So you’ve submitted your CV, gone through the interview, and are now faced with the offer letter. In these times, it may be more tempting than ever to immediately sign for a job that comes your way – any job is better than no job at all, right?
That is far from the case. Getting stuck in a position you don’t want will lead to fatigue and depression, or set your career goals back by years. So before you sign the dotted line, here are 5 questions you must ask yourself:
- Is the salary and benefits package acceptable?
We all want high pay and good benefits, but must accept that that might not always be possible. Use salary indicators and research past statistics to see how much your peers normally earn. In the current situation, many companies are offering lowered starting salaries, but the promotional track or job security may offset this loss.
Also, check what benefits the job provides in terms of medical coverage or leave entitlements. A generous package may more than make up for a lower starting salary. For example, many employees are eager to travel overseas, so they may accept compromises in other areas for positions that guarantee foreign postings.
- Does the company have a strong future, and what place would I have in it?
When you went for the interview (even on video), what impression did you get of the company? If the interviewer was vague and nervous, or seemed to be over-promising without giving specifics, that may be a sign that things are rocky internally.
But don’t trust first impressions overmuch. Do some research on the company and find out about their upcoming projects, future direction, and responsiveness to Covid-19. All these things will tell you what kind of career awaits with them – are they developing and moving forward or just waiting out the storm? While you will never know for certain until you enter the workplace yourself, researching a prospective employer will give you a good basis to judge if you want a future with them.
- Do I feel that I can mesh with the work culture and working styles?
A combination of research and first impressions will also help you answer this question. Is this a fast and dynamic workplace with a casual, techy vibe? Or a more conservative office that emphasises procedure and propriety?
Remember, you’re going to be spending more than half the day with these people in this company if you sign on (even if you’re working from home). Get a feel of the work culture and see if it suits your own work style, or if you would be more productive elsewhere. You can speak to your company liaison or search for corporate SNS pages and posts to get a better feel of the place.
- What sort of career opportunities are there for me?
A company may have a great future ahead of it, but do you want to be part of that future? And if so, how? You may ask around about the future of your job, or what sort of promotion pathways are available – and see if they are attractive to you.
For example, many customer service officers leave their jobs because there is little opportunity for promotion for them, as managerial positions in their companies tend to require an MBA or Degree in Business Administration that they don’t possess. Rather than get the qualification, they prefer to seek work that utilises their people-skills and communications abilities.
- Are the day-to-day responsibilities of the job something you want to do, day after day?
The interview and offer should include a clear outline of your day-to-day tasks should you take on the job. How do you feel about these responsibilities – excited or apathetic? A job you can commit to for the long-haul is one your feel enthusiastic about, not one where you drag your feet to complete your tasks.
While there will always be down days, there’s no reason to sign yourself up for something that will be more bad days than good. If you previously did tasks like the ones proposed, recall if you felt happy or miserable when you did them. And as for the new work responsibilities – are you eager to try them out?
Getting the job offer is just the first step, so make it count! Ask yourself these questions and commit with a firm heart.
Background photo created by katemangostar – www.freepik.com