Congratulations! You got the offer. You successfully passed the resume, interview, and background phase of the job search. Now what do you do? It might be tempting to go ahead and accept the offer right away because it’s the first offer you’ve received and you’re concerned that you may not get another one.
If you do accept the offer, you could be making a big mistake. So take a deep breath and ask the company for some time to think about the offer. Let them know you would like to read through all the documents they provided so you have a good understanding of what’s being offered. Companies will normally give you a few days before requesting a final decision.
Now that you have some time, let’s walk through everything that you should consider before accepting your offer:
Is it the right job?
The most important point to consider is the job. Is it what you want to do considering you’ll be spending 40+ hours a week doing it. When considering the job, answer the following questions:
- Do you get excited when you think about doing the job?
- Does the work fall in line with your career plan?
- Is it the type of job that makes you want to go to work in the morning?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the questions, then the job may not be the right one for you.
Is the culture of the company a fit?
Not only do you want to make sure that the job is right for you but is the company right for you, too? To determine if the culture is a fit conduct the following research:
- Search the company’s website for their value statement and whether they are committed to supporting a diverse workforce.
- Look at reviews on the company at places like Glassdoor.
- It’s perfectly acceptable to call the recruiter or the hiring manager and discuss the culture with them. Ask them why they decided to work for the company and if they like it.
Keep in mind that the size of the company can dictate culture as well. The larger the company the more policies and less flexible the company will be. Start-ups tend to be the most flexible with regards to work environment.
Consider the offer?
After you considered the job and the culture of the company and you believe both are acceptable, now consider the offer. Make sure that you gather all the appropriate information you’ll need before deciding if the offer is right for you. Refer to the Job Offer Checklist to help you gather the pertinent information.
In the end, let your instincts be your guide. If accepting the offer doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Because the worst thing that can happen is that you accept the offer and within the first 30 days you realize you made a mistake. Not only have you wasted 30 days you could have been using to find the right job, now you’re in a situation of having to decide do you quit so soon after accepting. There’s a good chance if you do quit you might burn a bridge, too.
Don’t ever accept the first offer just because you got the offer. If that company wants you then there are other companies who will want your expertise as well. Looking for a job takes a lot of time and energy. Taking the time to find the job that fits will prevent you from having to incur the stress of looking for another job right away if the one you accepted doesn’t fit.