How To Evaluate A Job Offer

Applying and interviewing for jobs is an exhausting process. Then you see a light at the end of the tunnel — a job offer. Congratulations on this big win! Before filling out your company ID information and firing up your new email address, it’s important to evaluate the offer in front of you first. 

Too often, people take the wrong job simply because the job was offered. Remember: you don’t have to accept any position you are offered. Analyzing your job offer from multiple angles gives you insight into making an informed, educated choice on whether or not the job fits you, your lifestyle, and your family.

Abacus has created this guide to help you navigate your job offer. As you explore these questions, allow yourself the time and space to answer them as authentically as possible. The more you know before accepting the job, the better prepared you’ll be for your first day at the office. 

Do Your Research

Before accepting a job, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the company’s mission, values, and public perception. 

  • What is the company like? 
  • Do you believe in their mission statement and company values? 
  • How do employees talk about the company and treat each other?
  • Does your manager’s work style complement yours?

Just because the company thinks you would be a good fit for them, doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for you. Take time to see how current employees demonstrate the values the company says are important to clue into the company’s culture. Some office environments are more separated and independent, others are open and collaborative. Knowing which space is right for you and your work style is critical to decide if you can be successful there. 

Knowing who your manager will be, and how they work with their team, is another key aspect of job satisfaction. A good manager can play a big role in your position’s growth, development, and success. Be sure to gauge how well you’ll work together before accepting a boss who might not see eye-to-eye with you. 

To assess how the company is perceived by the public, try searching for media articles, including feature stories or interviews. You can also check social media to see how people talk about the company. 

  • Are they progressive? 
  • Do they support diversity in leadership?
  • What initiatives are they supporting?

These questions help you understand your long-term potential with the company. If it’s a company you believe in, you will likely be more dedicated and passionate about your role. 

Does the Offer Meet Your Unique Needs?

Even though a job offer is an honor, it’s still important for that offer to meet you and your family’s needs before accepting. Be honest with yourself about your priorities and values before jumping into something new. 

Maybe a strong salary is more important than comprehensive benefits. Or maybe you don’t mind a less flexible schedule if you love the company and will be well-compensated. 

Defining and understanding what you can compromise on will help you decide if the role is right for you. Let’s explore some key priorities you may have when navigating a job offer:

Compensation

Your salary is probably the first thing you’ll look at after receiving an offer. As you evaluate, ask yourself:

  • Is the salary comparable to similar jobs in your field based on your level of experience?
  • Does the company have a policy for bonuses or additional income? 
  • Will the salary support you and your family’s financial goals?

If you aren’t sure you’re being offered a fair salary, do some digging on Glassdoor, PayScale, or Indeed. You can also ask your friends, family, or other coworkers about the proper salary for a position with your skill set and experience. 

Knowing what you should be paid for your unique skills and experience can help you gauge whether the offered salary is fair. While a job is much more than a salary, it’s still one of the most important deciding factors given how it impacts your daily financial life and needs. 

Benefits

Benefit packages are becoming more attractive to modern career-seekers and are one of the main reasons people accept a job. Why? Because benefits directly impact the quality of life and can be a marker for a better lifestyle moving forward. 

A strong benefits package impacts your personal life in crucial ways. As you look at your benefits, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the vacation policy?
  • How many paid holidays are provided?
  • Are there sick days or other floating holidays?

Aside from holidays or time off, it’s important to look at your regular work schedule. Does your employer support a flexible schedule, including working from home or other workspaces outside the office if needed? 

This can be especially relevant if you have a family. For example, if your employer allows you to work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., that could give you time to drop your kids off at school and pick them up after. This positive effect on your lifestyle can make a significant impact on you and your family’s mental health and well-being. 

Your new job can also affect your daily life in a myriad of other ways:

  • What will the new commute be like? 
  • Do you have to relocate? 
  • Does the position involve extensive work travel? 

Be clear about how this new position will impact your day-to-day life. If your commute increases from 30 minutes to 1 hour, that’s 2 ½ more hours in the car per week. How do you feel about that? If your commute gets significantly shorter, perhaps you can walk or bike to work which could improve your health goals. 

Some companies offer unique benefits to improve their employee’s personal lives, such as a company cell phone, car, or laptop. Some offices have free gym memberships and offer healthy food. Some are even becoming dog-friendly. Look into your company’s policy for tuition reimbursement, day care, and parental leave. 

Benefits also affect your health. Be sure to assess healthcare options (medical, dental, optometry, prescriptions, etc.) and other insurance needs like life insurance, long-term care insurance, and disability insurance. 

Does your future company let you contribute to a health savings account (HSA)? An HSA can be a wonderful savings vehicle for healthcare costs, depending on the type of insurance coverage you have.

The last benefits package component to evaluate is your savings options. How will your company help you save for retirement? Retirement savings are crucial, and knowing how your company will support your savings goals should be a big factor in your decision:

  • Does your company have a 401(k) program? Is there a company match? Are there restrictions to when you can enroll in this benefit?
  • Is there a pension program and how is it structured? 
  • Will you have access to stock options?

Understanding how your benefits package works will indicate if this job supports your short-term and long-term savings goals. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

When you received your official job offer, were you disappointed with either your compensation or benefits? If so, you can and should negotiate. 

Many people think the first offer is final. In fact, asking for what you want can better position you to achieve your ultimate employment goals. The first step is to review your priorities and non-negotiables. How important is it that your salary increase by 10% to meet living expenses? Or are you more passionate about a flexible work schedule that wasn’t offered? 

Take the time to respectfully discuss each goal with your potential employer. Determine what requests will meet your needs and carefully outline your terms. Sometimes your terms may be accepted; other times they could be denied or countered. Regardless, have a clear idea of when it’s time to walk away versus when you are comfortable with compromise. 

Trust Yourself

After you’ve extensively researched the company, salary, benefits, and lifestyle impact, it all comes down to making a decision that maximizes the best version of you. 

You’ve done the research, so trust yourself and embrace your new opportunity whether you accept the job or continue hunting for another. 

Abacus is passionate about helping our clients live fulfilling lives and work is a powerful part of that equation. Choose what will build you up and challenge you, and give you the most opportunities for growth and development. 

You can be empowered and live the life you’ve worked so hard for. Reach out today to see how Abacus can help you expand what’s possible with your money. 

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