What You Should Consider Before Accepting A Job Offer

Josh Didawick

What You Should Consider Before Accepting A Job Offer

Selection processes rarely go fast enough if you are the candidate. There is a lot of waiting-to get called for an interview, to get that follow-up interview, then to hopefully receive an offer. After the employer takes their time to decide, they make you an offer and you can suddenly feel rushed to decide and give them an answer. That may be your perception, but that is not necessarily the case. You have time to make an informed decision; but what should you be thinking about?

First, relax and feel good about getting the offer. In most instances, you will want to listen to the verbal offer then graciously thank them. Let them know you will need some time to consider the offer and ask when they would like to hear back. Even if you think this is your dream job, it is best to sleep on the decision and talk it over with a trusted partner or confidant. Here are 6 things to consider before accepting a job offer.


Know your numbers when pursuing a job. That means knowing what that job pays in the region you are searching, as well as what you are willing to accept to do the job. Anything above your minimum, within reason, is open to negotiation.

While some employers have moved away from negotiating salaries, many still do. You usually only get one chance to negotiate your entry salary with an organization, so you may as well make it count. Be prepared for a counter-offer and do not take the process personally. Use your research and knowledge of the labor market to justify your requests. The goal of everyone involved should be to get the compensation right so it is out of the way. No one wants a new employee to start a new job disgruntled about their pay on day one.

Total Compensation

Money isn’t everything. It is very important, but there are other factors to keep in mind when it comes to total compensation. Consider the other benefits the company offers. Some of these may be more valuable than you recognize and could even lead you to accept a lower salary offer than you once thought possible.

Generous benefits packages can constitute from 20-50% of a person’s salary. Some of the major perks to keep an eye out for are:

  • Insurance-health, vision, dental, life, etc.
  • Vacation and paid time off programs
  • Tuition assistance and reimbursement
  • Retirement plans
  • Profit sharing
  • Stock purchase plans
  • Employee discount programs
  • Supplemental insurance policies-critical illness, short-term disability, cancer, etc.

Know how the benefits package is structured. You may be in a position to have to understand a generous salary offer that is somewhat offset by less-generous benefits than you are accustomed to, or vice versa. If you support a family, health insurance may be important. If you are single and relatively healthy, that may not be something you pay attention to. In that same vein, retirement is further off in the distance. You should understand your ability to build wealth through this job and how it will help you reach other long-term financial goals.

Start Date

When you are a serious candidate for a job, you can do your current employer, and your future employer, a lot of good by starting to craft an exit strategy. As excited as you may be to move on to your next position, do not forget your responsibility to the employer you are leaving. Try to provide them with as much notice as possible.

Your new boss may be anxious for you to get on-board and start contributing. That is a great position to be in, but avoid burning bridges if possible. The thing about employers is that at some point they all experience someone leaving. Most fully understand and will show flexibility in allowing a new employee to give proper notice to their soon-to-be former employer.

Your New Boss

What do you know about your new boss? What impressions did you get from her or him during the interview process? It is extremely important to know as much as possible about this person’s expectations and management style. A good bit of your success could be tied to what this person thinks and does. Are you inspired by what you see? A bad fit with a new boss can mean your new dream job quickly becomes a nightmare.

Mission, Vision and Values

Even before the ball is in your court, do as much research as possible to understand the culture of the organization and what it stands for. In an ideal world, we would all find our way to causes and companies we are passionate about. Sometimes things in the real world are less clear.

As competitive as the labor market is, there are generally always options. When you are considering a job offer from a company, strive to work somewhere that you can get excited about its mission, understand its guiding vision and where your values are in line with the organization.

Impact You Can Make

Last, but certainly not least, is consider the impact you can make in your new job. There is value in all work. You may be responsible for a small, but important, part of a project; or you may find that you have much more responsibility on your plate. Whether you end up with an offer to be a big fish or a small fish, consider the influence and contribution you will be able to make to the organization and its mission.

You could spend a significant amount of time and energy at this new job. Shouldn’t it be something you can make a difference at, or at a place where you can grow and develop? Do your homework upfront and identify how your skills and expertise will help make a difference.

After a long search, application and selection process, you may feel rushed when you do get that job offer. Relax. As good as it feels to get an offer, there is often a need to take a step back to make an informed decision. In addition to giving yourself a pat on the back for the accomplishment, consider these 6 considerations before accepting that new job.

About The Author

Josh Didawick

Josh Didawick is a seasoned HR professional and consultant with extensive experience creating and guiding organizations’ HR strategies, as well as coaching individuals committed to successful careers. He specializes in taking on complex organizational issues to affect positive change and high performance. For individuals, Josh helps them put their best foot forward when seeking that next career, promotion or milestone in the workplace. Josh has had several articles published and presented at conferences on HR-related topics.

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