You’ve done the hard part. You’ve been through how ever many interview stages, met with all sorts of members of the company and you’ve managed to impress them all and get the job. Congratulations! But before you accept the offer what should you consider?
Confucius, who lived 500 years BC, is famously quoted for stating ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’. The philosopher realised this over 2000 years ago and it is still incredibly relevant to this day. With the average person spending around 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime it is important to spend time researching and considering an offer to ensure you select the right role / company for your present self, bearing in mind where you want to be in the future. In no particular order, we reveal six killer questions to ask yourself before accepting any job offer:
1. Have you received written confirmation of the offer?
Before you make any sort of commitment to a new role, it’s important to have seen written confirmation of the job description so that both you and the employer know exactly what is expected from the role you will be taking on. It is also essential to ensure you have the offer in writing with the exact details of your contract and total package. If not just for your own peace of mind, but for your security, should the hiring manager have to unexpectedly leave the company!
2. Are you aware of the reasons the role has become available?
It’s always sensible to ask why the employer is making the hire. Is it a newly created position or has someone recently left? If it’s the latter, why did they leave and how many people have come and gone in the last three years? Finding out why previous employees have moved on from the role may give you an idea of if it’s right for you and what not to do in order to be successful in the position.
3. Do you identify with the company culture?
After going through the (often long and drawn out!) process to secure the job offer, it is essential once starting the role that you don’t feel a desire to leave the second you walk through the door. Whilst settling in can take time and it’s unusual to love something, (especially if it pushes you out of your comfort zone) straight away, you should be able to see potential and the opportunity available.
To manage your own expectations of what joining the company is actually going to feel like – do your research! What does the company’s marketing material state on their website? Is there any evidence of staffs’ attitude to the employer and the work environment on social media? Has the company hit the headlines recently for any positive or negative reasons? The interview process should have provided you with the opportunity to ask questions around company culture and the characteristics the employer expects from people who would fit into, embrace and enjoy the culture. However, if you weren’t given this opportunity, there’s no harm in arranging an informal chat with the hiring manager or recruiter to cover off any of your questions post offer. If you’re currently in the midst of an interview process, check out our advice on the best way to prepare for and get the most out of an interview.
4. Have you been introduced to your immediate team?
Before accepting a role it’s important to get some clarity around whether your can see yourself working effectively within your new team. Ensure you have met your new line-manager and any direct reports before making a formal decision. Why not look the team up on social media to deepen your understanding of your perspective colleagues or use LinkedIn to see what path they took to secure their current role? This will show if the team have similar backgrounds to you but also if you have the right level of experience to be taking on a role managing or reporting into them. By using LinkedIn you can also find out which connections you have in common with your future colleagues; incredibly useful for trying to source an unbiased view on what they know about the people and how they enjoy their role / the company.
5. Will accepting the offer be sustainable in the long run?
You may have been searching for a job for quite some time but that doesn’t mean you should just rush into accepting the first offer you get. Some jobs may well just not be feasible for you to commit to and might not weave into the life you’re looking to lead. Thoroughly research the commute to make sure it’s practical to undertake on a day to day basis. If it’s not, perhaps do some digging around the employer’s flexible working policy.
Also, although money may not be your key motivator, is the salary enough to sustain the lifestyle you have or need? Work out exactly how much you would take home on a month by month basis and map this back to your planned expenditures to see if it will cover everything. This may seem common sense but when you have been searching for a long time it can be instinct to rush into something and not properly think it through. And remember, this company saw something in you to extend the job offer in the first place, this will often be seen by others as well.
6. Does the role support your professional goals?
It is also incredibly important to consider your professional goals. Are you looking for development opportunities and if so, what kind of training and routes to progression will be available to you? Making sure your ambitions and expectations are in line with what the business can offer will help ensure your next role is successful and fulfilling for both you and the employer.
As discussed work takes up such a massive portion of your life, make sure you make a considered and educated decision on any job offers. And when you do find the perfect role, ENJOY and take into consideration how everyone around you also deserves to enjoy their role and hopefully will then ‘never have to work a day in their life’ too !