Job hunting can be a roller coaster ride through which patience is a virtue not easily maintained. This is particularly true if you do not have current employment or know you are about to be without a pay check. Even if you are in a stable job currently, the time from application submission through the interview process can feel infinitely slow. Yet, that all changes with the receipt of a job offer (or more than one!). Then, whether because a company has placed a deadline for acceptance on your offer or you just feel eager to move on to your next employment opportunity, it can feel as though the countdown clock is suddenly ticking at the speed of light.

It is important that we do not allow haste to make waste of an opportunity, however. Critical to our success and happiness is taking the time necessary to make a (educated) decision as to whether employment in a particular position or company is likely to meet our individual needs and goals, both in and out of the office. As Benjamin Franklin offered, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

This means looking beyond the dollar signs to the other benefits and opportunity costs associated with the offer of any position. Take the time to consider the following:

Future Opportunities – Does accepting this job help on the path to future opportunities? “Careers are path-dependent things. The next job you take influences the next set of opportunities in front of you,” writes Art Markman in suggesting four questions to help answer whether a job is potentially the right one for you.

Shared Values – Do the offered role, its management AND the company share your core values? If available, review the core values page on their website. Actions speak louder than words. What have the interactions with company personnel shown you about the emphasis they place on ensuring their actions reflect who they claim to be and what you hold to be true of yourself?

Cost/Benefit Analysis – Happiness is not in the mere possession of money …” – Franklin D. Roosevelt 

What are the benefits? Money matters, but so does the amount of PTO offered, bonus and raise opportunities, medical/dental insurance plans (and the employee costs associated with those), etc.

What are the opportunity costs? Really consider how well a position may fit into your life, and what trade-offs, whether at home or with other passions and goals, would be required.

Do the opportunity costs outweigh the (literal and figurative) benefits? If you love to play basketball on the weekends, but the position requires being on call each weekend in order to be considered for bonuses or promotions, consider that opportunity cost in evaluating one offer over another.

The Company Culture – Ideally, the interview process provides both sides an opportunity to assess how well you may fit in with the company and how well the company fits you. What do review websites such as Glassdoor have to say about the organizational culture of a company? There will likely always be a few naysayers, but what overall picture is painted? Determining whether a company’s culture is right for you is key to your own pursuit of happiness and sense of fulfillment in a role.

Your Instincts – Follow what feels right. Don’t ignore warning signs your gut may provide and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need more information to make the decision that best suits your needs and goals.

Most companies will appreciate a candidate taking the time they need to make a fully informed decision before accepting or declining any offer of employment. After all, a company is only as good as its people.

Let us help you find the job that is the right fit for you!