homeworkAfter the arduous tasks of scanning job boards, customizing a résumé or CV, researching businesses, writing cover letters, and attending nerve-wracking interviews, receiving those well-earned employment offers feel like a major victory for the good guys. But be sure not to ignore the need to scrutinize major aspects of the job such as the company, job description and other considerations that will play a big role in determining your daily life for an extended period of time. If your financial circumstances allow you to be more selective in your job choice, consider multiple angles of the overall package delivered with the new position before rushing to accept any job offer.

Sometimes the job offered is not always precisely the job for which you applied. Analyze the official job requirements carefully, paying special attention to your primary responsibilities and to whom you’ll be reporting. Consider any requisite lifestyle changes that accompany the job and determine the impact that these changes will make on your quality of life. Are the work hours too rigid? Must you be accommodating to a regular travel schedule? What about the daily commute? Also, contemplate the meaningfulness that the day-to-day duties hold for you. Will you enjoy performing those duties every day, and will they challenge you to grow and excel? If the answer to any or all of these questions are a resounding “no,” take a good, hard look at the job and be open to the idea that it may not be in your best interest to accept the position.

The environment in which you work is a major factor in determining how enjoyable your job will be. A corporate culture that makes you feel more comfortable and suits your personal preferences helps to improve both your productivity and attitude towards your job and coworkers. If an organization’s business approach flies in the face of your preferred workplace dynamic, accept that these circumstances may be a deal breaker.

Sometimes, despite a less-than-ideal work environment, or even a less desirable job may be outweighed by an attractive compensation package. Pay attention to salary, benefits package, and corporate perks when considering the option of accepting or rejecting a job offer. Also, now is the time to understand your compensation so you can negotiate for any benefit or perk that may not already be included in the initial offer. For example, if you are looking to telecommute, receive tuition reimbursement, or receive professional training that isn’t stated within your employment agreement, just ask and find out whether it can be added to your package.

An important feature of any worthwhile job is the ability to develop your professional skills through opportunities available within your company. Your long-term wellbeing and job satisfaction can be severely compromised when faced with the prospect of being stuck in a mediocre job for years at a stretch. Lack of advancement opportunities within a company should be a big red flag and carefully considered before accepting a job offer. Uncertainty about any facet of a job may lead to doubt about whether or not it’s the best fit. Starting a new job is a major life change and the most helpful advice, once all things are considered, is to trust your gut feelings and follow your heart.

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