9 Things to Consider - Evaluating a Job Offer
26 Nov 15 by Michelle Bishop
Getting a job offer is always an exciting prospect. Getting that call can often feel like all your hard work searching for a job has paid off. However, this in itself shouldn’t be the main reason for accepting the opportunity. Even if your situation is pressing, taking a job offer without carefully thinking about it is almost always a bad idea. Before you accept an offer, here’s our top nine things that you should always consider.
Most importantly, you need to make sure that the role is something you’re looking for, or willing to do. This is what you’ll be doing every day, so make sure that you’re going to be happy with it. What kind of role is it? What will you be doing day-to-day? If you’re currently in a job, is this prospective role an upgrade? These questions will likely have been answered in your interview, but it pays to look back at these answers when considering the offer to ensure that you are clear on what the new role entails.
2. Fringe benefits
Many employers offer other benefits as part of their remuneration packages. It’s wise to consider these, as these benefits can often save you significant amounts of money. Whether it’s a phone or a laptop/Mac that you can use for personal use, training schemes, healthcare benefits, monetary bonuses, stock options, or even just a car park, some of these benefits can be far more valuable than they first appear.
Naturally, one of the most important things to look at when evaluating a job offer is the company itself. During your interview you’ll have likely been able to do a little people-watching, and got a sneak peek at what the company is like to work at. Is it more formal or casual? Is it an isolated, cubicle divided office, or is it more of an open plan, collaborative environment? Furthermore, what are the people like? If you know anybody there already, probe them about who you’ll be working with, what management is like, and whether there’s much in the way of office politics. A great salary and benefits package is nice, but if the cultural fit is all wrong then the paycheque can quickly fall by the wayside.
One of the most important parts of a company’s culture is their methodology. In IT, this often comes down to Agile versus Waterfall, two distinct methods of development. Both have their pros and cons and thus cater to different types of people and projects, with Waterfall being a very linear, planned process, as opposed to the constantly iterative Agile method. Considering that this is the way you will be working in this new role, it’s important to think about which approach you prefer, and whether this company offers that.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you’ll be challenged in this new role. Though being overworked and overstressed is never a good thing, a role that provides new challenges, learning opportunities and a platform for professional development is a big positive for your career. If you’re going to get bored quickly in your new role, it might not be worth the move, as you’ll find yourself wanting to move on sooner rather than later. Moreover, being in a role for a long time and not being challenged may have a negative effect when it comes to getting your next role, as your skillset will not have developed as it should have.
Another important point in IT is the kind of technology you’re going to be working with, and the level
that it’s at. If you’re working with the latest and greatest tech in your current role, then think about the consequences of downgrading on that front. Though it may not seem like an important point at first, getting used to a new workflow, and dealing with the possible slowdowns and compatibility issues that may come with that, may well make you more frustrated than you first imagined.
Even if the company has a great culture, and offers you all the latest and greatest technology in an agile environment, you still need to physically get there. A commute might seem like something you can shrug off, but it soon starts to become a draining process when three hours of your day is taken up in travel time. If you need to re-locate for this role, think about how much time, effort and money that is going to cost, and whether your new employer will make allowances for that.
8. Work/Life Balance
Recent Sourced Reports have shown that work/life balance is a huge motivator for IT professionals. Priorities have shifted from financial rewards towards more intrinsic, life-focused motivators, so ensuring that your new role allows for a healthy balance is important. Will you still have time to continue all of your outside-of-work activities? Are flexible hours an option? When do you start accruing holidays? These are all questions to ask if you want to know how this new role will affect your work/life balance.
This is often the first thing that people look at when they get a job offer, but it’s last on this list as it ties into each of the above factors by posing the question: is it worth it? A $3,000-5,000 rise in your annual salary may not be a significant enough increase to encourage a move, as that number quickly gets smaller when looked at in terms of your regular paycheque. Some employers are open to negotiate salary for all but entry level roles, so don’t be afraid to open up the conversation if you’re not happy with the initial figure (as your recruitment partner, we will happily help you with this). Remember that you’re likely going to be on a set pay level for at least one year, so make sure it is enough to support you or your family before accepting it.
Take your time when going through the pros and cons of an offer. If you’re hesitating to take a job offer, feel free to get in touch with us here at Sourced and we’ll help you with your decision.