5 Things to Think About Before Accepting a Job Offer

5 Things to Think About Before Accepting a Job Offer

You’ve researched the company, passed the screening and aced the interview with the hiring manager. The job is yours, well done!

Now for the really big question: do you want it?

Typically we focus more on the application than the acceptance process when we’re thinking of a career move. But deciding whether or not to take a new role can be just as demanding as getting your foot in the recruitment door.

How do you know if this role is really the right fit for you at this point in your professional life?

What are the conditions… and the perks?

Not forgetting, of course, the million-dollar question: how to negotiate your salary?

Most of us spend 8 hours a day working. Over the average lifetime, around 30% of your time that will be spent at work.

So, deciding why, how and where you’re going to do that is a pretty big deal.

Besides the money, there are some very important things you should prioritize before you sign on the dotted line.

1. Real value

Before fixating too much on the dollar bills, ask yourself this question: how will this job benefit me in my personal and my professional life?

Think about the big picture. Money is only one part of that. Weigh up what matters to you more – taking home a great salary, but resenting the time you spend in the office; or making less, but looking forward to Monday mornings?

2. Satisfaction

A job description does not a job make. Your role will play out day after day, month after month, perhaps year after year. Think about the elements of the role that will challenge you, help you grow, develop new skills.

Dig deep to discover what your own preferences and aspirations are. Do you want more responsibility? How important to you is it to make decisions, lead a larger team, or gain exposure to different sectors, cultures, and technologies? And take the time to map out how this offer matches your own goals – not just in the future, but in the more immediate term.

3. Prospects

If you’re doing an MBA, the chances are you have a longer-term vision of your professional development. You’re going to want to progress as a person and as a leader. So think about how this offer might help you to do that.

What opportunities will there be for you to gain promotion? Is the company thinking about (or at least open) to continuing your development during your employment? Or how will this particular role give you the exposure and experience that will play in your favour when you come to seek out the next opportunity?

4. Company culture

Culture is an element that is increasingly prioritized by today’s business executive. A company might look great on paper – maybe it’s a dynamic start-up, maybe it’s doing something disruptive in a space that interests you, maybe it has a certain cachet, or cool that appeals. But perform your due diligence to figure out it there’s a cultural match that fits with your values.

Why not ask to spend a day or two with the team? Reach out to employees (and former employees) on LinkedIn or consult Glassdoor to find out more about the inside story. Remember, you’ll be spending 8 hours here, Monday to Friday.

5. Show me the money

Yes, salary.

Before you look at what’s on the table, do your sums. Have a good understanding of what you need to make in order to meet your living costs and your expectations. That’s your ballpark number. It also helps to have a sense of what you’re worth. There are plenty of online resources you can use to determine what professionals in your range, skills set, sector and geography can command. Take a look at what’s on offer as a whole package – including perks, conditions and vacation time – and figure out whether it meets your expectations. Many companies are often surprised if a candidate doesn’t try to negotiate a little bit. And if you are going to negotiate, be more-than-prepared to explain (without exaggeration) what puts you in the top 5 or 10% of candidates for this role.

5.5 . . .Or don’t show me the money

If you’ve asked for more money and it’s been granted – great for you! However, a ‘no’ doesn’t necessarily mean the company isn’t willing to do a deal. It could be you’ve asked the wrong question. If an increase in salary isn’t an option, think of other items that could sweeten the deal for you. Being sponsored for conferences or seminars you’d like to attend or a few more days off are both excellent examples. The key is to present items that offer value both to you and to your future employer. In the examples above, both the both parties have something to gain – which is key.

Working your way methodically through all the aspects that are important to you will help you decide whether or not to accept a job offer. Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions during the interview process. Remember, the interview is for both parties to determine if it’s a good fit.

If you ultimately decide the role is not for you, decline - with grace. There’s no harm in not accepting a job, if you can’t negotiate the terms that make it worth your while. But be sure to do so politely, and with good reason. Keep the door open to future potential collaboration, and learn from the experience.

You never know where your next job might be.

Our Career Services Team is always on hand to talk to with our students about their objectives, goals and aspirations. We stay close to them throughout their MBA journey, helping them gain the skills and insights to advance their career and to make the right decisions for their future.