It's an exciting day when a new door is opened in your career, but when it happens, it's always smart to take a little time to think about what to do when offered a job.
Not all jobs are created equal, especially when considering where you are in your professional life. If you count yourself among the latest in recent online MBA graduates, the criteria against which you evaluate a job offer will be significantly different than the criteria you used when you sought an entry-level position. If you're married, you will want to bring your spouse into the process as you consider financial and quality-of-life issues when you're offered a new job. No doubt you will develop your own list of criteria for accepting a job, but a few issues to consider.
1. Company culture
When prioritizing what to do when offered a job, the first consideration should be to have a clear picture of the company culture. Companies are working increasingly hard to create and maintain an intentional company culture. When strong culture is in place, it provides the right environment to deliver a consistent customer experience.
If you are working with a recruiter or individuals within the company's human resources department, be sure to meet one-on-one with the person who would be your supervisor. This session should be more than a handshake. Meeting with other members of your new team is a good opportunity to gauge personalities and learn about company philosophy and management styles.
2. Your 5- and 10-year plans
The second item on your list of what to do when offered a job, is to take a step back and evaluate your medium- and longer-range plans. Consider this point in the broadest sense possible, including your family, professional and personal plans.
Sometimes the location of the new position will be important. Can you picture yourself living in the area for as long as needed to meet your career goals? Are there options to relocate?
Other times, you need to assess if it's the type of company that will push your career in the desired direction. Some professionals, including online MBA graduates, will see themselves working their way up the management ladder in a Fortune 500 company. Others will want the big-money stock-option opportunities that come with being an early employee in an aggressive startup.
3. Turnover rate
Some companies do a lot of hiring, and the opportunities – when viewed from the outside – can seem impressive. However, the question to ask is if the job openings are driven by growth or by poor management.
It is a simple fact that some companies have a very high turnover rate. If that's the case with your opportunity, it does not always disqualify the company as a desirable employer. Some companies will push new hires hard as a way to weed out those who are not a match to their company culture. However, those who make the cut can be extremely happy.
4. Company reputation
The reputation of the company within its industry should also be investigated when you're offered a new job. This information is not difficult to discover. Identify the company's competition and make personal connections to professionals employed by those companies. LinkedIn and other professional networks often prove helpful.
5. Salary, benefits, commute
Your proposed salary and benefits, along with your new commute, are the "nuts and bolts" of the decision-making process. You need to consider the pros and cons to your personal and professional well-being. Further, if the initial offer seems inadequate, don't be afraid to ask the company to improve its offer.
Finally, don't take too long to make up your mind which could send the wrong message to your potential employer. However, don't rush to judgment and overlook an important element – that serves neither you nor the company well.
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