Evaluating Job Offers in 5 Easy Steps
Congratulations on your job offer! You’re in the home stretch, but before you accept, or even respond, to any job offer, give careful consideration to this list to ensure your decision benefits all aspects of your career and your personal life.
Is There Room To Negotiate With The Offer?
The first thing to remember is 99% of all job offers are negotiable in some way or another. Almost all companies will consider adjustments to an offer, whether they are salary, perks or even location changes, so don’t freak out if what they send you isn’t perfect right off the bat. The rest of this list will help you decide what you need to counter on, what you can live with, and what’s a deal breaker.
Is The Compensation What You Deserve?
This is probably the first part of a job offer you’ll look at, and rightly so. It’s your livelihood we’re talking about here, and there’s no reason to sell yourself short. On the other hand, it’s not wise to shoot too far past the salary/hourly rate you expected from the position. If the offer is low based on your compensation research, respond gratefully but provide fully supported reasons why a higher pay rate is not only fair for your market, but would keep you motivated and feeling valued.
What Do The Benefits Look Like?
If you accepted that job offer today, but had to see your dentist next week, who’s going to pay for your visit? Even contract designers and marketing consultants should think about the benefits package they receive from their employers because more often than not, there’s room to negotiate. Just make sure you have a good understanding of what’s covered, when your coverage starts and what your options are.
How Are The Perks?
Google offers some of the greatest employee perks on the planet because frankly, perks matter. Even if some parts of your job or contract offer aren’t perfect, perhaps an impressive list of perks, like pet-friendly offices and on-site laundry services, will make the offer worth it. Remember that perks extend beyond the office cafeteria and annual company picnic. Adding a company name to your resume can boost your career and professional reputation whether you’re there full time or you helped redesign their website.
How Does Everything Else Fit?
This item is intentionally broad because there are number of elements in your job offer that are going to be very specific to your situation. For example, are you happy with the job title, the location, the hours they ask you to work, the specific culture of the organization, the length of the contract, the terms of payment, etc? The point here is to mentally try on every little element of the job offer to make sure everything fits as best as possible. For example, you don’t want to get a great hourly rate, at a prestigious company, and receive total creative freedom only to realize later that company’s policy on Social Media is a little tight.
At the end of the day, not every job offer is perfect, but you’ll often have room to negotiate when you need to. The trick is to give careful consideration to the parts of the offer that matter most, counter on what you can’t possibly live with or without, and do what’s best for your career.