How to choose an offer
Determining whether to take a job offer can — and should — be a difficult decision. In a bad economy or if you're eager to get out of your current job, it can be tempting to accept any offer. But before you take on job, you need to evaluate the situation carefully. Following are 5 principles to help you make the right decision.
First, shape the offer along the way
When the hiring manager calls you with the offer, it shouldn't be the first time you discuss specifics. Be honest when responding to interview questions such as, "What are you looking for in your next role?" This increases the likelihood that the offer includes things on your wish list. Deciding whether or not to take a job usually isn't a simple yes or no choice, so prepare for the offer conversation as a negotiation. Rarely should you accept something at face value, even in a depressed economy.
Second, do more in-depth research
You can find out a lot about a com#pany before you send in your resume, but once you have the offer in hand, it's time to do more extensive research. Dig around for as much information as you can about the organization, the culture, and your future co-workers. Find com#pany employees on LinkedIn and see what they say about their job on Twitter, Facebook, or other media. You also want to find out what you can about the organization's future prospects. When the economy is underperforming, you have to consider whether the com#pany will still be around in a few years.
Third, be realistic about your prospects
Unfortunately, most job searches do not follow an orderly process that lets you com#pare several offers at once. More likely, you'll receive your first offer when you are still interviewing with other employers. Look at the applications you have under way and reasonably assess which are likely to get to offer. You should com#pare the offer in hand against a wish list of what you really want in any job. However, in some cases, you may settle for fewer things if the position offers something else: a stronger resume, new skills, or access to an organization you'd like to work at in the long-term.
Forth, what if you really need the job?
In a tough job market, it's easy to overvalue an offer. Instead of talking yourself into something, explore other alternatives like accepting the job for a short-term period, say six to nine months, while you look elsewhere. If that's not possible and you really need the job, know the risks. People underestimate the transaction costs of switching jobs: what it does to your family, your client relationships, and the impact it has on your network and future prospects. You need to think about what kind of an investment an employer is making in you and how disruptive it will be if you leave. Many future employers and search consultants will look down on quick job switches.
Fifth, If you decide to say no
Saying no to a job offer can be com#plicated. You've sent in your resume, shown up for a series of interviews, and the employer likely assumes you want the job. The last thing you want is for the com#pany to think you played them. If you do say no, remember that a lot goes into generating an offer. People have invested time and may have even gone to bat for you. Never imply that the job or the salary was to blame. Instead focus on what's not a good fit. This will keep the door open for the future. Remember that everyone you met in
the interview process is now a potential contact in your network.