Just because there is a gym on site and they provide bagels from our favorite bakery each morning does not mean you should take the job. Sure, those things are nice, but in the long run they do very little for you. Here are the things you should consider before accepting a job offer:
1. What’s your commute?
I used to commute 2.5 hours (one way) to a job I never got to really enjoy. I was always thinking about my upcoming drive. I spent a total of 5 hours driving each day. That did not include my drive to other places outside of work. You may think there is an amount of money that will keep you driving the distance, but eventually you will grow weary of spending your life behind the wheel. Ask yourself if the commute is worth it. If it is not, just know another, more suitable job will come along.
2. Is the salary worth the work?
Certain companies are very sneaky with their job descriptions. They will pay you the average amount for your position, but you end up doing work that is above your pay grade. Review the job description thoroughly. If there is a statement that says, “other duties outside of this job description may be performed,” make sure you are comfortable with the salary they are offering. Chances are you WILL be doing work above what they are offering you.
3. Do they match your 401k contributions?
Millennials, listen up! We will never see a social security check in our lifetime. By the time we are old enough to qualify, it won’t exist. What WILL exist is your 401k, should you start contributing. If the company making you an offer does not match your 401k contributions, you need to take that into consideration. THAT IS FREE MONEY. Understand that for every company not matching, there are 5 more that will.
4. What is the company culture?
You can kid yourself all day long if you believe you can work for a company that goes against everything you stand for. I have left jobs and turned down offers simply because the company culture was not for me. Do not just take the job for money. You will spend 40 hours a week in this place, and if you can’t jive with other employees or get on board with the companies vision, you will be miserable.
5. What kind of insurance plans are offered?
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Millennials can stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26. That being said, it is very important to analyze the insurance plans the company offers and what percentage they pay for. Previous companies I have worked for have covered medical anywhere from 50-90%!
6. What are the work hours? Do they allow working from home?
Being a Millennial myself, I love to travel. The best jobs I have ever had have been jobs that allowed for me to work from home a few days a week. Ask the company if they have a work from home policy. If they do not, ask how flexible your work schedule is. Can you come in at 8 a.m. and leave at 4 p.m.?
7. What is their vacation policy?
Again, if you are a traveler, you need to know these things! A job won’t tie you down from feeding your soul. Make sure there is no cap on the amount of vacations you can take in a year. Ask them if ‘AWOP’—absent without pay—is acceptable. This often happens when you are on your 3 month probationary period or when you run out of vacation days.
8. Are there career advancement opportunities?
Whether it be the company paying for your next degree or willing to send you to conferences, ask what is available to their employees. Do they even offer career advancement? Why would you want to work in a place that will not contribute to your professional development?
These are often the things I ask myself during the negotiation stage. Do not feel you have to accept every job offer that comes your way. Companies pass up on amazing candidates all the time if they were not the right fit. You can pass up on a company, too, if it is not the right fit. Good luck!