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Five Questions to Consider Before Accepting a Job

Five Questions to Consider Before Accepting a Job main image

By Sarah Dixon

Congratulations! After perfecting your CV, acing the aptitude test and nailing the interview, you’ve received a job offer. You’ve got exactly what you wanted. However, it’s still worth taking some time to consider the answers to the following questions before you accept.

What are you giving up?

It can be tempting to only look forward to an imagined future where you’re loving every minute of your new job. Of course, chances are that everything isn’t perfect where you are now (or you wouldn’t be looking elsewhere) but there will probably still be things you miss.

Is moving really worth giving up the sense of camaraderie that you have with your current office? While it’s easier than ever to stay in touch thanks to social media, will it really happen once you’re settled into your new role? Are there opportunities for you within your current company that might take longer to become available in your new role? Consider all this before you sign on the dotted line.

Will you be better off?

The most common reason for changing jobs is to get more money, either immediately or through career progression. But don’t forget to see the big picture; higher earnings can mean moving to a higher tax bracket, so use one a take home pay calculator to make sure you’ll be bringing home more in your new role.

Don’t forget to factor in other expenses such as travel costs, childcare, the cost of clothing if you’re used to working in a uniform etc. Even minor differences, such as giving up a subsidized canteen, can make a difference over the course of a year.

What if it doesn’t work out?

Let’s say that you get six months down the line and you just hate your new role. What would that mean to your prospects? Is it likely to be harder or easier to find another position a few months or a year down the road? Will you have to stick the job out for a while, even if you don’t like it?

And what is your next step, after this one? Thinking in the long term can help make the decision easier. Is this role really helping your climb your own particular career ladder, or would you be better off holding out for something else?

Is the new company really great?

How stable is the company, financially? Are you being taken on in the hopes of a new contract coming through, and could the position evaporate in a few months’ time? It may be worth looking into the financial prospects of a company, and credit check companies offer a single company service if you have real concerns.

It’s probably also worth reaching out to your own social network to see if you have friends of friends who are working there. What do they think of the company and its future? You could also check sites such as Glassdoor, which allow staff to review their employers.

What would your commute be like?

It can be easy to dismiss a longer commute as a minor inconvenience, but it’s much more than that. Commuting has a big impact on our health, and even a few hours more in a car over a week can lead to headaches, high blood pressure and back pain. It’s also worth checking how long the journey will take at the time you would be leaving. Although it’s only half an hour away, if it takes an hour or more during rush hour that’s a big chunk of your time that will disappear when you make the move.

Finally, if you’re feeling pressured by the new employer to make a decision, that’s probably not a good sign. While it’s reasonable that some roles need to be filled urgently, asking for some time to make sure that it’s the right decision for both of you shouldn’t be a problem. You want to make the right choice!

Sarah Dixon writes for Inspiring Interns, which specializes in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.

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