You have gone it through the ordeal of a job search and emerged victorious. Your eyes gleam at the sight of a job offer awaiting your approval. As tempting as it may seem to sign it and bid goodbye to your career blues, put on your patience suit one last time and cross off the following things in your job offer checklist.
1. Ask yourself if you have understood everything about the role
While you may have applied for the job in the first place because it seemed the right fit for you, your understanding of it might have evolved during the interview process. So, it is worth asking yourself if both you and your employer have the same understanding of what your responsibilities will incorporate and how you will be evaluated. Moreover, does your role feel valuable for the company’s growth?
2. Consider negotiating job offer for higher salary and benefits
This may seem like a tricky affair in the current economy, so a little research on how COVID-19 has impacted the employer might help you determine if you should ask for an increase. You can find out about the impact of the pandemic on their business through their website, press releases, social media, and by reaching out to employees.
If you have not done so already, calculate how much other professionals with your skill set and experience earn in your industry by using PayScale or Glassdoor. Evaluate whether you will be able to meet your expenses on the salary that’s been offered to you. If you are unsure about taking the job because of the salary, negotiate your offer. If the company’s under financial strain, you can negotiate a slight increase such as 10%.
If it’s an early stage startup where they cannot offer you more salary, consider negotiating other perks such as flexible working hours and paid time off. You can also enquire whether you will be eligible for a hike in the salary when the company’s financial health improves.
Other than salary, you should also look for benefits beyond free snacks such as health insurance.
However, make sure that you have an offer in-hand before starting any negotiations.
3. Ask for more time if you have received multiple offers
Although multiple job offers may seem like a sunny situation (especially in the current economy), you might still find yourself in a fix. Unless you are certain that mentioning multiple offers can hurt your chances of getting hired, keep the recruiters informed about the offer that you have received and request if you could have more time before making your final decision. However, again make sure that you have a written offer from the other company.
You can also use this opportunity to negotiate your compensation. You can do this by first thanking them for the opportunity. Next, you can mention that the company is your top pick for this role, however, you have also received a competent offer from another XYZ company.
While evaluating different offers, think about your long-term career goals and understand which job is more likely to lead you there. Also, ensure that you understand the salary breakdown and other job perks so that you can make an informed decision.
4. Learn about opportunities for professional growth
One way to gauge whether the company values its employees is through reading the job description. Is it merely a list of to-dos for you with no mention of what the company can do for you? That might be a red flag. On the other hand, if the company has explicitly mentioned the kind of development opportunities that they provide and you believe that you can improve your skill set, then you are good to go. In case there’s room for doubt, seek more information from the recruiter.
5. Make sure that you are not rushing into starting the job
While your employer might want you to start right away, it may not be feasible for you. If that’s the case, communicate it to your employer, and ask for the adequate amount of time. The employer should be able to provide that if you don’t have a long list of other demands!
6. Explore the company culture
Company culture will be an essential part of your professional growth. So, make sure you go beyond what meets the eye.
Besides scanning the company page and their social media, go through Glassdoor and LinkedIn to find out how former employees feel about the company. However, be careful while going through solely negative reviews. Have they been written in a professional, neutral tone or does it seem like a review from a disgruntled employee?
Also, pay attention to the turnover rate in the company or for your role. Although employees do frequently change their jobs, is the departure rate alarming? You can also get in touch with former employees through LinkedIn as they will be in a better position to speak their mind.
Another key thing to remember is the kind of environment that has worked for you in the past. While some employees may thrive in a highly autonomous environment, you may be more productive in a collaborative environment.
7. Think about work-life balance
Try to find out what a typical workday in your role looks like, are there flexible work hours, and what is their leave policy. Even if you do not mind working long hours, you should still ensure that the company cares about the personal wellbeing of its employees.
8. Clear any doubts about your offer letter
Before signing, make sure that you have understood everything that’s on the offer letter and aren’t waiting to figure it out as you go. For example, have you understood the terms for the bonuses that you will receive?
9. Know more about your supervisor and team
The team that you work with can have a huge impact on your workplace experience. So, to begin with, find out whether you are aligned with your supervisor’s management style. You can request a small catchup with them and ask them questions about their approach to leading the team. During this meeting, you can also discuss the dynamics in the team. Find out if team meetings take place frequently or you will be mostly working by yourself. If a meeting seems off limits, you could use their email communication to gauge their personality. Alternatively, you can also leverage your LinkedIn network to get in touch with people who have worked with them before.
10. Take the offer letter in writing
Make sure that you accept a written work contract! This should include details like salary, benefits, starting date, and other agreed terms.
Once you have made up your mind, accept or decline the job offer graciously by thanking them for their time and consideration.
If you are already jumping with excitement to start your job, congratulations! However, if the wait for the right job is still not over, check out fresher jobs, and start applying!