If you were recently offered a new job, give yourself a huge pat on the back, but then take a moment to think about some important things to consider before taking a job. A job isn’t just about money, though that is obviously why we all dedicate a large portion of our week to the daily grind. A job should be a good fit for you for multiple reasons, and these things to consider before taking a job will show you just what those are.
Obviously, one of the first things to consider before taking a job is what it pays. Figure out what you will bring home after taxes, add up your bills, and decide if what you have leftover is going to be enough to support your social activities, possible emergencies, and unplanned events. You’ll also need to figure out if you’re going to have enough money to save, or invest in retirement or another savings account type.
When considering your new job offer, you’ll always want to consider commute options right there with pay. Since you will have to pay to get to work (unless you walk), then figure out how far you’ll need to go to get there, and add up the costs each week. How will that compare with your paycheck? Figuring out your commute also means including variables like traffic, weather, delays and what times of the day you’ll be traveling, which can impact traffic and delays. Also, is it convenient to your home, or will it take too long to get there? Think about how this will affect you each day before making your final decision.
Don’t take a job where you’ll be in an environment that isn’t suitable for you. For instance, is it in an unsafe neighborhood? Perhaps it is a desk job and you’ll be stuck in a cubicle for 8 hours of your day with no windows and only the sound of your co-workers typing away. Is it nonsmoking? I can’t imagine working in any situation that included windowless cubicles, sketchy neighborhoods, or smoky rooms, and wouldn’t take a job doing doing so, or I know I would be miserable. Pay attention to the environment the job is in, because the majority of your week will be spent there.
Other important factors when considering your new job offer are the skills you’ll need to learn when you start the job. Obviously, if you’ve been offered a job you have already met the company or organization’s skill requirements, but the consideration should go beyond that. For example, I turned down a job where I knew I would have to learn certain skills that would require me paying out of pocket expenses for training, commuting to train, and class certifications. The skills I would have to train for were going to take up almost all of my spare time, and as a full-time working college student at the time, I knew this would leave me no time to study. The commute to training was also going to be too much out of pocket expenses for me, so I turned down the job. Consider what skills will be required of you during all levels of the company’s ladder.
Is the job you’ve earned going to be one for the long-haul? Is there any promise of promotion or opportunity for growth in the company? A good idea is to do some research by asking other employees of the company. If you get shady or negative responses, then be wary. Many companies promote within, which is optimal, while others don’t have good growth opportunities at all. You need to highly consider these options, or you may end up in the same position for longer than you hope.
6. The People
Whom will you be working with? Are these people going to be co-workers you enjoy being around, or are they different than the type of people you prefer to be around? I, for instance, couldn’t work for someone who was rude, moody, someone who I didn’t feel like I could go to on a regular basis for advice, or someone I couldn’t trust. Pay close attention to how happy the other employees seem when you go on interviews. See how others in the company respond to each other, what they act like towards their supervisor, and be sure to pay attention to how the person interviewing you treats you as well.
7. Extended Hours
Another thing you'll want to consider is if you’re expected to be on call when you’re off, even if it is unofficial. For instance, is the place where you’re working somewhere open on weekends or your days off? If so, most likely, you will be asked to come in if someone else calls in sick, or perhaps it is a job where you could get a call anytime asking you to come into work when you’re normally off. Consider this option so you can avoid the dread you might get when you see your new place of employment calling when you’re off. Most likely, if it is a job you enjoy, you won’t mind. For instance, writing is something I would actually enjoy when I’m off work, but other jobs I’ve had would make me cringe just thinking about going into work while I’m normally off the clock.
8. The Hours
Is the job you’re going to have going to require you to get up at 4 a.m. or get home after midnight? Perhaps it will change your social schedule. Will it prevent you from doing things with friends, or disrupt the amount of sleep you get? How will it affect your family life? Keeping yourself socially and physically healthy is important, and when you take a job, you’ll need to consider both of these issues.
Is this job going to make you happy? Does the thought of the tasks you’ll be doing bore you to tears or seem out of nature for you? You’ll be performing this job every workday of the week, so you need to be sure that it is something you’ll enjoy. While sometimes we don’t get to choose what job we have, if you do, this is a factor that is very important. Your job affects you whole life, even if you intend for it not to. Be sure it is one that will enhance your life, not steal your joy.
A job is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be made hastily or irresponsibly. If you need advice from someone, ask a friend or family member. Get them to weigh out the options for you so you can see just how much this new job is going to fit you and your lifestyle. If it isn't the right fit for you, then keep your head up! Something better will come along, as long as you get out there and find it! Have you ever taken a job without considering these factors? If so, what happened?