When you applied for the tech gig you’re now being offered, you couldn’t have been more excited. The job posting described your dream role, and the hiring manager who interviewed you was absolutely wonderful. Now that you’ve been offered the job, you’re racing to get your name on that contract. Before you do, however, take a minute to make sure you have all of the information.
11 Things to Figure Out Before You Accept That Job Offer
1. Job responsibilities
Do you know what you’ll be doing on a daily basis? What projects you’ll be working on? When deliverables are due? Make sure that you know all of these things, and have them in writing. If you don’t, you may find that this role has a couple of surprises for you. (And we’re not talking the good kind either.) In order to ensure that any role is a good fit, or that you have the right skills, make sure that you have a concrete understanding of what you’ll be doing before you accept the job offer.
2. Boss’ expectations
With any job, there are expectations. The problem here is that they’re not written into the job posting or description. Are they expecting you to pull off a minor miracle or make minimal adjustments to the project at hand? Who knows? That’s exactly why it’s so important to question your hiring manager, and see what they’re expecting of you 3 months, 6 months, a year out. Do you feel like you can live up to these expectations? Make sure that you’re not setting yourself up for failure by taking a job that has unrealistic expectations.
3. Amount of Work
Upon hearing the job responsibilities and your boss’ expectations, you should have a better understanding of the amount of work you’ll have. Is it enough, too much? Make sure that it’s something you can handle. If you don’t want to be in the office 18 hours a day, don’t take a job with that much work. A work-life balance is important to most, so make sure you get one.
While the role could be perfect for you, it’s not going to be an enjoyable experience if the culture doesn’t mesh with your personality. Make sure the environment is going to be the type that makes you successful. Is it laid-back or more competitive? Does it support collaborative or independent problem solving? Is the organization about innovation or re-inventing the wheel? If any of these answers don’t fit with what you want in a workplace, it may be best not to take this role. You’ll spend more time in this place than you will at home, so it’s important to make sure that you’re in an environment you’ll be happy in.
5. The Team
You may have met the hiring manager, but have you met the rest of the team? The manager may be awesome, but there’s the potential that the team is full of people you’d rather not work with. Make sure that you meet with at least several team members, if not the full group. This initial meeting will allow you to judge whether or not you’ll make a great team that gets things done. If you don’t do this, you may regret it when you’re working with know-it-alls and complainers.
6. Level of Autonomy
When talking to the team, try to discern their level of autonomy. Ask them about the decision making process, and how they report to their manager. This line of questioning will tell you about your potential manager’s style, and whether or not it will give you the autonomy you desire. [If you work well independently, for example, and you get the impression the manager is a micromanager, you’ll be frustrated.] For an optimal work experience, make sure that you’re pre-informed about your level of autonomy and the amount of corporate tape.
If there is a high rate of turnover, that’s a sign that all is not well with this potential employer. Ask about turnover rates, and why people left. If it’s because everyone had been there for 5+ years and were looking for a new challenge, that’s one thing. If the story is that everyone stays a year before looking for new challenges, think twice. Something else is going on, and you probably don’t want to be part of it.
8. Technologies being used
Have you asked about the technologies being used? The kind of equipment? Even if you have the skills and the personality that’s a match for this role, it’s going to be difficult if you aren’t comfortable with the methodologies. Will you be able to work in a waterfall environment if you’re used to agile? If their processes are working, will you be able to resist trying to change the company’s processes?
9. Company Stability
While you were an exemplary candidate and did company research prior to the interview, go further now that you’ve been offered the job. What are media sources saying about your company? Are there any murmurs about financial difficulties or the company being bought out? If so, tread carefully. If the company is in turmoil, you could find yourself searching for another job shortly.
10. Career Prospects
Find out whether or not this role will help you along your career path. If you’re hoping to rise up the corporate ladder, will this role help you to get there? If you want to be a back room developer, will you be able to stay in this sort of position? Everyone has a different vision of what their career will look like, so it’s important to find a role that will help you grow and reach your goals. It’s okay to turn down a position if it’s going to take you off of that track completely.
11. Pay & Benefits
When offered a job, make sure that your salary and benefits are clearly outlined. If you just assume that you’ll have paid sick days, and it turns out that you don’t, you’ll be sick AND unhappy. Furthermore, make sure that what your company is offering is comparable to other organizations in the area. If they’re going to pay you 50% of what anyone else is, you’re a lot less likely to be satisfied. Only take a role that will allow you to meet your needs.
Was the job everything you thought it was, or did these questions force you to realize that you’ve idealized the role? Whichever it is, you now have all the information you need to make the right career decision.
Thanks to juhansonin for the use of their image.