People tend to put so much emphasis on the job search process – the resume, the interview, what kind of job to look for, and how to get yourself noticed – that the part that comes next is often forgotten. So what exactly do you do when the whirlwind of applications is over and you have actual job offers in your lap? What should dictate your actions now? Hopefully you have notes from your pre-application research and the actual interview that give you a pretty complete picture of what the job entails and what life would be like there. Now you just have to figure out whether the position you’ve been offered is a good fit for you – your goals, your personality, and your lifestyle.
There are several critical items that you need to take a look at when evaluating how well you would mesh with an organization. First off is the culture of the business. You should ask yourself how well you would work in that particular environment. Some companies are known for their laid back culture where individuals get to have fun in their jobs while still working hard; on the other hand, other companies are characterized by a more structured workday with long hours and few breaks. Be honest with yourself and decide which atmosphere would be conducive to your productivity and happiness.
Keep in mind that there is a job for everyone and everyone is attracted to some sort of position. Some people are very self motivated and proactive, while others really need structure to keep themselves working hard.
The other elements of culture that must be taken into account include:
·The attire to be worn each day
·The amount of travel required
·Training programs provided
Don’t get into the habit of looking at all the options and elements of a job and dismissing a couple because you don’t think they will matter to you. In the long run, they will all matter – your job is too major a part of your life for seemingly small issues to stay small.
The next primary focus is compensation. Oftentimes people get hung up on the amount of money that they will be making and they disregard what is really important. Make sure you are doing something that you are willing to do for a couple of years and that is something you enjoy. You’ll adapt your lifestyle to match your income if you need to, and this is much easier to do if you’re doing it for a job you love. With that being said, here are a couple of important things to keep in mind when evaluating a compensation package:
·What is the starting salary?
·What is the salary composed of? (hourly rate, performance based, bonus driven)
·Vacation or other leave with pay options
·Market competitiveness – is the salary you were offered competitive in the market?
·If you have to relocate are your expenses covered?
·If you have to relocate does your spouse have assistance in finding a new job?
You also don’t want to forget about your health, your reputation, and the working conditions. Be sure you understand the following:
·Your employer’s reputation, as it can help or hurt you in your next job
·Other benefits such as retirement
·Are you restricted by NDA’s or non competes?
This job is a step in your career. Deciding which company to work for, or whether to accept a position, is not as easy as it sounds. Take a step back, ask someone you are close to for advice, or try to get a few objective opinions. If you take the time to really think things through, you will be much happier with your decision in the end.