After months of applying, interviewing and chasing after that new job, you’ve received an offer! Congratulations! It is the end result of all your hard work. But wait! Is accepting this offer the right thing? Yes, it’s tempting, especially if you’re not working and this is the first offer to come along. But let’s take a closer look at some reasons you may want to decline.
Is the job you applied for the same job you interview for? This one sounds crazy, right? Well, it happens more often than you think. Just because you’ve gotten through the door and interviewed, doesn’t mean you have to stay in the running. Make sure the job you think they are offering is, indeed, the job you will get. Last year, a client accepted what she thought was a fabulous career opportunity only to discover the job was far beneath her abilities and a step backward in her career.
Did the job offer match the expectations they set? Is the offer they presented the same as they inferred during the interview process? More times than I like to acknowledge, I’ve seen a client offered less than the verbal salary range proffered during the interview process. What does this tell you? Did they lower your value in their eyes? Was it a bait and switch? Or perhaps the recruiter just spoke out of turn. Whatever the case, take a close look. Do you want to work for a company that doesn’t walk their talk?
Company Culture. I coach my clients heavily on developing a short list of ideal companies to pursue during the job search. Company culture plays a HUGE role in this. If you’re going to spend 40, 50 or 60 hours a week somewhere, don’t you want to make sure it’s a good fit? Throughout the interview process, be observant. How do people speak to one another? Do people appear happy? Stressed? Complacent? Do they stick to appointment times? Are they consistent in their messaging? If things don’t appear to be what they claim, run, don’t walk from that job offer. After all, they should be putting their best foot forward during the interview process. If they don’t, that’s a warning sign.
What does the total offer package look like? This is a tricky one, and one that many clients overlook. It’s easy to get enamored by a big paycheck. But wait! What is the cost of healthcare? What does that healthcare plan include? What’s your commute look like? Parking expenses? How much vacation and/or sick time do you accrue? One time, a client was offered a bigger paycheck, but by the time he factored in commute time and expense and increased insurance costs, he was actually making less than his old job. Before you ever start interviewing, sit down and write out what you need. Understand your bottom line. If you have a family, are they included in the healthcare plan and how much will that cost? If you’re used to 4 weeks of vacation and the new job only offers 2, can you live with that? Understand all the implications of the offer before accepting.
So yes, it’s tempting to accept any job offer so you can return to work. But wait. If you start a new job, you’ll likely feel compelled to stick with it for a while. What if you stop looking and miss out on a really great job that aligns with your career goals and values? It’s ok to say no. Starting, and getting stuck in the wrong job, will hurt you in the long run. Know what you expect from an employer, pay attention to the small details, and make the right choice. Sometimes that right choice is to decline the offer and continue your search.
Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.