5 questions to ask yourself before accepting a new job

Accepting a new job is
a substantial milestone. It’s not something you should leap into without
undergoing a significant amount of thought and information-seeking.

Here are some
questions to ponder before settling on the offer.

1. Can I Live Comfortably on the Salary?

It’s a good idea to
use cost-of-living calculators to figure out whether the proposed salary would
allow you to maintain your lifestyle. Don’t forget to consider any new costs associated
with the job. For example, will you be driving further than before? If so, your
gas and car maintenance costs may go up.

Researching the costs
of the new job and how they stack up to what you’ll earn is crucial. Otherwise,
you may find that the career move is overly stressful because you constantly
worry about money.

2. Will the Job Be Fulfilling?

Think about whether
the job you may go with would fulfill you beyond earning a salary. A 2016 Cone
Communications survey found three-quarters of millennials would take a pay cut if they were working
for a socially responsible company. That’s likely because they realize they’re
doing something to support the greater good through their work.

You can get
fulfillment in other ways, too. Perhaps the job would allow you to focus on a
topic or a group of people of interest. Maybe there are opportunities for
advancement, allowing you to make progress in your career.

If the job gives you
an excellent salary and benefits, those things are undoubtedly important.
However, you’ll likely be appreciative of the position even more if it’s
satisfying in other ways.

3. What’s the Benefits Package Like?

Speaking of benefits,
you should carefully examine what the company is offering and determine whether
the benefits package is at least as good as what other prospects might offer.
Moreover, do the benefits encompass things you need, such as health insurance
coverage? Statistics show that nearly 60 percent of uninsured people work for companies employing less than
25 people. Will you fall into this statistic?

Under the Affordable
Care Act, employers with less than 50 full-time workers are not subjected to
the same requirements as larger companies. Bigger businesses have to pay
penalties for not providing coverage, but smaller ones don’t. If the company
that offered you the job doesn’t have many employees, make sure to verify it
gives health insurance if you don’t have it.

The job may offer
other benefits that are meaningful, too. A study released in May 2018
concluded 70 percent of global respondents worked away from the office at least
once a week. The finding suggests remote working is becoming more common and
popular than it once was. If your potential new employer offers the option of
remote work some of the time, that option could help you achieve a favorable
work-life balance.

Think about how 401(k)
plans, gym memberships or profit-sharing could also persuade you to take the
job as you weigh the probable impacts on your life.

4. Do You Fit with the Company’s Culture and Team?

Maybe you’ve gotten
far enough along in the hiring process where you’ve gone on a tour of the
company and met some of the people working there. If so, you likely have an
idea of if you align with the business’s culture and values. Even if you
haven’t had such a walk-through, it’s possible to learn a lot by browsing the
About Us and employee biography sections of the website.

If you get along with
your colleagues and feel the company fits with your ideals in numerous ways,
those things could help you enjoy your job more than expected. Plus, you won’t
feel like an outsider.

5. Does the Company Value Giving Employees Time Off?

Vacation days and paid
time off may be discussed as part of your benefits package. If they aren’t
brought up, it’s a good idea to directly inquire if the company offers paid
vacation days or time off and how much you’ll get. Sometimes, the number of
days goes up the longer you’re with the company.

Research from Accountemps published in 2018 polled more than 2,700 workers in the
U.S., and 26 percent thought paid time off/vacation time was the most important
benefit in an employer-offered package.

Indeed, many people
hesitate to take vacations — or even keep working when they’re sick — because
they dread the smaller check that comes after being away from work. However,
the issue is more complicated. A different survey indicated 66 percent of people admitted their workplaces don’t mention
time off, send mixed messages or actively discourage it.

If the company that
wants you to work for them offers paid time off and supports taking it, think
of it as a perk and don’t be too concerned with what people may think about you
enjoying the time allotted to you. Avoiding using your time off could make you
overstressed and exhausted, meaning you won’t be able to thrive in your new

Company review sites
like Glassdoor could highlight how the company feels about giving time off.
Details may also arise as you talk to employees on a company tour before you
get hired. For example, you might see a picture of the Eiffel Tower in a
person’s cubicle and comment about how you went to Paris last year. If the
person says, “That sounds amazing! I haven’t had time to take a vacation
in years,” that’s a red flag.

Self-Assessment Is a Key to Success

These questions are
not the only ones you should answer when choosing whether to take a job.
However, they’re some of the most important things to ponder and will get you
off to a good start in deciding if the opportunity suits your needs and goals.

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