Evaluating a Job Offer

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The process for evaluating a job offer begins long before you actually receive an offer. It begins before you even start interviewing. It begins when you know yourself and you know the market. It begins when you establish the criteria by which you will evaluate offers.

Know Yourself

Know your values and goals. Go back to the section on "Assessing Yourself" and review your answers to question 6 where you ranked your work values. Then consider your work goals:

  • What would your ideal job be like?
  • What are the daily activities and skills you would be using?
  • Where, geographically, would you like to be living? Consider climate, cost of living, proximity to family, opportunities for a social life and cultural or other activities you enjoy.
  • How much money would you be earning? Consider salary and benefits.
  • Is it with a small, medium, or large company?
  • Is there an identified career path in your field with the company? What will you learn from this job? Where could those skills and experiences take you in the future?
  • Is travel required and how would that make a difference to you?

Once you have answered these questions for yourself, you will have criteria by which to assess a job offer. Once you receive an offer, compare the offer against your criteria.

Know the Market and Your Market Value

Research the market supply and demand and salary standards nationally, regionally and locally.

What To Do When You Get Your First Offer

  • Express your appreciation for the offer immediately.
  • Request time to consider the offer.
  • Request the offer in writing.
  • Review, evaluate and compare all the offers you have received.
  • If you are sure that the offer you have is your first choice, proceed with accepting the offer and then contact all other employers, preferably by telephone, to withdraw from further consideration. Be sure to thank everyone.
  • If you are not sure the job is your first choice, call employers who may still be of interest to you, but from whom you have not yet heard, and ask where they are in their hiring cycle. If no decision has been made, ask about their timeframe. Indicate that you are still interested in the position, but need to respond to another offer. You might want to let them know that you have a deadline and then give them a date that is before your deadline.
  • Take time to consider your options.
  • Do not accept a position unless you are sure you want to take the job.
  • If appropriate, negotiate salary.
  • Be wary of employers who try to pressure you to make a quick decision.