Congratulations! You just got that job offer you really didn’t think was possible. I know how frustrating it is to go through so many interviews and endless resume revisions, especially during these trying times of global pandemic crisis and personal mental health scares, just to position yourself for that call back from human resources.
Then, you realize you know the job title and you’ve read the position description, but you really don’t have any idea what you’ve gotten yourself into! I would suggest that you want to be pragmatic, and consider the environment that the job offer will subject you to.
It may appear to be the perfect opportunity, or maybe you’ve found yourself just chasing the money; but, before you commit and sign on the dotted line, consider what you’re signing up for. It’s certainly better to cover all bases before you throw your hat into the ring, but here are seven things that are not only important but will help you get a full 360 view of the position and possibly keep you from feeling miserable in the long run.
Company culture is at the top of the list of considerations when applying for or accepting a new position or job role. Having to work for a very conservative company, I can honestly say I was sorely out of my element. I literally hated being there due to the miss-match of the company and my vision for growing and prospering in that organization.
From that experience, I vow to never accept any job offer without taking time to know and understand the company’s leadership style, policies and core values, as well as the workplace culture. How well do team members work together and interact with one another in the office. Can you expect your ideas and contributions to be taken seriously and be valued at the company? Does the company have a history of showing flexibility, and being open to encouraging a healthy work-life balance for its employees? Are diversity and inclusion important to the company?
Questions to ask yourself:
- Does the company’s work ethics align with your work ethics?
- What does the employee satisfaction scores look like for the company?
- Does the company support work-life balance?
- What is the organization’s leadership style?
Understanding Your Role
The published job description for a position doesn’t always precisely match the work or job expectations for the role being advertised. You should be sure to seek clarification of your role and responsibilities and know what measures your success. Do your best to get a full understanding of what you will be doing and consider your role relative to its benefits toward your long-term career goals. Don’t feel pressured or forced to take on just any position that comes your way. (Hopefully, you asked during the interview why the position was currently vacant anyways).
You don’t want to accept a job that brings no purpose or fulfillment to your career goals. Not every opportunity is a great opportunity. It’s really important to research and understand the full details of the job you’re considering. Understand your strengths and the skills that you will bring to the organization and how they add value. You really want to feel confident that the position offers you the role you want and that you can thrive.
- Do you fully understand the position and its job responsibilities?
- Does the role match your skills?
- Will you acquire new skills that will advance your career goals?
- Is this a long-term strategic role?
- Do you feel confident enough in yourself to take on the role?
- Is the role challenging enough to keep you engaged and not bore you?
Potential For Career Advancement
If you are pursuing a long-term strategic role, you want to understand the subsequent assignment of persons previously assigned to the position under consideration. Think about and make inquiries about the terms in the position to assess your potential for advancement within a reasonable term, i.e. within a year or two from assignment to the role.
How can you acquire such a position? If the potential for advancement for a position is low, you can’t expect to stay motivated or satisfied with the role in the long run. A vast majority of employees who leave their job, do so because they become disenchanted and are discouraged by low prospects for advancement such as promotions or salary increases when assigned to a dead-end job.
- What is the average timeline for a promotion within this role?
- How might your responsibilities change with a promotion for this role?
- Who were the last three incumbents of this position doing today?
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion simply mean creating opportunities for everyone regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, and disabilities. Being a minority constantly surrounding by non-minority colleagues, it can be quite challenging to feel like you can be yourself and to always feel welcome in such an environment. Many companies are making great progress moving in the right direction for advocating and uplifting workplace equality as one of their core values. You want to make sure that you, as an employee, are valued and are given the same opportunity as everyone else.
- How do minorities feel they are treated in the workplace?
- How many minorities hold senior-level roles, and for how long?
- Does the company support D&I with affinity groups within and outside of the office?
Having an expansive network of colleagues is important to today’s workforce. You want to make sure you have an opportunity to stay in contact and engage with, as well as build business relationships with people within and outside your company. Colleagues, co-workers, supervisors, and managers should all be available through networking channels. In the consulting world, it’s really important to have strong connections with everyone which includes peers, leadership, and the client community. I cannot stress how valuable networking is to everyone regardless of job title.
- How big is your network at this new job?
- Are there open opportunities to connect with senior management?
Outlook of the Company
You want to stay up to date with current news and events within the company’s industry to understand the outlook for any major changes or disruption on the horizon. What’s happening from the financial standpoint: mergers acquisitions, new products, or new competition. For some industries, such as oil and gas, economic outlooks are constantly changing, almost unpredictably. Read what the company has to say about its plans for the future such as downsizing a particular department or division or simply being sold to a less sound company.
- What’s the current trend of the company’s stock in the securities market?
- Is there credible speculation about the company downsizing or reorganizing?
- Does the company have any history of layoffs or salary cuts during an economic downturn?
I think many people shy away from the compensation discussion because they see it as too confrontational. You may want to research the salary range and history for similar jobs within the target industry group.
Internet or web searches for your city or region may provide a good range for comparison to see if you’re getting paid what may be considered reasonable or customary. If not, you should use that information strategically in your future compensation discussion. This book is a great read to understand and master negotiation skills. It’s up to you to make sure you are fairly compensated for your contribution as a valued employee.
- Does the salary match your experience and/or education?
- Does the offer match the industry’s compensation benchmark for that particular role?
- What are the company’s retirement and medical contributions?
- Does your role have any annual raises and/or bonuses?
- Is the company open to salary negotiations?
Featured photo: Unknown
Anything else to consider before accepting a job offer? Comment below!
This article was originally posted on November 17th, 2017. Made updates to reflect current events.