Getting a Job Offer

Career Advice From 40HRS

Mar 18, 2014

Getting a Job Offer

Get the Written Offer Letter

The written offer should include all the important terms of the job and your obligations to the company. Even if you've already had some time to think over an offer and you've assured the company that you'll accept it, you should still ask to see the offer in writing. Make sure the job title, salary, and benefits match or improve upon what you had in mind when you said you'd accept it. If it doesn't measure up, promptly contact the company and let them know what's missing.

Be sure that you have a clear understanding of your job responsibilities. Ask for a job description that includes all your responsibilities. This will help you understand the position and the expectations—and later on, if you've exceeded the requirements for the position, it will give you some leverage with which to negotiate.

You should also try to get a sense of how your job fits into the company as a whole. Will you work with people f-rom other departments? Is there room for advancement? What if you start in publicity but become interested in doing something business-related? Does there seem to be much flexibility?

If you're being offered a job to replace someone, you may want to ask what happened with the previous person. If the hiring manager doesn't answer your question or seems uneasy, this maybe cause for concern.

Know the Nature of the Job

Make sure you know what you want. Keep in mind that a job isn't like a date—you shouldn't just accept the offer and see what happens. Whether you see it as a way to pay the rent or consider it a fundamental step in a career path, taking a job that you're unsure of is asking for trouble.

Make sure the description of the job appeals to you and serves your objectives—not just those of the company. It may be better to hold out for something better than end up in a situation you eventually regret.

Meet your co-workers

You should also try to meet the people you'll be working with day to day. You may get along well with your manager-to-be, but what if the people at your level are intensely competitive, boring, or unfriendly? Talk to your future co-workers before making a decision.

Find out the Working Hours

Many people accept a job without knowing what kind of time commitment it will involve. Ask the employees you meet how many hours a week are standard. In many positions, you'll be expected to work a 50-hour week—and you should know that in advance. Otherwise, both you and the company lose when you quit after a month of training.

As for vacation, sometimes two weeks means ten days, not fourteen days. Be sure to clarify. If you have a wedding to go to the following month, be sure to negotiate before you accept the offer. Again, get the company's policy in writing.

Imagine Yourself if You Accept The Job

In evaluating job offers, take the time to make sure you're making the decision for reasons you're comfortable with—and taking the job that you want. Keep in mind that by being up front with yourself and your potential employer, you're saving both of you time and money. The more clarity you have about the situation you're getting into, the more likely you'll love what you're doing and stick to the position you've taken.

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