If you’re looking for work, it’s tempting to inundate the job market with your resume and take the first offer you get. But as a career seeker, you need to think strategically, while keeping your options open. You’ll have more success with landing a job—and being happy once you’re there—when you’ve assessed your needs, as well as the company’s, in advance. Following are ten things to consider before accepting a job offer.
1. Company culture. Does the company’s dress code, leadership style, and overall mission fit your personality and work habits? An interview can confirm your instincts and help you make an informed decision.
2. Salary. Be realistic. For most companies, the slow economic recovery doesn’t permit high starting salaries. However, after you’ve been offered the job, you have the chance to prove your worth.
3. Benefits. Does your employee package include medical and dental benefits? Are other benefits included in the employee package such as profit sharing? Is there a retirement plan or tuition reimbursement?
4. Opportunities for career advancement. What are the projected timetables for promotion? If the job doesn’t lead to advancement, does it offer an opportunity to sharpen your skills or meet people in your field? Think creatively to determine alternative ways that the job can bolster your career.
5. Training program. Will you receive formal training? Who will train you and for how long? Find out what tools the company offers to help you perform optimally.
6. Travel. Many corporate positions, particularly in sales-related fields, require travel. How often must you travel? What is the company’s policy for reimbursements? If travel is local, will you have use of a company car?
7. Commute. How much time will it take to get to and from your job each day? Is this acceptable to you? Is public transportation an option? Is there someone you can carpool with?
8. Evaluations. How often are evaluations given? What skills and qualities are rated on the evaluation? How does the company measure success within your position?