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Evaluating Job Offers & Negotiating Salary
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Evaluating Job Offers & Negotiating Salary
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Congratulations! Finally after a long job search, you have one employer's offer and are waiting to hear from others. After you have spent so much time and effort trying to get an offer, the process of evaluating the offer to see if it is right for you often takes a back seat. This article is designed to cover: the seven factors in evaluating job offers, additional factors to consider, the three job offer options, negotiating salary, considering fringe benefits, success at work, and finally questions to help you evaluate this process. Remember that discussing your job offer with a career center adviser can be helpful.

The Seven Most Important Factors

A well developed approach is needed at this point and you should consider the following factors before making your final decision. Adjust the percentages based on your needs and values.

  1. Job Content (30 percent Important) Your first test for any offer is the nature of the work. People master the basics of the job between three weeks to six months. Ask yourself, "Am I proud of the products or services of the employer? Is the job interesting to me? Does this position fit into my long-range career plans and personal goals?" No matter whether the job is a lateral move or promotion, job content is most important. You can explain to your next employer what skills you learned no matter what your job title.
  2. Your Boss (20 percent Important) Don't dismiss this concern. Ask yourself honestly, "Can I work and get along with this person?" Almost as important as the chemistry is how the boss will serve as a mentor. You will want to feel comfortable with his/her interpersonal and management style. You will want to work for a supervisor who is capable and interested in your growth. Without a boss who is committed to helping you learn and succeed, other benefits aren't worth as much.
  3. Salary and Benefits (15 percent Important) Is the salary at market level? If you're not increasing your salary against your current or previous jobs, will you at least get the going rate'? Would taking this position create economic hardship? How are individual increases determined (performance, job level, length of service, etc.)? How are salary reviews and promotions handled? Your salary should be reviewed on a regular basis; many organizations do it every 12 months. Your potential for salary growth quickly becomes more important than your starting salary. Don't think of salary as the only compensation you will receive. Remember: people working solely for money will eventually feel unfulfilled. Think also of the benefits package when considering the offer.
  4. Your Co-Workers (10 percent Important) Will I fit into the corporate culture? Sometimes peers can be more difficult to deal with than a prospective boss. Talk to your potential boss about them before you accept the position. Get a sense of their personalities and work styles.
  5. Typical Work Week (10 percent Important) What is a typical work week like? How many hours a week does the position require? Remember your other commitments to family, friends and outside activities. Ask yourself, "Can I really coach soccer and be a star in the workplace?" Which matters most to you?
  6. Location (10 percent Important) Do you like the location or region where you'll be working and living? How long and arduous is the commute? Don't underestimate location as a satisfaction issue.
  7. Organizational Flexibility (5 percent Important) Is the organization rigid? Does it work strictly by the book? Will the employer be flexible during emergencies? How will this position alter my lifestyle'? If it will, can I handle such changes? 


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