How to evaluate your new job offer
By Damon Montal
Evaluating a job offer is very subjective, but people often focus on the salary and disregard other key areas. Here is a five-step process that I developed to help my clients fully evaluate new job opportunities and determine if this is the right fit for them.
1. Evaluate the Position: The actual position is the most important part of the offer. In this new economy, where jobs tend to have a shorter tenure, each position becomes the stepping-stone to the next position. So if you have a career path in mind, each job positions you for the next step in your career. Is this opportunity the right one for you at this time? Would this position align you with your intended career path? Do you have the necessary skills to do this job well, and at the same time does this job provide you with growth opportunities for your continued professional evolution?
2.Is there Proper Chemistry? The number one ingredient that determines job satisfaction is the relationship between the employee and the direct manager. Poor relationships with managers are the main reason people leave companies. How would you define your new manager’s leadership and communication style? How would you classify the manager's expectations – reasonable, aggressive or unreasonable? Did you get a chance to meet your new teammates or that dedicated client to whom you are supposed to provide outstanding customer service? What do you like best about your new manager? What troubles you about the manager? I realize it is hard to make these judgments after only a few interviews, but remember it is a two-way street. They had the same amount of time with you, and they also need to go through this evaluation process.
3.The Compensation: The third thing I look at is the actual compensation. Is the base salary consistent with your current market value? If you are being compensated by income other than a base salary (performance bonus, commission, etc.), then you need to look at the total compensation structure for the position. How are the health, dental and retirement benefits? What is the vacation policy? Are there education and training reimbursement opportunities for you to take advantage of so you can keep your competitive edge? Are there perks that are unique to this company? I had a client who had two equal offers and finally took the position that had the best company perks.
4. Evaluate the Company: Is this the right company for you? Is it in the right industry at the right size? Is this company financially stable or in growth mode or targeted for a take over? What is the reputation of the company or its relative position in the marketplace? How would you describe its corporate culture or value system? Just reading a corporate vision/mission statement could be misleading. It is best to find answers directly from your social network. What is the company's employer's proposition? Why do people like to work there and choose to stay there? Does this company provide professional growth opportunities and an employee friendly culture in which to work?
5. Consider the Geography and the Environment: The last thing I tend to look at is the physical environment of the company. If your position is working remotely, then this becomes a non-issue. However, if you physically need to show up every day, then the location may become important. Consider the impact of the daily commute. Is there public transportation or do you need to drive? Is the location of the company near your network, or would the location isolate you from your networking contacts? How would you evaluate the neighborhood? I have had clients who turned down a position due to the neighborhood in which they had to work. Does the company provide flex-time or telecommuting opportunities? I had other clients who turned down positions because they didn’t feel comfortable in the building. One client received an offer from a hospital, but found the administrative building old, worn down and musty. He decided that he didn’t want to work there.