The Job Offer
They just called and made you an offer. The money is good; the commute is okay so you are ready to say “Yes, when do you want me to start?” Not so fast.
What to Look for When Considering a Job Offer.
Remember the proverbial frying pan into the fire? You want to make sure that this job and company match the criteria you already identified and is a place where the “you” that you identified will thrive. Don’t end up making a mistake by accepting the job offer and taking a job doing work you don’t like, for the worst boss ever, in an environment where you won’t thrive.
Let’s take a look at some of the criteria you should consider and questions you should ask the hiring manager or yourself before you know this is the right job.
Wait for the Right Job to Come Along.
Don’t just take any job. Take a lesson from a dear friend of mine. He took the first job that came along - even though he saw caution flags flying. Three months later he was on the job market again and had to start over. In the long run, it took him longer to find the ultimate job than if he had turned down the job offer and just kept looking.
Think back to the worst boss or the worst company you’ve ever worked for (most of us have those). If this new job is as bad as those, then you’ll be miserable. There’s a plan for you, one that will prosper you and not harm you, one that will give you hope and a future. Why would you settle for anything less?
Understand the Job Opportunity.
When you receive a job offer, you want to be 99.9% sure you understand the opportunity that is being offered. You understand the salary, the benefits and, of course, the commute. What other things do you need to know up front? A lot.
Let’s use one example. If you will be traveling on company business, even periodically, you want to understand the policies on travel expenses.
Does the company require you to use your own credit card? If so, that means you’ll always need enough available credit for any last-minute company trips your need to take.
Do you get a company credit card? In most cases the company issues a company credit card to travelers but the bill comes to the employee’s home to be paid. In this case you want to understand the average time it takes for the company to process expense reports and get the reimbursement check to the employee.
Some companies are notorious for talking a full month or more getting the reimbursement to the employee, in essence floating a loan on the employee’s back yet companies don’t reimburse late payment fees. This is one example of additional information you’ll need to understand about the opportunity.
Be sure also to measure the opportunity against the requirements you established at the beginning of your search.
Is This Job Right For You?
As part of the inventory process, you identified your personality (the way you were made). You reviewed your prior job history and identified what you liked best and least about your former companies, bosses and the positions you held.
You’ll also want to evaluate whether or not the job opportunity lines up with your personality and if the work environment matches your personality.
Two popular personality tests, Myers Brigg Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, evaluate whether or not you are an introvert or extrovert. People identified as an extrovert get their energy from being around people, whereas introverts recharge their batteries by being alone.
If you’re an extrovert, working from home could drive you crazy. Like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, you can’t wait to get out and around people. But if you’re an introvert, constantly working around people with frequent interruptions and no time to yourself drains you.
Myers Brigg also measures whether or not you like to have things orderly (J type), or if you prefer to ‘wing it’ (P type). If you’re a J and are asked to work in a company that doesn’t have any written processes, no on-boarding orientation and frequently changes in direction, you could feel lost. If instead you are P and the company is buttoned up tight, you could feel stifled.
Prior Job History
You evaluated your prior jobs to determine what you want in a company and in a boss so you can flourish. Leverage that information. Measure the company, the boss and the position you’re being offered against these identified qualities.
Now’s the Time to Negotiate!
The best time to get the right salary is when you come into the company. It’s harder to get equity increases once you’re working there. Most hiring managers don’t give their best and final offer initially; on the other hand they don’t low ball the offer either. There is usually a little room for negotiations.
Don’t forget to ask for other things besides salary during your negotiation process.
If you want to pursue a professional certificate for instance, ask if the company will cover the costs of the preparation, exam and other fees.
Another item up for possible discussion include occasionally working from home so you can the start or end time (to avoid the rush hours or to pick a child up from daycare), as well as getting extra vacation days.
Whatever you both decide during negotiations be sure to get the agreement in writing.
Are You at Peace about Taking the Position?
You’ll experience an amazing peace if this is the right position and company for you. Check your “peace-a-meter” to be sure you don’t have any negative or nagging thoughts about taking the job. If you do, you need to evaluate them and make the right thought-out decision, not a decision out of desperation.
Take the job that is meant for you – the one in which you will flourish and use your God-given gifts and talents.
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