You survived the interview process, edged out the competition, and finally landed a job offer you're truly excited about. Congrats! But before you start designing your new cubicle in your head, here are a few steps you'll need to take prior to accepting.
1. See if the salary is reasonable
Getting a job offer is always exciting, but before you get too stoked, you'll need to take a look at your proposed salary and make sure it's reasonable. Now, if you've been in the same industry for quite some time and are looking at a salary that's more than what you were previously making, you can probably take the offer and run with it. But if you're new to your industry, or the workforce in general, you'll want to do some research to avoid winding up underpaid. Salary.com and Glassdoor are two good online resources that can help you get started. You can also try connecting with other people in your industry to get a sense of the going rate for your role.
2. Review your benefits
Your salary isn't the only component that goes into your compensation package. Just as you'll want to make certain you're being paid fairly, so too will you want to review your benefits to ensure that they meet your expectations. While different companies offer varying perks, at the very least, you'll want to look out for an employer-subsidized health insurance plan, some paid time off, and a 401(k).
3. Make sure the role and the company are a good fit
Getting a job offer is always flattering, but before you accept, you'll need to think about whether both the role and the company are right for your personality and your career. Ideally, this is something you'll have at least contemplated at some point during the interview process, but now's the time to really nail down a decision.
First, think about the tasks you'll be doing daily, and decide whether that's how you want to spend the bulk of your time. Furthermore, think about whether the role you're looking at will help propel your career forward; the last thing you want to do is to accept an offer for a dead-end job.
Finally, think about the company culture and whether or not it meshes with your lifestyle. If employees are expected to work long hours, and you have a family, you may wind up unhappy in that sort of environment. Similarly, if you're used to a casual workplace, taking on a strictly corporate role may not suit your disposition.
4. Ensure a proper transition from your last job
If you're certain you'll be accepting your new job offer, you'll need to take steps to ensure a smooth transition from your current role. This means composing a professional resignation letter and giving your present employer a minimum of two weeks' notice.
If your new company pushes for a quicker start date, talk to your current employer and see what you can work out. It may be the case that your present company's policy is to immediately terminate employees once they decide to leave, in which case all will seemingly work out. If not, explain to your new employer that you'll need two weeks to properly close the loop. Since that's basically the industry standard, you shouldn't really encounter a problem.
If you're presented with a job offer and you aren't currently working (say, it's your first role out of college), once you accept, reach out to any other companies you may have interviewed with to let them know you're off the market. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but it'll buy you some goodwill should you wind up reconnecting with those employers in the future.
The right job offer could play a crucial role in helping you build a successful career. Follow these steps once that offer comes through, and you'll be in a strong position to start your new role on the right foot.