What should I evaluate when considering a new job offer?
Today, few people stay with one employer until retirement. Instead, it's likely that at some point during your career, you'll be searching for a new job. You may be looking for more money, greater career opportunities, or more flexibility. Or you may be forced to look for new employment if your company restructures. Whatever the reason, at some point in your working life you might be faced with a new job offer. Should you take it? Here are some things to evaluate.
Salary: How does the salary offer stack up against your previous job?
If the offer is less than you expected, find out when you can expect performance reviews and/or pay increases (a typical company will review your salary at least annually). You can compare your salary offer to the salary range for others working in the same industry by looking at salary-related websites. In addition, consider the availability of bonuses, commissions, and/or profit-sharing plans that can increase your total income, and find out whether they're dependent on your own job performance, the company's performance, or a combination of both.
Employee benefits: What benefits does the company offer, and how much of the cost will you bear as an employee? A good employee benefits package can add the equivalent of thousands of dollars to your base pay. Benefits may include a retirement plan (hopefully with employer matching contributions); health, dental, and vision insurance; disability, life, and long-term care insurance; vacation time and sick leave; flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care expenses; tuition reimbursement; student loan assistance; child-care programs; transit programs; counseling services; pet insurance; and other miscellaneous benefits.
Personal and professional consequences: Will you be better off financially if you take the job? Is there schedule flexibility? Will you need to work a lot of overtime? Travel extensively? Consider any related costs of taking the job, such as transportation and day care. Also take a close look at the company's work environment and culture. You may be getting a good salary and great benefits, but if the work environment doesn't suit you, you may want to think twice.