Beyond a paycheck: What to consider when accepting a job

Whether this is your first job, you are currently employed or you have been out of work for a while, there are many things to consider when evaluating a job offer.

When you are offered a job, it can be very exciting and sometimes confusing. Whether this is your first job, you are currently employed or you have been out of work for a while, there are many things to consider when evaluating a job offer. Michigan State University Extension has many resources available to help you in your job search and to make career decisions. Your answers to the following questions may help you make a decision about your next job offer.

Candidness
Were you frank about your candidacy for the position? Are you willing, interested and able to perform the day to day task? Make sure you understand the job description, what your responsibilities will be and the employer’s expectations. Consider what you will like about the job and dislike about the job.

Compensation
One of the first things people want to know when offered a job is what is the wage or salary. In addition to the money you will be paid, find out about company benefits. Does the company offer a health plan, retirement plan, tuition reimbursement, training, vacation and/or sick leave, employee discounts, travel, phone, car or uniform allowance or overtime opportunities? In order to calculate the true compensation of the job offer, a dollar value can be added for each benefit provided. During the interview, be sure to ask about the employer-provided benefits. The human resource link on the company webpage often also describes benefits available to employees.

Company culture
Can you describe the company’s culture? Where will you be working? Is the environment too noisy, quiet, fast-paced, competitive, casual, prim and proper, relaxed or energetic? Would you feel comfortable working in this environment? What are the hours you will be working? Are you required to work nights, weekends, holidays and/or overtime?

Commute
How long is the commute to the job? How much money in gas will it cost to work at the company? Is travel required? How often will you be traveling and to what locations?

Career development
When considering a job offer, think about the big picture. Does this job fit with your personal interests. Will this job help you get your foot in the door of the field you’re pursuing? Does this company offer opportunities for advancement? Will training be provided? Will this job help you achieve your longer-term career goals?

You may want to keep these questions in mind not only when deciding on a job offer, but also when looking for a job, networking, researching a company and during the interview. More information can lead to a better career decision.

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