How picky should one be in this market? Should you accept the first job offer you received or should you continue to search/apply/interview in order to obtain a better employment offer? This is a question every job seeker faces and the answer is an individual one as personal factors affect the decision differently for each person. When evaluating an offer, consider:
- Will you be satisfied in this role? When taking a new position, one must decide if it will be a good “fit”. Will the position challenge you? Will you grow in your skills/abilities? Will you be looking for your next job by lunch on your first day?
- Does this role “fit” your life? For many of us, our outside-of -work lives weigh in heavily as to what we want in our work situations. Does this position make sense for you, your career, your family? Will it help you reach future goals? Are the work hours and travel in sync with your non-work commitments?
- Finances: Can you live on the offered salary? Are you at peace with the salary or do you feel like you are being taken advantage of (and thus will be unhappy at work…see point #1)? Do you have concrete proof that you are being low-balled, or are you guessing? Do you have enough savings banked to allow you to continue your search if you say no?
- Options: What is the market like for your services in your location? Are there multiple employers looking to hire someone with your skill sets at your level? Do you have other active applications where you are interviewing or anticipating an offer? Has this offer been the only offer/interview you have had in the past 3 weeks? Do you sense that your job search is picking up momentum, declining, or stagnant?
There are several variables to each person’s decision on whether to take an offer or not. I have worked with alumni who have passed on an initial offer thinking there was something better out there – some found it and others did not. An employee should be excited about the role in order to put forth a good effort and be successful – taking a job you despise will only lead to performance issues at work. Finally, your financial situation and the hiring outlook will play an important role. If you have mortgage and family commitments, you may not have the ability to sustain as long a search as a young grad who is living at home and has a financial safety net.
Each person’s decision is their own and no two situations are exactly alike. One piece of advice, when you do make your decision, do not look back and wonder “what-if”. This is a losing proposition as one can never fully see what lies ahead on the road not taken.