You’ve done it. The hard work has paid off; all of the time editing your CV, slaving over cover letters and preparing for interviews has landed you a job offer. But you have to rush to accept it! Often, in the moment of excitement (and eagerness to get out of the job hunting stage), people forget to take a moment to consider everything that the role really has to offer. It is not just down to the organisation choosing you… you have to reciprocate by choosing them too.
No matter what stage of your career you’re currently in, remember to ask these questions before accepting a new job, a promotion or career shift.
Is this an organisation you want to work for?
Job title and salary aside, there are many other aspects that will contribute to your happiness at work. All organisations have their own values, mission statement and culture to take into consideration. What you need to do is evaluate whether they match your own.
More often than not, the job description won’t vary very much but the culture and environment of each organisation will be incredibly different. Spend some time doing your own research – find out what current and old employees have said about their experience there. Ask the HR Manager questions about the culture so that you have a very clear picture of what to expect should you accept the offer.
Is this really what you want to do?
Now that you’ve received an offer for a position that you applied for, take a moment to reflect on why you made the application in the first place. Was it the organisation and their cause? Do you want to transition into a new field? Or, are you looking for a fresh challenge?
One thing you must take into consideration is whether this role is actually what you want to do. If you’re going to take this on five days a week, it needs to be fulfilling. Otherwise, you risk compromising your happiness and wanting to look for another role sooner rather than later. However, if you can see that taking this role now may put you in a better position in the future then it may be worth accepting.
Will this offer you an opportunity to get to where you want to go?
Many of you will have a career plan in place. You have a clear idea of where you want to go and what it will take to get there. Now, you need to consider whether this position will help or hinder your chances of progression.
On average, people stay in a position for 2-3 years. So the real question is, will this position help you achieve everything that you would like to accomplish in this period? Beyond the transferable skills that you’re likely to gain along the way, it’s imperative to consider whether your next opportunity will be at your fingertips or an arm stretch away.
Will this role challenge you?
There are many aspects of a job that contribute to our overall satisfaction. But one of the key aspects is feeling challenged enough to grow. It’s more than just a list of things to do, more than mundane tasks. It’s fulfilling and brings out the best in us.
The degree to which someone needs to be challenged varies in all of us. Some like to test the waters and others enjoy being thrown into the deep end from day one. So it’s important that you establish how much of a challenge you need.
Are there any terms you want to negotiate?
Maybe you’re completely happy with the role and everything that it has to offer both now and in the future (which is great!) But, that still leaves you with an opportunity to negotiate the terms of your employment.
Before signing a contract, think about how happy you are with:
Hours and flexibility
Possibility of travel and relocation
Don’t feel scared or ungrateful for trying to negotiate anything that you’re not satisfied with. It is a perfectly normal part of the job hunting process that recruiters are used to. After all, you never know what is possible until you ask. And even if you aren’t able to negotiate everything, once you have been in the role and proved your worth, there’s always a chance to come back to this discussion later.
Whatever your decision, make sure that it’s a well-informed one! Ask the right questions and address any concerns that you may have with the recruiter or hiring manager. If the stars align and everything runs smoothly, that’s great! But remember to trust your instinct (and carefully collected information, of course).