By Sharon Fleshman
Wherever you are in the job search, it wouldn’t hurt to consider how you might decide on a given job offer. To that end, here are some key steps.
Allow for adequate time for decision making. This may require some negotiation if an employer requests that you decide on the offer by a certain date and you feel that you need more time. The worst thing you can do is to prematurely accept an offer, and renege on it later. After you express your enthusiasm about the offer, note that you want to take the time to make a well-informed decision.
Do your research. Make sure you are as clear as possible on the employer’s core values to see whether they align with yours. Hopefully, your research started when you prepared to interview but you may still need to review the organizational website, read recent news related to employer, or speak with others (especially alumni) who work at the employer. As it relates to salary, be aware of what a reasonable range might be so that you can negotiate effectively. A number of resources accessible on the Career Services website can be helpful in this regard. Consider other criteria such as professional development, health benefits, financial planning options, location, and so on.
Know your bottom line. Regarding the offer, think about what allows for some flexibility and what is non-negotiable. Perhaps you know that a certain salary is required for you to meet your financial obligations. Maybe you need a certain level of supervision for the pursuit of a necessary licensing or certification. Your responsibilities to your family may require that you live in a certain region.
Consult with a mentor and/or Career Services advisor. It can be very helpful to invite another person to be a sounding board. Speak with trusted mentors who know you and your chosen career field well. Make an appointment with a Career Services advisor who can point you to useful resources and help you sort out your thoughts about the offer.