You nailed the job interview and aced every tech question — and now the employer is ready to make you a job offer.
But are you ready to accept it? Taking — or declining — a job is no small decision.
A career choice can be tough, as you have to factor in a lot of things, from income to commute time to career opportunities. A workplace that doesn’t align with what matters to you can leave you feeling unsatisfied and underappreciated, while working for a company that shares your values will help you grow professionally.
Not sure if the job is quite right for you? Look for these seven signs:
1. Challenging Projects
While there is some comfort in routine, exciting and challenging projects keep your motivation high and your tech skills sharp. Staying inspired and motivated is key for long-term commitment and better performance at work.
IT companies are eager to showcase their most interesting and successful projects, and looking at a company’s portfolio is a great way to learn about the kinds of projects you’ll work on if you take the job. Before accepting an offer, make sure the company will give you the opportunity to test and expand your professional skills.
2. Transparent and Streamlined Processes
Poorly organized internal processes can kill productivity and create a bad employee experience. It’s hard to perform at your best if workflows are inefficient and riddled with bottlenecks.
By the time you’ve received a job offer, you’ve already communicated often with the company. If the hiring process has been smooth and well-organized, that’s a sign internal processes will be equally frictionless. If communication has been difficult, that may be a red flag.
3. A Well-Functioning Team
Software development is a team sport, and strong teamwork is essential for overall project success. Driven by a shared goal, a well-functioning team can better cope with challenges and achieve better results in less time, which makes for a healthy environment where you can thrive.
It pays to meet your new team or talk to your team leader before accepting a job. Sure, a short visit won’t give you a full picture, but a good first impression is a positive sign.
4. Little or No Bureaucracy
When there are too many layers of management, red tape can easily hamper communication and hurt decision-making. A source of frustration for employees, bureaucracy slows down your productivity and makes it difficult to accomplish your goals.
To reduce redundant formalities and promote open, effective communication, a company may adopt a flat or horizontal management style. Talk to employees or read company reviews on a trusted website. If you can’t find any mention of the organizational structure, here is another pointer for you: a drawn-out hiring process may suggest the hiring manager had to cut through a lot of red tape before making an offer.
5. Mentoring and Educational Opportunities
Solid mentorship programs can go a long way in building your professional skills, even if you are no rookie. Whatever your level, an experienced mentor who can share their knowledge and wisdom will speed up your learning curve.
Aside from offering mentorship programs, successful tech companies encourage their employees to continue self-educating and promote learning on the job. In any case, employers seeking to hire talented and motivated developers tend to be very open about their educational opportunities, so ask about them before signing on the dotted line.
6. A Healthy Work/Life Balance
No job offer is worth taking if it will wreak havoc on your personal life or mental health. However, it may not always be easy to see the company’s position on work/life balance during the hiring process.
Social media can come in handy here. Connect with former employees on LinkedIn to see what they have to say about their time with the company, or look through Facebook posts of current employees to learn what they vent about.
7. Salary and Benefits
Before accepting a job offer, it’s smart to check the offered salary against the average salary for your job/industry/location. There are many salary calculators and benchmark reports available online — just do a little Googling.
Once you have crunched the numbers, the benefits package can help you make the final decision. Many IT companies go beyond standard health insurance and paid time off to offer less common perks like tuition assistance and parental leave.
Remember that you can always talk to your potential employer before accepting a job offer, whether to get more details on what to expect or to negotiate additional perks like flexible work arrangements. After all, hiring is a two-way street.