Evaluating a job offer: Woman standing in front of a blackboard with the words yes and no and question marks written over her head. She looks uncertain.
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How to evaluate a job offer

28 Feb 2022

Most of us have been on the receiving end of a job offer. Here are some tips that could help you decide whether to accept or reject if you’re unsure.

No matter what stage of your career you’re at, evaluating a job offer can be a tricky process.

You don’t have to say yes to an offer straight away if you have any doubts or questions or details you need clarification on. Be level-headed. It’s always a good idea to go back and re-read the job spec from when you applied.

Future Human

Ask yourself: are you happy with the salary? Based on your knowledge so far of the employer, will you be fulfilled and rewarded at this job? Is there anything you have doubts about? Is the job worthy of your talents? Does the role suit your lifestyle?

Click here to check out the top sci-tech employers hiring right now.

Remember, you’re being offered the job for a reason. The ball is in your court now, which means it is the ideal time to negotiate your terms and get the answers to any questions you may have. If you’ve been head hunted for the role, then you may have even more leverage as you negotiate your terms.

On the fence? Here are seven tips that could help you when evaluating a job offer.

Don’t be too hostile

There’s a way to phrase your wants and needs to your prospective employer so they still look on you as someone they want to have on their team. Don’t be rude, be assertive. For example, if you want two days a week not in the office, explain that to the company in a measured way. Employers are generally reasonable people, and chances are there are other workers on their team who also require similar accommodations.

If there’s a chance you are going to end up accepting the job, you need to make sure your negotiation tactics aren’t too hostile as that’s going to put any employer right off. If you are aggressive, you might not have a job to evaluate any more.

Put yourself first

Having said that, you have to be assertive. People will respect you for standing up for yourself, and if they don’t then they’re not a very good employer. It’s just as important for you to say your piece as it is for you to be cognisant of the way you say it. If you’re not being offered enough money or you don’t feel like you can progress in your career from this role, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Thanks, but I have to turn the offer down.’ There will be something better out there.

It’s not all about the money

Yes, salary is a huge reason for accepting or rejecting a job offer. However, it is not the only factor to be considered.

Depending on the employer, there be may additional perks for onsite and offsite workers alike including flexible working arrangements, gym membership, leave policies, health insurance and other benefits. If you’re not sure what they can give, just ask. You might end up rejecting a job with a decent salary because it doesn’t offer enough perks compared to what you think you can get from another employer.

Consider the culture

Evaluating a company’s culture is definitely something you want to do before accepting or rejecting an offer of employment. If something like environmental sustainability is a make-or-break issue for you, chances are you aren’t going to want to work for a company that doesn’t really care about green topics.

It can difficult to ascertain a company’s culture when you’re doing a remote interview, so have a look at some of our tips on that.

…And the opportunities on offer

For most workers, learning and upskilling is a constant part of their working lives. Employers should be supportive of their workers when they want to learn new skills, but this is unfortunately not always the case in reality.

It’s especially important for younger workers to be mindful that their workplace encourages them to learn, but it should be a consideration at all stages of a career. Pick a job where you can learn and don’t let your talents stagnate.

Think about what lies ahead

This point ties in with the previous one in that you need to be forward thinking when you’re considering a job. Upskilling and learning opportunities are part of that. But you also need to consider where you want to be in a year’s time, in five years’ time and in 10 years’ time. If you are lucky enough to get more than one job offer, think them through carefully and weigh up the pros and cons of accepting one over another.

Face your fears

This is easier said than done, and most of us know this from first-hand experience. Imposter syndrome in the workplace is very real and it can affect us at any point in our careers – including after a promotion or a job offer.

It would be a shame to turn down a once-in-a-lifetime job offer because you’re terrified you’re not going to be good enough, so instead try and talk yourself out of your fears. Draw up a pros and cons list. Maybe talk to a friend or mentor about your fears as they might be able to give you some good, unbiased advice.

The most important thing to remember is that if you’ve been offered a job in the first place, it’s clearly because whoever assessed your application was impressed by you. They want you on board for a reason.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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