer when you’re still interviewing with or have just sent your resume to
other employers? The job searching process for each company almost never syncs
so you need to be realistic about your prospects. Look at the applications you
have under way and reasonably assess which are likely to get to offer. Compare
the offer in hand against a wish list of what you really want in a job. You’ll
have to accept that sometimes, good enough will have to do.
If you decide to say no – Saying no to a job offer can be
complicated. You’ve sent in your resume, shown up for a series of interviews,
and the employer likely assumes you want the job. The LAST thing you want is
for the company to think you played them. Don’t string them along. If you
realize during the interview process that there’s a high chance you won’t
accept the offer, let the hiring manager know out of courtesy so they can focus
on more viable candidates. If you say no, remember that a lot goes into generating
an offer. People have invested time and may have gone to bat for you. Never
imply that the job or salary was to blame. Instead, focus on what’s not a good
fit. This will keep the door open for the future.
I’m not saying this is an easy
decision, but being smart can go a long way.