Items to Consider When Evaluating A Job Offer

What is the reputation of the company?
If you ever have to look for a new job, the reputation of the company you worked for previously will affect your marketability. Sometimes you're better off continuing a job search or taking a slightly lower offer, if it means you'll be working with a company with a better reputation. This is especially true if you're fresh out of college. Taking an entry-level position with Proctor & Gambel or Ernst & Young will go a long way to positioning you for career advancement opportunities within you industry.

Do you like the corporate culture?
What is the corporate culture like? Is it a good fit for you? You'll likely end up spending on the upwards of 40 to 60 hours a week at your new job. In fact, you'll probably spend more time with your work associates that you do with your own family for a while. If you don't like the corporate culture of your new employer, chances are you aren't going to enjoy life as much as you could.

Do you enjoy the work?
What type of work will you be performing on a regular basis? Will you find it interesting and compelling? You have degree in forensic science but you're considering a position as a bailiff. Would it be worthwhile to hang on for a little bit longer until you find a job more in line with your interests? You'll have to decide. But know, the line of work you pursue today, is likely to influence your future career path.

Are there advancement opportunities?
How often does the company offer advancement opportunities? Does the company advance from within? If you want to climb to the top in your industry you better make sure your prospective employer promotes from within. It's not uncommon for companies to hire consultants and professionals from other industries to fill key management and supervisor positions.

Do you like where you're living?
What is the quality of the community or neighborhood where you'll be living? The best job in the world won't be enjoyable if you hate where you're living. A $65,000 a year salary living with your family in Medford, Oregon may be much more enjoyable then making $120,000 year living in a stuffy apartment in New York City.

Does the company pay for relocation?
Are there relocation expensives involved with accepting the job? If so, is the company going to cover any of these costs? Relocation expenses are big consideration, especially if the company is requiring you to move a long distance or to a city with a high cost of living. $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000 in relocation expenses are not unheard of. If your prospective employer is offering a starting salary of $55,000 a year but is requiring you to pay for relocation expenses, you'll need to consider if you can live off of $50,000, $45,000 or even $30,000 that first year after paying out of pock to relocate.

Does the company provide dependant care?
Dependant care (child care for dependants under age 13 or a physically disabled dependent) is something that more and more companies are now providing as benefit to their employees. Dependant care can cost many thousands of dollars a year. Working with a company that provides a slightly lower starting salary, but provide dependant care, might make sense if you have several dependants.

What are the company's overtime compensation time policies?
This is a big one, especially now that the Affordable Care Act has become law. Is the company you'll be working for able and willing to provide overtime compensation? If so, are you paid more for overtime. If you're going to be a salaried employee, chances are if overtime is required you won't be paid for the extra time you spend at work. If you're paid an hourly wage, are you going to even qualify to work overtime? Overtime is something you'll want to explore and consider.

Are professional memberships offered?
Are any professional memberships provided in conjunction with your position? Depending on your career and industry, professional membership can be very valuable. It's worth finding out if professional members will or can be offered as part of your compensation package.

Will you receive a Health club/country club membership?
Plan on going to the gym? Would you like to have the benefits of a country club membership? Gyms and country clubs can cost several hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year in member ship fees. Having these memberships provided as part of your benefits package is something worth considering.

Does the company offer bonuses and raises?
What is the company's policies regarding bonuses and raises? Are they objective or subjective? This is something you'll want to discover before accepting a job offer, especially if your position has a direct tie to revenues or profitability of the company. Some companies have a culture of offering top performers raises and bonuses, some don't.

Are you provided vacation time?
Some employers offer their employees up to a month and a half of paid vacation each year.Some employers allows unused vacation time to accumulate. Some employers pay their employees for unsed vacation time. Some employers don't offer any paid vacation time at all. If you like having time off, a company's policies on vacation time should be an important factor in your decision to accept a job offer.

Are you provided paid holidays?
Paid holidays are sort of like paid vacation. Most people take at least two week off every year for holidays (Christmas, Thanks giving, etc.) If you're not going to be paid for time taken off for holidays, you could end up loosing several thousand dollars a year.

How many sick days are provided?
Does your prospective employer offer a descent number of sick days each year? How have other employees been treated when they had to take time off due to illness?

How much will you actually end up working?
How many hours are you going to be required to work? A 70 hour work week may seem doable but after 6 months you might find that your new job becomes very unattractive. Earning $110,000 a year as a management consultant may seem prestigious and attractive, but after working 70 hours a week, it may become very unattractive, very quickly.

Is the company open to telecommuting?
Telecommuting can save time and money. If a company allows telecommuting, it may be worth working with them even at a slightly lower salary than you could earn elsewhere.

Does the company provide any educational support or tuition reimbursement?
If education is important to you, or you plan on going back to earn a degree, tuition reimbursement and education support should be very attractive. Some corporations provide their employees 100% tuition reimbursement for degrees and programs that are in line with their position or career. Tuition reimbursement can be worth thousands, if not tenths of thousands, of dollars for someone serious about earning a college degree.

Are profit sharing options available?
Profit sharing is a great option for both employers and employees. Employers mitigate the risk (cost) of an employee underperforming and employees can maximize their earning potential if they know how to perform. For profit sharing to be viable, an employees performance must be measurable and tied to the profitability of a firm. Before accpeting an offer that include profit sharing, an employee should be thoroughly familiar with how the profit sharing arrangement is set up. Some profit sharing options are not very benefitial to the employees and favor the employer.

Does the company provide a Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)?
If so, what must you do to qualify. If you participate in the ESOP, what are the policies for liquidating your stock? Do you have to be with the company a certain amount of time before your stock vests? How much is the stock worth and one type of appreciation has it experienced?

Does the company provide health coverage?
Does the company provide a legitimate and reliable health insurance plan? Are you required to cover the cost of the plan? This is a big consideration for anyone accepting any job offer. With the Affordable Care Act now law, health insurance coverage has become a bit nebulous. Before accepting any offer you'll want to find out all the details of your prospective employers health plan, including availability of doctors, network, deductibles, drug coverage, etc., etc.

Are there any other benefits the company provides?
Does the company provice any Employee Assistance Programs? Are there any other cost the company covers assocation with your job including but not limited to parking, commuting, expense reimbursement, etc.

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