How to Evaluate a Job Offer

By Tess Pajaron

You’ve created a resume that’s working for you, you’ve finished your interviews, and now you’re being offered the job. The decision is now being placed in your hands, and it’s up to you whether or not this opportunity is the right opportunity. You may feel as though you’ve finally found the light at the end of the tunnel, but is that light bright enough to encourage you to walk towards it? There are a lot of things to consider when you’re first reviewing a job offer, especially if there is the potential for negotiation of the terms. You’ll need to figure out the checks and balances of how this job is going to affect you in all areas of your life before you slap your signature on the dotted line.

What will you really be taking home?
If at first glance you notice the salary is unreasonable for the work you’ll be doing, that’s a warning sign that you should walk away. If the salary seems reasonable, you need to contemplate what costs you’ll incur as a direct result of taking this job. If you’ll now need to make a lengthy commute, how much is that going to cost you in fuel? This same salary is going to be the money you use to fill your tank, so you need to figure out how much of that money you’re going to have to use to get back and forth to work with. If you have children, are you going to have to pay for any kind of child care for the hours you are working? Do you need to relocate to be closer to your job? Think about how much money you’re going to have to spend as a direct result of accepting this offer.

What’s the situation with your benefits?
Are they offering you any kind of health insurance package? If they do, what’s included in this package? Will it only cover you, or can it also be used for your children and spouse? How much of the premium are you supposed to pay? These are all questions you need to have the answers to. You may feel more inclined to take a job if you feel as though the insurance package is significantly beneficial, but you need to make sure you have a thorough understanding of the health insurance they’re offering before you make that judgement call.

What else are they offering you?
Start by examining your allotted amount of time off. This will include personal days, sick days, maternal or paternal leave, vacation time, and holidays. Does your allotment seem fair to you? How does your paid time off work? What would you do in the event of an emergency? You need to consider the flexibility of your schedule. If you have these options, you’re entitled to use them. Get a decent grasp of how scheduling works, and how to use these days.

Think about the long term
Is your position subject to performance and salary review? If it isn’t, will that significantly impact your opportunity to receive raises or your potential to move up within the company? The position you’re offered may be perfect for a year or two, but if you’ve demonstrated you’re a capable worker, wouldn’t you want the opportunity for advancement? Be sure that you’ll have the option to move onto bigger and better things once you’ve established yourself with the company, and don’t accept a job offer that will ultimately throttle your ambition.

If you’re happy where you work and you plan on sticking around, what will your options for retirement be? Does this employer have anything in place to help you save for retirement? How much do you contribute, and how much do they contribute? Understanding your employer’s retirement plan can help you prepare for a secure future. If you need that and they aren’t offering you adequate assistance in that area, that’s something you need to take seriously.

About the Author
With a background in Business Administration and Management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She covers stories in careers, online learning, and productivity hacks.

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