6 Things to Know Before Accepting a Job Offer
When a company makes you a job offer, you have done a lot of hard work and now you are in control of the process. You have the power to accept or decline the offer. You are also in a very important part of the process. This is the time for you to make certain that the job is as nearly right for you as you can find.
Here are some job offer questions as to help you evaluate the offer.
1. Have you met your supervisor? When I went to work at Procter & Gamble, I did not meet my supervisor until the day I started to work. I was in a division that Procter & Gamble had created to expand the field sales organization in the West. Procter & Gamble conducted the interviews in an office of a recruiting firm in San Francisco. The people who interviewed me were charismatic, outgoing, and personable sales people. I had expected someone who was a fire-in-the-belly mentor who would raise my performance to new levels and teach me how to move ahead in one of the finest companies in the world.
However, on the first day at work, I met my supervisor, and he was anything but what I had expected. He had been in the same first-line management job for fifteen years. He was unenthusiastic about what he did. He emphasized getting the job done as quickly as possible and heading home. He was a good person, an excellent father and husband. He was just different from what I had expected based on the people I had met during my interviews.
2. Is there anything in the job description you do not understand? I have learned from working on recruiting assignments that job descriptions can create confusion. Here are some things you might want to clarify before you take a job.
- If the job involves travel, where will need to go and how often?
- What are the reporting relationships in the new company? If the job title includes a word such as “manager,” what does that mean? Will you manage a budget or perhaps manager an overwhelming number of direct reporting relationships?
- What is the job? If you think that you are joining an innovation team and you find that you are joining a planning team, you will need to do a lot more analysis that creative thinking.
- What is the promotion opportunity or expectation? If you want promotions and there is little opportunity, you are facing frustration. If the company expects you to take promotions and you want to settle into a career position, you could find that you face pressure to leave for people who can keep the promotion pipeline fluid.
I saw one instance at Polaroid where the company hired a person who quit when he found out he had to fly to a sales meeting in the Bahamas. The man was afraid to get on an airplane.
3. Is the workplace right for you?
- How long is the commute?
- What type area surrounds the office?
- Does the job allow you to work at home or require that you commute daily?
- Do you have affordable transportation?
4. Do you have any special conditions that you want to set up? Perhaps you sunk a few thousand dollars into a family vacation that will start six months into your new job. If you cannot get your money back or if this vacation has special importance to your family, the time to raise the subject is before you accept the offer. I married my wonderful wife four months after I started to work for Procter & Gamble. The management team at Procter & Gamble fully supported my taking time for my wedding honeymoon. I discussed the matter with them before I accepted the job.
5. Do you understand the benefits? There are a few things for you to consider about benefits before you accept a job offer.
- When do the benefits start? This information is critical to transitioning your healthcare coverage from your current coverage to the coverage at your new job.
- What are the out-of-pocket costs for the benefits? There are differences from one company to the next. I placed people with a company that had terrific coverage for people who lived in California, the home state of the company. However, the costs to people who lived outside of California were several thousand dollars a year.
- What benefits are you giving up in the transition? If you have prescription, major medical, primary care coverage, dental, and optical coverage at your current company, and the new company does not cover some of these things, based on your health, you might find a big gap between what you are getting and what the new company will give you.
- What are the deductibles in the plans at your new company? Insurance companies offer lower rates for higher deductibles. You not need in any surprises in these potential gaps.
6. How often will the new company pay you? If the new company pays you twice a month, you get 24 checks a year. If the new company pays you every two weeks, you get 26 checks a year. Companies often state income in the amount that the company will pay an employee per paycheck.