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Evaluating a job offer

Once you receive a job offer, you must decide if you want the job. Fortunately, most organizations will give you a few days to accept or reject an offer. There are many issues to consider when assessing a job of­fer. Will the organization be a good place to work? Will the job be interesting? Are there opportunities for advancement? Is the salary fair? Does the employer offer good benefits? Now is the time to ask the potential employer about these issues and to do some checking of your own. Here are a few ways that can help you determine whether you should take on an employment decision:

The Organisation

Background information on an organisation can help you to decide whether it is a good place for you to work. Factors to consider include the organisation’s business or activity, financial condition, age, size, and location. You generally can get background information on an orga­nisation, particularly a large organisation, on its website or by telephoning its public relations office. A public company’s annual report to the stockholders tells about its corporate phi­losophy, history, products or services, goals, and financial sta­tus. Most government agencies can furnish reports that describe their programs and missions. Press releases, company newslet­ters or magazines, and recruitment brochures also can be useful. Ask the organisation for any other items that might interest a prospective employee. If possible, speak to current or former employees of the organisation.

Background information on the organisation may be avail­able at your public or school library. If you cannot get an an­nual report, check the library for reference directories that may provide basic facts about the company, such as earnings, prod­ucts and services, and number of employees.

Stories about an organisation in magazines and newspapers can tell a great deal about its successes, failures, and plans for the future. You can identify articles on a company by looking under its name in periodical or computerised indexes in librar­ies, or by using one of the Internet’s search engines. However, it probably will not be useful to look back more than 2 or 3 years. The library also may have government publications that pres­ent projections of growth for the industry in which the orga­nisation is classified. Trade magazines also may include articles on the trends for specific industries.

Career centres at colleges and universities often have infor­mation on employers that is not available in libraries. Ask a career centre representative how to find out about a particular organisation.

During your research consider the following questions:

Does the organisation’s business or activity match your own interests and beliefs?

It is easier to apply yourself to the work if you are enthusiastic about what the organisation does.

How will the size of the organisation affect you?

Large firms generally offer a greater variety of training pro­grams and career paths, more managerial levels for advance­ment, and better employee benefits than do small firms. Large employers also may have more advanced technologies. How­ever, many jobs in large firms tend to be highly specialised. Jobs in small firms may offer broader authority and responsi­bility, a closer working relationship with top management, and a chance to clearly see your contribution to the success of the organisation.

Should you work for a relatively new organisation or one that is well established?

New businesses have a high failure rate, but for many people, the excitement of helping to create a company and the potential for sharing in its success more than offset the risk of job loss. However, it may be just as exciting and rewarding to work for a young firm that already has a foothold on success.

Employment Decisions