How To Strategically Evaluate A Job Offer
by Arnab Dey Job & Career 14 March 2023
A job offer is a great news, but also serious business—to make the most of the opportunity, you’ll want to research your industry and have a solid idea of your needs and future goals.
The following factors can help you decide whether your exciting new job offer covers all your bases.
Consider the salary
First off, you’ll want to evaluate the salary. Consider the level of income you need to support your lifestyle, pay off any debts, and continue to save for the future. It’s a good idea to research how much similar jobs make in your industry and what the going rate is for your position at this company.
How does it fit into your career plan?
Consider whether the position puts you where you want to be in your career trajectory and opens up future opportunities. If you’re not sure, there are a few ways you can investigate this. Ask your prospective employer about where your predecessors have gone in the past, and try to assess whether the job offers promising pathways for advancement.
If advancement at the company doesn’t seem likely, consider whether you could use your role as a stepping stone to success elsewhere in a year or two. For example, the job may offer the opportunity to work in a part of the industry that you hadn’t before, or the chance to develop certain skills, like managing a team.
What does the company culture look like?
What are the people like? Does the office have a casual or more formal atmosphere? Figure out how you’ll be expected to interact with your supervisors and colleagues, and see if their preferred methods of collaboration work for you.
Some companies emphasize meeting face-to-face, while others expect active participation in the office Slack. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, so it’s important to make sure you and the folks at your prospective workplace are a good fit.
Weigh the benefits
To many people, benefits are almost as important as salary. Check to see if the benefits outlined in the job offer align with what you need—someone with a family or health condition might value jobs offering robust health insurance, while someone focused on saving for retirement might pay more attention to the 401(k) match.
Other benefits to consider include paid time off, flexible working, vision insurance, and life insurance (which is different from, say, your individual term or whole life insurance policy)
Whatever your priorities, pay attention to the details and be honest with yourself about whether the benefits meet your needs.
Think about the work-life balance
Compensation is just part of the equation—when assessing a job offer, you’ll want to see what the workplace’s work-life balance is like as well. How much time off does the company offer? See if the offer includes flexible working hours or allows working from home. If it doesn’t, and this flexibility is important to you, feel free to ask! There’s often room to negotiate.
Look at the big picture
If you keep a clear idea of your needs and career priorities, you can easily see what parts of an offer are right for you. Just remember that there are many parts of an offer besides salary—benefits, perks, and flexibility can all add value.