Getting a job offer is exciting. It doesn’t matter if it’s the company of your dreams, or if you’re just in the market to see what’s out there. It’s proof that someone thinks your skills are valuable and that you “still got it” as far as interviews go. It’s also an opportunity to make a leap of faith or just experience a change of pace. How can you not smile when you get a call saying “we want to make you an offer.”
For those of us looking to make a change because we despise the role we’re in, or because we realized our true passion, hearing those words can lead to a lot of stress. You’re no longer just thinking about how you can impress the prospective company. Now you’re thinking about what makes the most sense and what it’ll mean for the next few years of your life. But before you say “Peace out!” to your current company or to unemployment, there are a few things you need to consider.
Note: For many, some job is better than no job. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get yourself in the mindset of thinking these things through regardless of the economic climate or job market. The goal is to one day be able to write your own ticket.
Can I work with my potential boss?
People don’t leave their companies. They leave their bosses – particularly when we’re talking about someone that hasn’t been with the organization more than 2-3 years. It could be the company of your dreams. But if you report to someone that really annoyed you and came off as condescending during the interview process, what do you think that’ll mean once you start? Yes, it could be an intentionally stressful interview, but most hiring managers want to start building a rapport during the interview process. Well, at least that’s what good hiring managers want to do. They want people on their team that’ll be easy to work with and will make their lives easier. You have to remember that an interview is a 2-way street. And if it isn’t, is that really the place you want to be? Make sure you give this some thought.
Did I stretch the truth to fit in during the interview?
When we go into interviews, we want to represent the best versions of ourselves possible. Sometimes we’ll embellish to show we’re an extra bright star. We’ll highlight experience that we’d find insignificant otherwise as proof that we can get the job done. But when you start fibbing about your values and mending your worldview to fit in with what you think the company wants, you’re setting yourself up for a poor organizational culture match. Job satisfaction isn’t just about being employed — for most of us at least. It’s about enjoying what you do day to day, the environment you work in and the people you work with. If you couldn’t get the job being you, how do you think it’ll feel after an extended period of being someone else?
Am I Getting What I’m Worth?
As a former headhunter, I couldn’t tell you how much I looked forward to working with a job seeker that I knew would say yes to any amount as long as it got them the gig. It made my job easier and my wallet fatter. I’ll spare you the technical details of how staffing agency recruiters are paid. That was a past life though. Don’t hold it against me. I’ve atoned for my transgressions.
I’ve also been on the other side of the table. Desperate to find a job new job, I hesitated to ask for what I thought I was worth because I was afraid I’d lose the opportunity and they’d move on to the next candidate. The truth is, companies expect you to negotiate unless they tell you what the position will pay upfront. If they think you’re worth making an offer to, they figure that other organizations think you’re worth it too.
With all the time they’ve invested in meeting and courting you, they not only want you to accept but also to stay so they see a return on the investment. Before you say yes to the offer, you need to ask yourself if you’re getting the amount you think you’re worth. And if you’re taking a lesser amount, it should be because the position is bringing you experience that’ll allow you to make the transition to the role you want in the future. Here’s a great selection of advice articles on figuring out and negotiating the salary you’re worth.
These are just three things to keep in mind before you accept the offer. If you’re at that point today, congratulations on the potential opportunity! If you’re looking forward to it in the future, remember the value of your happiness and the cost of regret.
Rich Jones is a Pathfinder for Professionals with a knack for helping the wayward determine the next steps of their careers. He’s also a certified professional in Human Resources with for-profit and non-profit recruiting experience. Check Rich out on his career blog. I Am Rich Jones.