The job search process can be long and exhausting, so sometimes it’s tough to evaluate an eventual job offer with a level head. The temptation can be to say “yes!” right away, if only to end the hunt. But, there are some times when taking the job is the absolute last thing you should do – otherwise you could find yourself back to the drawing board before you know it. Here are a few things to look out for.
- You don’t agree with the organization on a philosophical or ideological level.
It is essential that you work for a company that you respect and that respects you. If you aren’t philosophically aligned, that will be pretty difficult to achieve, and you will end up feeling like you have to compromise yourself in some way in order to keep the job. Instead, hold out for a good fit. Your job doesn’t have to be a perfect representation of your values, but it shouldn’t stand opposed to them either.
It’s a rare thing these days to have multiple offers on the table at the same time, but if that is the case, you should of course do some serious thinking about your next move before acting. The key is to communicate clearly and respectfully with both hiring managers, so that no one feels like second-best. If you’re courteous and honest, you might come away with a better salary offer and a clearer idea of which employer is the best fit for you.
- It doesn’t pay enough.
Most workers hope to make more money when they change jobs. On average, people actually earn between 10 and 20 percent more after switching jobs. It pays to do your homework as far as your salary is concerned. PayScale’s Salary Survey can help you be sure you’re being offered an appropriate rate for your skills and experience.
Once you have an offer, don’t forget to consider other aspects of the employment package. There are many things that can be negotiated at this stage, and some (like more vacation time or increased flexibility) might really make a big difference in your life. Salary is important, yes, but don’t forget to consider benefits as well.
It’d be unreasonable, for most of us at least, to take only job opportunities that were ideal. Not every offer will be for your dream job, and that’s okay. The goal is to get closer to your dream career, not farther away. If the opportunity takes you too far off track, or doesn’t provide room for advancement or the means to acquire the skills and connections you need, it might be in your best interests to turn it down.
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