Six things to consider before accepting job offer

You spent days pondering over your resume, waiting for a response, and long, silent gaps mentally articulating each interview answer. All of this before enduring another seemingly endless wait to hear back about the potential position.

But the second you receive an offer, everything is full speed ahead. Once your potential manager wants you to put a signature on that line, things start moving quickly. But tread with caution! Just because you have landed the long-awaited offer does not mean you have to hurry and sign. There are a lot of things you need to assess before making the big decision.

Here are 6 things to consider before accepting a job offer.

(1) Evaluation of Employee Benefits and Perks

Employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, vacation and sick leave, and life and disability insurance make up to 30% of your compensation package. It’s vital that you take the time to evaluate what you’re offered to ensure it’s what you and your family need at this stage of your working life.

(2) Retirement Plan

Not all retirement plans are the same. A good retirement plan can greatly increase the value of a job offer, and may even trump higher salary at another employer. Review the retirement plan being offered very carefully, find out what an adequate plan must consist of, so you can compare what you may have already with what you’re being offered.

(3) Evaluation of Stock Options

Stock options provide employees the ability to buy shares of company stock at a certain price, within a certain period of time. These can be rewarding, especially in growth industries. When considering or comparing a compensation package with stock option benefits, make an effort to understand exactly how stock options work and what they might be worth in the future. This will be a deciding factor when choosing to accept a job offer.

(4) Salary Negotiation

When evaluating a job offer, salary is one of the most important aspects. Is it sufficient? Would you rather be earning extra? Is there room to negotiate? If you can’t get by on the pay check, it’s going to be problematic irrespective of how great the benefits are. If you’re unsure about the salary, consider creating a budget so you’ll know exactly how far your pay check will stretch each month.

(5) Negotiating a Counter Offer

Certain compensation packages are negotiable, others aren’t. One of the top ways to find out is to ask for a meeting to discuss the offer. That way you can cautiously approach the employer to see what room there is to negotiate a better offer.

(6) Commuting to the workplace

Before you make your final choice, estimate how it will affect your daily routine. For some people, an hour commute may be worth it for that dream job or to live on a big piece of land out in the country. For others, that trip might drive them insane—and eventually erode your job satisfaction.

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