Your interview is over, you’ve made the right impression and you receive that all important offer of employment. Congratulations! But the work isn’t over yet. Preparing for an offer is just as vital as the steps that came before it. Your first reaction may be to accept but it is important to evaluate every opportunity carefully before making a decision.
I sometimes see job seekers enthusiastically accept offers only to discover that they made several assumptions about the opportunity that were wrong.
Take a look at these questions and guidelines to ensure that the job is right for you and that it is what you think it is!
1. Ask Yourself these questions
- Does this offer satisfy your career goals, job needs, what you desire to do, and what you know you can do well?
- Is the culture and leadership style a good fit for you?
- Will your day to day responsibilities provide enough of the things that give you energy - that you enjoy?
- Does it meet all your non-negotiables? (i.e. compensation, benefits, company values, friendly people, location, flex time, etc.)
- Is this position a step forward? Will it enhance your resume/profile and help you move forward with your career now and a few years down the line?
- How does it compare to your current job and compensation package? Is this really a better opportunity?
- How does it compare to other opportunities you are considering? A checklist of your key criteria is helpful with this.
2. Talk it Over
Once you’ve thought about the above questions, talk to your close friends, family, and partner. They may be able to offer insights or spot issues with the offer that you haven’t noticed.
3. Ask Questions & Negotiate
Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on things you’re not certain about. You don’t want to end up signing a contract or offer letter for terms you later regret. It is always better to negotiate as much as you can now rather than after you are employed.
First you should fully understand everything about the position, the culture, and the company before moving forward with any discussions on salary. If there are factors other than salary in the offer which don’t meet your requirements, then it is better to address the pieces you would like to adapt before taking time negotiating salary.
For example - is it clear how much flexibility you will have for working from home? What will the company cover to provide this flexibility (cell phone, internet, laptop, Zoom account). How does PTO work if you are able to work from home with a sick child or a non class room day - is it still PTO or acceptable as a work day.
Second maximize all the non salary benefits first such as PTO, Holidays, work from home flexibility, benefits, resources, training, education, life/disability insurance, 401k, options etc. then work on salary. Otherwise, an employer might not be willing to move on salary and instead just sweeten the benefits. If you already maximized these it only leaves room for more salary.