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10 things to consider before accepting a job offer

Last updated on: October 24, 2016 09:30 IST

Read the fine print carefully; find out more about your future colleagues and projects you'll be working on.

offer letter

IMAGE: Photograph: Geralt/Pixabay.com

Recruiters skim through a number of job applications day after day, so if you have scored a job offer, you have in every sense earned it.

Congratulations! However, there is one most crucial decision yet to be taken -- to accept or not to accept.

Is this the right job for you at this point in time? Or what if you need to make a choice between two or more offers?

Here are the most important factors to help you make "the" decision:

1. The people factor 

Yes, it is difficult to gauge how your manager and colleagues will be and whether you will fit easily into the work scenario easily.

However, you can think back on how the interview process went and the few things you noticed about the interviewers -- were they friendly, did they seem to understand your perspective on things, were they clear about your role and its responsibilities.

Also, did they get back to you without you having to follow up?

2. The working environment 

A corporate set up, a government office, a non-profit organisation, all have very distinct environments and culture.

If you like to work in a structured and competitive environment, the corporate path may work well for you.

Being collaborative will also work in your favour is such a setup. But if you want a fast-paced environment with new challenges thrown your way every now and then, a start-up may be a good choice.

The infrastructure as well as the commute will play a very important role in your everyday comfort and thus productivity.

3. Stability 

Feel free to ask about the pending work and major projects of the company and also look up about how the year has been for them.

Has the hiring been well spread out, sporadic or there is absolutely no sign of recruitment initiatives since the past few months?

Do check genuine reviews over Glassdoor and Quora to get a transparent idea.

4. The ado about pay check

You shouldn't seek just a hefty package, but also consider the percentage of hike that the company is offering (if you compare it with your previous salary).

Also think about the amount that you feel is enough to make a job offer acceptable and pay attention to whether it is being balanced out by benefits.

Look at the entire package. Consider these factors:

  • Your in-hand salary after deductions
  • Whether there's a bonus plan and what's the criteria
  • When and how your performance and salary review will take place
  • Whether there is a compensatory off option for overtime or any other means of compensation

5. Working hours matter 

You can't miss this one! Make sure you know what your timings are on an everyday basis or how many hours are you supposed to be logged in for.

Understand how available your boss expects you to be in the evenings and on weekends. Being on calls also accounts for work.

6. Where you see yourself in five years 

Tired of this question? What you can get out of this though is an assessment of your priorities today and does this role fit into your ideal job aspirations.

Go ahead and ask the interviewer about their role and journey in a nutshell, to understand what the firm has to offer its employees.

You can ask in detail about how you fit into the current team.

7. Get Set Go

If your role will involve travel, you need to be sure how often you may need to travel and how long you will typically be out of town.

Also, how does the expense reimbursement work.

Ask for a copy of the company travel policy, which you can read at length later. Check about transfer policies as well.

8. Meet the team 

At the end of the day, you will work with your teammates, maybe even more often than your manager, so it's natural to show interest in meeting them before you start work.

"The team is busy right now, so you can meet them after you join" is something you should be wary of.

Unless there is an urgent deliverable to be taken care of, a 15-minute meeting over coffee should be easy to schedule.

9. Are you on the same page?

Before you accept, make sure this position is something you really want.

One can get so wrapped up in the idea of a new job that one may forget about the responsibilities that come along with it.

There could be possibility of a completely different job trajectory as compared to your previous job.

Understand from your manager what your immediate objectives are. This will ensure you are on the same page.

10. Don't fall in the trap 

A role that comes with tangible as well as intangible benefits may seem attractive but are you falling in the trap of comfort zone?

Is the role a recap of the previous one?

Evaluate whether there will be opportunities to learn in this role and whether you will work in an environment challenging enough to enable you grow to the best of your ability.

The author Chaitrali Singh is director of Human resources, ZS Associates, India.

Chaitrali Singh