Your hard work has finally paid off. All the time you spent fine tuning your resume, filling out your application form, waiting for an interview date and going through the interview process itself has helped you get a job offer you were waiting for, but don’t be hasty and jump to accept right away even if it is your dream job.
You are perfectly within your rights to ask for some time to think the job offer through, usually no more than a couple of days. This will give you the opportunity to weigh up all the aspects of taking the new position thoroughly and make sure you have got everything you want, so it isn’t a decision you later regret.
Get the Offer in Writing
First things first, make sure you get a copy of the job offer in writing. It doesn’t matter if you have already accepted the job verbally with a company, you should still have a written copy detailing all the important terms of the job and your obligations to the company.
The written offer should always include job title, salary and benefits along with any additional factors you may have negotiated. Check the document thoroughly and ensure it matches what was verbally agreed. If it doesn’t then send it back and ask them to amend it.
It is also worth finding out when you will get paid, as some companies pay at the beginning of the month and others at the end, so you can budget accordingly.
Before you sign on the dotted line you should be confident you know what the job responsibilities entail and what is expected of you when you start. Ask for a job description that clearly details what is required of you. If there is anything that you feel was missed or not fully explained during the interview process, then you can talk to the company and get clarification. Naturally, when you are under pressure your mind can go blank, so take this opportunity to ask all those great questions you thought of after the interview!
Also be sure to clarify what hours you will be expected to work. It’s a common mistake to not clarify working hours before accepting a job, so don’t be afraid to ask how many hours you will be likely to work in a standard week, plus will any overtime be paid or is it included in your salary?
Consider your goals
Before accepting a new job offer you should take some time to really consider if it is the right move for you. Does the new job offer you the new challenges, career prospects and salary you are after or is it simply a sideways move?
Evaluate your skill set – what are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you enjoy doing and what don’t you enjoy? It is crucial that the new job is going to meet your own objectives and skills and not just suit the company’s.
From your pre-interview research and meeting your interviewer’s you probably already have an idea of the company values and culture, but have you thought about whether they suit you?
If you are going to spend 8 hours or more a day in an office alongside colleagues, it is worthwhile getting to know them first. Ask if you can meet with some of your future workmates and get a sense of the work environment on a normal day.
Accepting a job offer is a far more complicated process than most people think and taking the time to consider the above factors should help you to make an informed decision for all the right reasons.