When you’re job-hunting, it’s easy to fall into The Vortex. The Vortex is the energy field that sucks you in like a whirlpool in whitewater rapids. When people are interested in you, especially after a self-esteem drought like the kind many job-seekers experience, it’s easy to get sucked in.
In The Vortex, your judgment is impaired. You think “These guys like me!” and your rational brain shuts off. You may be so desperate to get a job and get off unemployment compensation that you take a job you shouldn’t take. It could be a job that will crush your mojo and hurt your marketability for years to come. In some cases, any job is NOT better than no job at all.
Here are ideas for evaluating a job offer.
Unless you’re applying for a retail or restaurant job (like server or bartender) ask for a written offer letter. Every white-collar (office/business/sales/institutional/startup) job should include a written offer. The offer letter will tell you some of the key elements of the job, including these:
- The job title
- Who you will report to in your new job
- The location of your assignment (which facility you will work in, if there is more than one)
- Your compensation plan
There may be other information included in your offer letter, too. You’ll be asked to sign the offer letter. Your offer letter may include a starting date for your new job, or it may not.
Should you accept the offer once you receive it? It is exciting to get a job offer. That is a great feeling, and I recommend that you savor it! If your new offer doesn’t include all the elements you need or even most of them, you may decide to negotiate the offer.
how much are you really worth
Don’t think “I can’t possibly negotiate this offer! Maybe the company will rescind it if I do that!” If you have that much fear going into the job, then I guarantee that taking the job will be a bad thing for you. It isn’t reasonable to ask for the moon, but it is more than reasonable for ask for a salary that matches the responsibility level of the job, a title that reflects the scope of the role, and a time-off allowance that honors the time you’ve already spent in the workforce.