When considering a job offer, it’s important to look beyond a position title and base salary. If you do not examine your benefits package closely, you may not get the complete picture of what your offer really entails. What seems like a great fit may be too good to be true when you look at the fine print.
1) Base Salary
A number may look great, but have you checked the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found the average wage for that position in that area? Your offer could be far below average and you didn’t even know it. Another good resource for salary information is Glassdoor.com. You also want to make sure you understand what the responsibilities of your potential new position entail. If you’re getting the salary of an entry-level position, but taking on the responsibilities of a more senior position, you may consider negotiating your original offer.
Where do I see myself living in five years? What is the cost of living and is the salary fitting to it? How long would the daily commute be? How is the business growth in this area? Are the local area attractions of interest to me personally, professionally and socially?
You may already know how important looking at a benefits package is, but you need to look beyond the basics. Are health, dental, and vision benefits employee or employer paid? What are the premiums? Move on to the smaller details: do they offer flexible working schedule? Is there a wellness program? What is the PTO policy and when does it accrue? Do they offer maternity/paternity leave? Do they match your 401k contributions?
4) Company Culture
Knowing the culture of an organization should be vital to your decision process. What is the work attire? Is the environment business casual or professional? Is there a good work/life balance? Do the managers have a good reputation? Does your personality match with the team you would be a part of? Glassdoor.com reviews will come in handy again when you want to learn about a company’s culture. Check the company’s social media pages and website to get a better feel for the culture and a look into what events/activities are happening.
5) Company Growth
You probably don’t want to sign on to a company that isn’t going anywhere. Having information about the company growth in the past five years and the expected company growth in the next five years is important to know. This will tell you whether there is a future with the organization or not.
6) Personal Growth
It’s the phrase you hear all too often: “I didn’t have an opportunity to grow there, so I left”. Unless you are content with staying in the same position for the next 10 years, check whether the organization has a history of promoting from within or not. Do they have a clear career path for the position you’re accepting? If this position is not new, did the last person get promoted to a higher position? What is their bonus structure?
Hopefully by the time you’re receiving a job offer you’ve put some thought towards whether or not you are comfortable with traveling for work. Does this position require travel? If so, what percentage of time is travel required? Are there potential opportunities to travel internationally?
Depending on how new you are to the job market, or how long you’ve been on the job search, you may not think clearly through the excitement of receiving a job offer. Keep this list of questions in mind to make sure you are getting the offer that you truly want and deserve. Your career is not the place to be making snap decisions. Analyze every part of the offer, negotiate, and when you’re satisfied with all of the information- sign!
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