You made it through the hardest parts of the job-seeking process — you crafted an excellent application, thoroughly researched the company and aced the interviews. Now you just need to decide whether to accept the offer extended to you.
Before you blindly take the job, it’s important to think through all of the options and scenarios. Yes, it might seem like it’s the perfect fit, but it never hurts to do a little more digging.
Here are the questions you should ask before you accept a new job.
Is it a good culture fit?
Company culture isn’t everything but it can make your day-to-day work life that much better. If you don’t feel like you fit in with the people you’ll be working with or just don’t jive with the general office vibes it may be best to keep looking.
When you go into the office for the interview take note of the setup. Is it open-concept or are there offices? That can be a signal to the amount of collaboration a company encourages. And it’s OK to ask the hiring manager or HR representative about the culture. Inquiring about team structure and camaraderie, company outings and office interactions can help you understand if you would fit in as a new employee.
Will this role challenge me? Will I advance my career working here?
You may be looking for a new job for many reasons. Maybe you’re bored in your current role, you want to switch industries or you don’t get along with your boss and/or team. While those (and many more) are all valid reasons to leave a position, it’s important to make a strategic move, too. Think about the things you like about your current role and how you want to improve in the future. Then make sure to ask how the hiring manager thinks about the future of the open role and whether what you’re looking for aligns with that.
Is this job the next step in achieving my ultimate career goal?
Similarly, it’s important for your jobs to be stepping stones to your ultimate career goal. How else will you get there if you’re not constantly working towards it? Sketch out a quick career map with your end goal at the top and the steps to get there. The steps could be education, skills, experience or any combination of them. Then consider where the job that’s been offered fits into your career map. If it does — great! If not, it might be best to keep looking.
Does the company offer the benefits and salary I’m looking for?
A job isn’t all about the money, but it can play a major part in whether you accept a new position or not. If your current company offers childcare reimbursement and the new role doesn’t, but the salaries are similar, it might not be the right financial decision to take the job. Weigh what you need in terms of salary and benefits versus what you want and you’ll have a better idea of if the offer on the table is feasible for your specific situation.
Am I excited about the job/company?
How did you feel when you got the job offer? Were you instantly excited and smiling ear to ear? If your gut reaction wasn’t positive it’s worth thinking about why. Yes, you could need time to wrap your head around it, but if you start to realize your initial thoughts hold a lot of weight then it’s probably not the best choice to accept the position. You want to go into a new job with a positive attitude, not reservations about whether it’s the right choice.
So next time you’re considering if you should accept a job offer ask yourself these questions. But remember it’s also important to listen to your gut. You probably already know, subconsciously, if you should take the job and answering these questions honestly can help put it into perspective.