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Making Sense of a Job Offer

By Rachael Powell, 


They say the devil is in the details. Receiving a job offer is an exciting time and one that should make you proud. Before you sign on the dotted line and give a gleeful yes, there are a few items to cover. Being fully aware of the compensation and benefits offered, as well as the position details associated with the role are vital to starting a new career on the right foot.

  1. Let’s talk money. Is the base pay correct? Is there an opportunity to receive additional variable pay in the form of bonus/incentives/commission? Additionally, if there is an opportunity for variable pay, what are the qualifications to receive the additional pay? Having all pay details in writing may help to clarify your base pay as well as any variable programs you are eligible for.
  2. What are the benefits? Are health, vision, or dental insurance included? If so, what date will you be eligible for any offered insurance? This can be a huge detail to clarify as well.
  3. Did someone say vacation? Before you plan that Disney vacation, make sure you’re eligible to receive time off. Some employers do not allow employees to use time off until they have successfully completed the probationary period. If these items aren’t specifically stated in the offer, it’s a great idea to ask. In addition, if you anticipate on needing time off after you start the position, the offer stage is an excellent time to let your future employer know about any upcoming dates you will be absent.
  4. Position details.These are the very boring but very important details. Whom will you report to? Where will you report the first day? What are the hours of the position? Is the job exempt or non-exempt (in other words are you eligible for overtime)? Theses details are often overlooked, but so important to fully understand the position.
  5. Take a step back. Take some time after you receive the offer to really think about the position. Does this role put you on a path to reach your career goals? Do you like the culture of the company? Is the commute within reason? Will this job challenge you to grow? Is there anything that disappoints you? The list goes on! Taking a day or so to really think about the position and weigh any pros and cons of the offer can make accepting or rejecting the offer a much easier process.

By taking the time to carefully review an offer you can be sure to make the best decision for the next step in your career.

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