7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting The Job

job offer before accepting the job

The appeal of a job offer after a long period of searching quickly tempts you to say “Yes!”  You read the job description, rocked the interview and that’s that — but it shouldn’t be.

When you commit to this role, you agree to all of the terms and conditions, including the unspoken ones. Here are seven questions you must ask yourself before accepting the job.

Does This Opportunity Excite Me?

Does this opportunity genuinely excite you, or are you considering the role because they offered and it’s a paying job? If it’s the latter, is the company aware that this will likely be a transitional, temporary role for you?

If excitement pulses through your veins, what do you look forward to most about this position? Regardless of why you feel tempted to accept, find something about the role that makes you feel excited and challenged — so you won’t feel unhappy and stressed should you accept the commitment.

Do I See a Clear Career Growth Path at this Company?

Too many professionals accept a job they hope will go somewhere but doesn’t. Instead, after a period of commitment and no promotions, employees feel stuck and undervalued. They also don’t want to move on in case they don’t find anything else — it’s the curse of sticking with the devil you know.

Do you see a clear career growth path at this company? Could you transfer between departments and rise in the ranks? Does management seem eager to see what you can do with new projects? Have you talked to other employees? Can you find evidence of these professionals rising in the ranks?

If not, how does the company culture feel? Is stagnancy something that will leave you feeling satisfied? It comes down to this: Is this company as committed to you as you are to them?

Does the Company Offer Stability and Integrity?

What do stability and integrity look like to you? What do these terms mean to you?

While you desire projects that challenge and exhibit your unique skills, you want to accept a role with a company that provides you with stability. Does that term mean adequate benefits, salary and paid leave? Don’t be afraid to negotiate for what you need and deserve because projected income and raises may not cover living expenses, leaving you stuck no matter how sweet the offer looks at first. Always get offers and final determinations in writing.

Does stability mean the company won’t experience a slew of new owners in the next two years and leave you looking for another job? Does it provide mental and emotional stability with a healthy work culture?

What about the company’s integrity? Read customer and employee reviews thoroughly once you receive an offer because if a company regularly cheats its customers, it most likely will devalue its employees.

Does the Company Offer the Benefits I/My Family Need?

Before accepting the position, you may be on your previous employer’s plan, using short-term health insurance or one of the millions without health insurance. The size of the business hiring you impacts whether your benefits package may include health insurance at all: 60 percent of individuals without health insurance are employed by small businesses made up of under 25 people. Larger businesses face fines for not providing health insurance, but federal law doesn’t require health insurance for small business employees. No penalty paid.

If that’s the case, will you provide your own health insurance, and how much will it cost you? For larger companies, inquire about the ins and outs of all coverage aspects, such as pregnancy and care for family members. Who does your policy cover and for what?

So many go without the health insurance they need. Make sure you are covered and knowledgeable about your coverage. Know when your eligibility begins.

Who Do I Report to?

Who oversees your work and position? Is person prone to favoritism? How do they communicate, and will your communication styles clash to the detriment of your advancement? A supervisor focused on facts with an analytical communication style may view a personal communicator as weak or missing the point due to their emotional style.

Will you work well with your supervisor? If employees are quick to leave roles, don’t be afraid to ask about the average longevity of employees within the type of role offered to you.

Beyond word of mouth, have you actually met and interacted with this person? Did you get an opportunity to talk to the team they manage? Trust your gut feelings and read up on your prospective supervisor because they can and will directly impact your career.

What Will My Real Schedule and Responsibilities Look Like?

When you pose this question to HR, only state the “real” part of the inquiry in your mind, but take it seriously. What is unspoken here?

Hours within particular industries may not be predictable, and your supervisor may expect you to stay after hours or on the job until an emergency is resolved. Is the hourly pay or salary worth your contribution in such cases?

Similarly, what responsibilities may fall under your job description that aren’t represented on paper? It’s one thing to pitch in if a position is terminated in the department or if someone’s sick. It’s another to be expected to work the role of two or three people on top of your advertised responsibilities in the long-term without sufficient compensation.

Is This What I Really Want?

Is accepting this role — and all that it entails — what you really want? Yes, you are allowed to have your cake and eat it, too. It’s time for some positive reinforcement:

  • Don’t sell yourself short. Your skills, talents and needs are valid. Secure the pay and benefits you deserve.
  • Trust your gut. It’s telling you something important.
  • Don’t settle for a position that does not meet your needs, including financial, mental and emotional.
  • Participate in a positive work culture, and flee from toxic work environments. Observe red flags.
  • Don’t be afraid to shine.

There are many factors beyond what’s in the benefits package as you conduct the cost-benefit analysis of what accepting this job means for you. Analyze the role on multiple levels from how well the benefits package meets your needs to trusting your gut feelings about not getting along with your prospective supervisor.

Most of all, don’t make this role fit you. Make sure it is a true fit and that this company is as committed to you as you are to them.

Sarah Landrum

After graduating from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR, Sarah moved to Harrisburg to start her career as a Digital Media Specialist and a writer. She later founded Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping young professionals navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers.

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