How To Evaluate A Job Offer

Author: Bette Miles-Holleman

So you’ve made it through the interview process, and both you and the company are equally impressed. They make you an offer you can’t refuse…or can you? If you’ve been out of work for a while, you may be tempted to take the first thing that comes along. However, there are a few things to consider before you sign on the dotted line. Normally, you will have a short window of time to consider and make a counteroffer.

The salary being offered should be at least 10% higher than your previous job to cover any cost of living increases you may experience, or at least maintain your current standard of living. Find out about performance reviews and raises, and how often they are made available.

Besides your basic salary requirements, what is the bare bones minimum you can accept in regard to benefits, such as insurance coverage for you and any dependents you may have? Are dental and vision plans offered as well? What about life insurance for you and your spouse? Ask if there are any daycare service plans available, or if there is an on site daycare facility for children or elderly parents.

If you have a family, you will need to know what the company policies are regarding sick leave/personal days, vacation and holiday pay and maternity/family leave. Does the company offer a flextime schedule or a telecommuting option? If you need to relocate, ask if the company will refund part or all of your moving costs. Travel reimbursement is also a big consideration if your position will take you on the road frequently.

Financial services are also offered by some companies. Is there a 401K or a retirement fund available for employees, and if so, does the company match employee contributions? For companies that offer profit sharing and bonuses, ask how often these are awarded. If there is a signing bonus, ask if it is included in addition to the benefit package or in lieu of other benefits.

After comparing your needs with the company’s offer, decide what you can be flexible about and what’s a deal breaker. Go over each option one by one, and put your thoughts together. Be respectful and show gratitude as you make the counteroffer, a bad attitude will hurt your negotiations. When you reach an agreement with the company, make sure to get it in writing to avoid any confusion in the future.

Bette Miles-Holleman is a retail merchandiser, customer service analyst, model and stylist with over 25 years experience in the fashion industry.

She is also a wife, home school mom of 5, and a Squidoo evangelist.

In her spare time, Bette writes, knits, teaches, cooks, sings, lives and loves on the West Coast of the USA.

 

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