Congratulations! Your high quality cover letter and resume, interviewing skills and qualifications proved you were the best candidate for the position...and you got a job offer! Now you have to decide if you want to accept it.
Isn't that a no-brainer? Not so fast! Let's look at a few different scenarios and how you can decide if you should accept the job or keep looking for a different opportunity.
1). You are Currently Out of Work
If you are currently out of work, you may feel inclined to just say yes and accept the first offer you receive. While this is fair when you have bills that need to be paid and no income, we do suggest considering a few details.
Is the pay what you want/need?
Are the benefits sufficient?
Will the hours work with your family schedule?
Does the position offer growth potential?
Does the company culture align with your values?
If you answer no to any of the questions above, then ask yourself the following?
Do you have any other potential job opportunities?
If you have been called for another interview or are awaiting a potential offer from an interview you recently had, you may want to delay accepting or declining this position to see if another offer will be a better match. It is best if you don't directly decline but ask for more time to decide in case the other job offer doesn't come through.
Should you feel you need to accept this job because you have no other potential option, you could try to negotiate so this position meets your needs. Request an increase in starting salary or better benefits, and perhaps the company will do so if they are willing/able.
If you end up in a situation where you have to accept a position that really doesn't meet your needs, continue your search for job openings. Something else may open up in the upcoming months that will be a better match. Don't feel obligated to stay in a position that isn't adequate for you and your family long-term.
2). You Have a Job But Are Looking For Something New or Something Better
You may have applied for the position you were offered while still being comfortably employed. Many Americans are currently exploring their career options even if they still have a job. This puts you in a different position than those who are out of work and need a job to pay the bills. You will want to think through the questions listed above but you can really closely evaluate the offer to determine if it is right to make the jump or if you are better off sticking with your current role.
Look Beyond Income For Financial Changes
Many people get excited when they see a salary that is higher than the one they currently have. However, it is imperative you look at the entire package. Too many job seekers have jumped based on income, only to realize later that the amount of money being taken out of their paycheck for healthcare is much higher--resulting in less money actually making it to their bank account. Or, they find that the health care is no longer a co-pay system but instead high-deductible, and the deductible they must reach before insurance pays anything is $5000-$10,000. Again, the result is that they end up with less money than they earned at the original job.
In addition to looking at health care benefits, evaluate vacation time, 401K and other retirement benefits, and health savings account matches. These all can affect the overall financial picture you are facing.
Consider Commute and Work Location Requirements
If the new position will require an increased commute, factor that in to your decision. It is also worth identifying if you will need to be in the office every day, if you will work a hybrid schedule or if you will be fully remote. Do you have a preference for which work requirement would be best for your personal situation? Does your current job or the new job offer what you desire? Consider work-life balance for both positions as well. If your new job will be remote, do they expect you to be available 24/7 or can you log off at 5pm and focus on your family or hobbies?
Evaluate Progression Potential
Is there a potential for growth and learning? Do you see an opportunity for advancement? Does this company offer you educational classes or other career growth paths?
What about in the job you currently hold? Are you stuck at the highest level you will be able to attain in your current role? Does the new potential position present the opportunity for advancement? These are all details to consider when evaluating an offer. You want to try to ensure that the job you accept is one you will enjoy in the upcoming years. Think beyond today and look to the future.
Examine Company Culture
From the interview, were you able to gauge if you would fit in to the company culture? Did you feel engaged and respected? Did you find out how employees communicate with each other? Are there are a lot of meetings? Phone calls? Emails? What is your desired method and does it match?
Someone who is currently employed should spend the time thinking through the details of the new role before accepting. Is the grass really greener on the other side, or would you be better off sticking with the role you have? It is worthwhile to closely evaluate all of the above aspects before making that choice.
If you do accept, it is highly recommended that you gracefully exit from your current position. Submit a resignation letter, and allow a couple of weeks so you can transfer your responsibilities to another employee. If are asked why you are leaving, try to keep your answer positive. Instead of saying you hated your boss, felt the company culture was horrid, or thought they were working you to death with unreasonable expectations, state that you are looking forward to your new position which will offer you a better work-life balance. You want to avoid burning bridges as you depart!
3). You Don't Want This Offer but Don't Want Your Current Role Either
In some cases, the offer isn't good enough to accept. Maybe the salary is lower than what you are already making or the health benefits aren't adequate. Maybe at the interview you realized that the culture would not be a good match for your personality or you found out that the role is a dead-end one and you would like growth potential. Yet you are not thrilled with your current job, and really would like to find something different. What should you do?
It may feel like you should accept this role since you applied for it. You may feel like people expect you to take the offer. But it is fair to turn down this position and keep looking. Just because you applied for the job, doesn't mean you have to say yes when it is offered to you. Part of the purpose of the interview is for you to learn about this new company and the details of the role so you can evaluate if you want to accept the position, should it be offered!
Just because you don't accept this offer doesn't mean you are done with your search. Continue to look for job openings and create a unique cover letter and resume to submit to each opportunity that appears to have potential. Eventually you will find the job that matches your wants and needs. It might just take a little more time.
Revision Resume would be happy to help you in your quest to find the right job for you!
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