Imagine you’ve just finished interviewing with several employers. Out of all of the interviews, you received one job offer. It wasn’t exactly what you wanted. Do you accept it?
If you’ve experienced a long-term job search, you’re probably feeling like you should take what you can get. But when you encounter offers you don’t completely love, you must ask yourself if you will accept the job offer, attempt to negotiate, or wait for a better opportunity to come along.
For those of you finding yourself in this situation, here are some things to consider when accepting a job offer you aren’t completely in love with:
1. Would you be sacrificing any serious goals?
One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is if you would make any serious sacrifices in your career when accepting the job offer. Would you need to relocate to a new city or work more hours than you’d prefer? Take a moment to compare your career goals to the job offer and see where they overlap. As long as the job keeps you moving forward in your career, then maybe the offer isn’t so bad after all.
2. Is there an opportunity for you to expand your skills and experience?
Almost every job presents the opportunity to learn something new. As you think about the job offer, take a look at the different responsibilities you’d have and opportunities for learning. Will the position require you to learn a skill or program? Will you have the opportunity to attend workshops or conferences? Sometimes, these types of learning opportunities turn into perks that could have a positive impact on your career.
3. Does the offer meet most of your needs?
If you’re having a difficult time deciding on a job offer, make a list of your needs — everything from lifestyle needs to your career goals. If the only thing you don’t love about the offer is the vacation package, maybe the offer isn’t so bad. However, if you need to have a benefits package that supports your family or you have a strong desire for promotion, then maybe you should try to negotiate the offer.
4. Can you picture yourself working for the company?
If you can see yourself working in the office and with the people, it’s probably a good sign the company could be a good fit. Even if the salary isn’t as high as you had hoped, you could be accepting a job offer that provides with a great company culture and an overall positive experience. Remember, not every job is about making the big bucks — it should also be about if you can find happiness where you work.
5. Could this job be a stepping stone to a better opportunity?
Throughout your career, you’ll find that some jobs can help you discover better opportunities. It’s OK if not every job you have is your dream job. Although you should be working toward your career goals, there will be times when you need to work a particular job in order to achieve your next goal. Every type of experience you gain gives you the opportunity to shape your career path. All you need to do is ask yourself if this offer is the right opportunity for you.
Now, when the time comes to accept the job offer, don’t forget about the power of negotiation. You can always negotiate an offer if you aren’t completely satisfied. But overall, you should weigh the cost and benefits of the position, and remember, your career goals and values should always come first.
Have you accepted a job offer you didn’t love? What factored into your decision?