You just received an offer and sigh with relief. The hard work is over, right? Not really. Determining whether or not to accept a job offer is no walk in the park. Considering we have come out of a multi-year recession, many people have put up with horrendous workloads, nasty bosses and reduced salaries. Feeling a little unappreciated, it can be very tempting to jump at that first offer. But wait! Do your homework first and consider the following before you accept.
1. Miserable in your current job. Are you escaping a bad job or boss? Or does the new job offer an opportunity for you to make an impact, improve your financial situation, shorten your commute or all of the above? If the latter is the case, go for it. If not, think about what is really motivating you to accept the offer. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”.
2. Drawn by the money. Maybe you have been out of work for a while or have had your salary cut during the recession. Bills have piled up and the salary offer is better than you had ever dreamed. Don’ t base your decision to accept solely on money. Are they asking you to work 24/7 or travel for extended periods? That fat paycheck may barely compensate you for an 80-hour work week. Then again, you need to ask yourself, do you ‘live to work, or work to live’?
3. Conflicting job requirements. During the interview the hiring manager describes the job; yet his manager provides a completely different view of the job responsibilities. And HR can’t provide you with a written job description. Big red flag! Obviously we don’t know who is on first base here and if the hiring team is confused so will you if you decide to join. Run like heck.
4. A potential bad boss. Maybe you already have a horrible boss. The important thing here is not to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. Watch for signs during your interview. Does the boss seem disinterested, distracted or act disrespectfully to others in the office (just a bully)? Does she accept phone calls or answer emails and texts during your interview? These are signs of someone who lacks good managerial skills and could prove to make you more miserable than you already are. Stay put!
5. Bad interview experience. Your interview gets cut short because the hiring manager has something more important to tend to. Or you are not given the opportunity to meet potential co–workers during your interview. Or you were left waiting in the lobby for 20, 30 minutes or more before your interview. All of these behaviors demonstrate a total disrespect for your time on behalf of your potential employer.
6. Office mood/culture seems off. Do employees interact with each other freely or do they seem reclusive? What is the mood like in the break room? Is there friendly conversation or dead silence? Do employees acknowledge you or turn away? Are cubbies personalized or drab? Be observant of your surroundings to get a feel for the mood of the place. Body language can tell you volumes!
Lastly, what is your gut telling you? Even though the offer on paper looks good, if there is something about your role, your boss or the work environment that doesn’t seem right, go with your gut instinct. I am guessing it has served you well in the past so listen to it carefully now. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.