5 Things You Need To Know Before Accepting A Job Offer

You’ve probably had to investigate hundreds of potential opportunities, send out dozens of resumes, beat out a hundred other qualified applicants, and impress during several nerve-racking interviews to get this job offer. But before you accept, you have to ensure the new position will support your needs. After all, you don’t want to turn down an offer you already accepted.

checklist for new job

To help you get started, here’s a checklist of five things you should know before accepting a job offer.

1. Compensation And Salary Potential

Don’t just look at base salary (although that is super important). Ask about the entire compensation package. Is there a bonus or profit-sharing program? Are your earnings dependent on commission?  Also consider salary potential. Will raises help keep you above inflation? Can you advance in the company to increase your earnings?

2.  Healthcare And Other Benefits

Medical? Dental? Vision? How much does the company pay in, and what is your responsibility? Check to see if your preferred doctors are in-network. If not, consider if you’d be willing to switch. This is especially important if you need to see a specialist.

Don’t forget to check all the benefits. Does the company offer a 401K and employer matching program? Be sure to ask if you don’t have these answers. If your would-be employer finds it presumptuous, take that as the warning it is.

3. Work (And Off-Work) Hours

This is especially important if you are considering a salaried position. Does your workday end at 5:00 or are you expected to stay late? If you are required to stay, does the company compensate you for your time, such as generous paid-time off or summer Fridays? Speaking of PTO and sick days, when will you be able to access those?

And double-check that your off-work hours are your own. Some companies require you to be effectively on-call 24/7 through email, text, and instant messaging. Is that something you can live with?

4. The Commute

Consider how travel time will escalate work hours. Is it an easy-breezy twenty minutes or are you looking at hours of gridlock? Remember: any commute will eat somewhat into your finances. The most obvious way is through gas, but if you work in a large city, you may need to pay for parking and express lane access. Will your would-be employer compensate?

5. Flexibility And Remote Work

Some jobs will require you to be in office from 8 to 5; others will allow more flexibility in scheduling as long as the job gets done. Others may even let you work remotely. If you need to care for children or aging parents, flexibility and remote work can be a boon, even at the expense of earning potential.

You should also be honest with yourself when considering your needs. No doubt salary is important, but is it worth it if the commute robs you of your evenings? Contrarily, the flexible schedule may be perfect, but working from home won’t matter if you can’t afford the rent.

In the end, your checklist should help you answer this question: Does this job allow you to do you?

Search for your next job now:


Back to listing

The Washington Post Jobs Newsletter

Subscribe to the latest news about DC's jobs market