The process of finding a new job when you’re looking to change careers or companies can be grueling and frustrating. With lengthy application processes and extended delays before hearing back, it’s easy to begin to lose hope. And so, when you are offered a new job, you may be tempted to jump at the opportunity and sign on the dotted line before you have all of the information. However, it’s in your best interest to carefully consider all of the conditions of a new job offer, even if doing so means that you’ll turn down this offer and wait for another. Here are three things to consider about a job offer before you decide if it’s the one for you.
Pay vs. Cost of Living
When you receive a formal job offer, the offer should, of course, include a proposed salary or hourly wage. It’s easy to compare this salary to your current salary, and thus to ensure that you aren’t taking a pay cut. In fact, you should be taking at least a modest pay increase, to compensate you for the effort and energy it takes to move companies.
However, sometimes the comparison between your current salary and your proposed new salary is not as straightforward. If the new job would require you to move, especially if it would require you to move across state lines, it’s imperative that you factor in the cost of living in your new town. For instance, a salary of $50,000 in rural Ohio will not purchase you the same lifestyle as a salary of $50,000 in San Francisco or in New York City. If you will be moving to a more expensive area, your new salary should reflect that so you can continue living at the same comfort level after your move.
Note that a low offer from your prospective employer does not mean game over. You can negotiate the offer and request a higher salary — which your prospective employer may be more than willing to accommodate.
Along with your salary or hourly wage, carefully consider the insurance plans that your prospective company offers. This is especially important if you have dependents who need health insurance coverage, or if you are going to be working a physically dangerous job.
Insurance policies can be confusing and overwhelming, but more than likely there will be an employee at your prospective company who is more than willing to explain the policies to you. Make sure that your prospective company offers a health insurance plan that will allow you to cope with the costs of any existing conditions, as well as emergency injuries and workplace injury.
Although the “vibe” of a company or office can’t be quantified and written into a job offer, it is still an incredibly important factor in your future happiness. If you haven’t been able to visit the working space of your prospective company, ask to be given a tour of the facility or to talk with a prospective co-worker before you accept a job offer. You may not be able to get a complete picture of the company’s personality in one visit, but you’ll likely be able to tell if you would fit in with the pace and the tone of office. The atmosphere of your potential workplace can make a world of difference in your job satisfaction down the road, so it’s crucial not to overlook this point.
No matter where your job search takes you, be sure to consider each new step with both caution and optimism, and you will find a job that fits just right with your goals and your working style. Happy hunting!