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How to decide if a job offer is worth taking

Date: 23 February 2017

Many working professionals believe that more money equates to a better job. This needs addressing; there are a myriad of other aspects that should be considered before accepting a job offer, as accepting for purely monetary reasons is leading to many candidates feeling discontented in their new position.

A hike in annual salary is an obvious upside, however, this should not be the only determining factor, as short-term gain can lead to long-term pain unless other aspects of the opportunity are a strong fit for both candidate and employer.

What are the most important factors to consider when making a move?

1. Cultural Fit

Cultural fit is an incredibly important factor to consider before accepting a job offer. When looking for a new role, a candidate should be looking for longevity; this will enable them to be invested in by their employer, leading to self- development, better progression opportunities and more loyalty to a business. Longevity will only be achieved, however, if a candidate believes that a business’s values, ambition and calibre is in line with their own—the three key elements creating a company culture.

To take a job based on only one of these three aspects will lead to discontentment in a role. A candidate’s characteristics and their synergy with a business’s culture are incredibly important. Coachability, motivation, emotional intelligence, and temperament are all important factors in determining the cultural fit of an individual, so potential candidates need to examine their work style, professional motivation, and personal characteristics prior to accepting a job offer to determine if the chemistry is there.

Cultural fit is all-encompassing of a candidate’s day-to-day experience of a role and therefore should be a high priority in their decision-making matrix.

2. Career Progression

Again, our experience suggests candidates should be thinking about the longevity of a role, and this requires some consideration of their future within a business. When questioning 200 candidates placed by our business, it was discovered that 87% of respondents stated their ability to progress their career within the organization they were looking to join was a key driver behind whether or not they accepted the job offer.

If career progression is not available with a new employer, then should the individual ever wish to further their career they will, by default, have to leave that business. Candidates should therefore understand what ongoing progression opportunities exist outside of the immediate role to enable them to fulfil their career aspirations.

Often the role itself can provide the opportunity to develop skills or expertise that will facilitate career progression in your chosen direction and ideally, lead to promotion prospects within the same organization.

3. Confidence in Ability to Perform

There is a naturally egotistical element to researching new jobs, but understanding what roles suit individual needs is key. Every candidate wants to feel valued by their employer, but in order to do this they need to know they will add value to that business. If an individual is excelling in their role they will often reap the benefits of  So what do candidates need to do to tick these boxes?

Company investment in them and be eligible for career progression opportunities. Conversely, candidates that misrepresent their skills or position for roles they are unable to deliver are most likely to feel under pressure and undervalued as they recognize their lower levels of performance.

Hiring and accepting a job should always be a mutually advantageous move for both candidate and employer from day one. This requires an understanding and alignment of both client expectations and candidate skills and attributes.

So what do candidates need to do to tick these boxes?

Interviews are a bilateral experience, meaning that candidates have just as much freedom to ask potential employers about the business and the role up for grabs as an interviewer does about their career history and experience. Candidates needn’t be afraid to ask questions; examples regarding cultural fit, career progression, and what is expected of them include:

1. Cultural fit

  • What is it like to work here?
  • What is the office culture like during business hours?
  • What is the out-of-hours culture like?
  • What are the key character traits your team values?

2. Career progression

  • How are promotions gained in this team?
  • Can you give me a case study of your last three promoted staff members?
  • What training programs do you offer and how are they delivered?
  • If I perform to a high standard, what opportunities for career progression would be available to me within this role/firm?

3. Ability to perform

  • How do you measure performance, and how will I know what is expected of me?
  • What would ‘good’ look like for me in my first 3, 6, and 12 months?
  • What can I expect to be doing on a daily/ weekly basis?
  • What would you say are the key skills needed to execute this job successfully?
  • Are there any key skills missing from my profile/areas of my profile that are weaker than other candidates?

Candidates should seriously consider the above when looking for a new job and not get caught up in the misguided belief that more money equates to a happier working life. By taking cultural fit, career progression, and the ability to perform well in a role into account, a candidate can ensure that their new role will help them achieve long-standing success.

The above questions will help you determine if a role is right for you or not. If you require more guidance and career advice, contact us today.