You found a job opening of interest to you. You submitted your application and resume, earned an interview and maybe even a second.
Your skills, confidence and prior preparation -- from studying CareerCast.com, no doubt -- impressed the interviewer so much that you have been offered the position. Congratulations!
What if you are unsure that you want to accept?
Just because you are offered a position does not mean you must accept it. Taking a new job is a major step in one's life. You wouldn't feel obligated to buy the first car you see on the lot, or move into the first house a realtor shows you.
Approach a job offer similarly. Give due diligence to an offer before taking that huge step.
Most prospective employers will allow you time to consider their offer. In much the same way you used the days prior to the interview to study and prepare, do likewise when evaluating your job offer.
Map Out What A Change In Job Entails
A new job might require moving to another community, city or state. Obviously in the case of the latter two, this is a life-changing event that demands careful consideration. However, moving even a few blocks can dramatically change your lifestyle.
Do you have children who will be in a new school district as a result of moving? Are there community programs in which you are involved that moving might jeopardize?
Proximity can be just as much of a factor even if you don't have to move for your new job. Will your commute be longer -- and if so, how does it impact your day-to-day activities beyond work?
Create a comprehensive map of how your day changes should you say yes to the job.
Research Similar Occupations
Trust you are getting the most value for your worth from this new job by researching the offer against industry norms. Perhaps you could earn a better salary or more comprehensive benefits package by staying on the job market a little while longer.
The only way to know for sure is to research hiring and salary trends in your field. CareerCast.com's database of jobs and editorial content can help you get started.
List All Pros and Cons Side-by-Side
Put together a tangible list of the positives and negatives should you accept the position. The aforementioned blueprint of changes to your life and industry standards will both factor into this final scorecard.
Things to consider listing:
- Advancement potential
- Quality of personal life
- Personal fulfillment
You may find that while an offer has higher immediate wage or career-advancement potential, the ceiling is low. Perhaps the new job only speaks to you because of pay -- in which case, you must consider what a career offers you outside of your bank account.
Know That You Don't HAVE to Accept an Offer
An offer is just that. It's not a mandate, and you don't owe a prospective employer for interviewing you. Don't feel you've wasted their time through the application, interview and vetting process should you decline an offer.
After all, a prospective employer that decides you are not the right applicant isn't going to offer you the position just because you took the time to apply and interview.
Besides, taking a job about which you are iffy before ever even starting is a recipe for disaster. You'll find yourself back on the market one way or the other if you are not totally invested.