How to Know If You Should Accept a Job Offer

By Robert Half on February 21, 2017 at 5:00pm

Landing a job offer can be a major career accomplishment — and a big confidence booster. But is it really the right role and company for you? Here are some factors to consider.

Interviewing for any new creative job can feel daunting and exhausting. Consequently, when you find out you made the final cut and receive a job offer, it’s human nature to immediately feel elated. Knowing someone wants to hire you is an incredible feeling, but what if you don’t know if you should accept the job offer?

Sometimes an offer comes at the end of a grueling job hunt or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ve been recruited out of nowhere by a creative agency or in-house department. Either way, it’s absolutely crucial to assess if the opportunity is truly the right one for you. You can’t afford to let flattery or relief guide major career decisions.

When it comes to evaluating a job offer the first things people typically focus on are the job title, salary and benefits. These are critical, but don’t forget to consider additional factors above and beyond the level of status, money, perks and benefits. Here are five important factors to keep top of mind when weighing the pros and cons of accepting a job offer.

Company culture

Loose and collaborative or intense and competitive? Determining the culture of the company is key to figuring out if you’ll be a fit. Find out if anyone in your professional network has insider insights about the organization. If so, take time to talk to people whom you trust about how the company is perceived in the marketplace. Check out company reviews online as well. Then, compare all the information you collect with your own perceptions of the firm based on your interactions during the interview process.

Financial standing

Salary is obviously of great importance when assessing a job offer. If you accept an offer that you feel is too low, that can dampen your excitement and leave you feeling resentful right out of the gate. But speaking of money, don’t forgot to do your homework on the company’s financial performance. Review annual reports and read the latest quarterly earnings statement if it’s a public company. Inquire about outlook and staffing budgets if you’re negotiating with a smaller firm. Regardless of size, if the company has recently had layoffs or its financial foundation seems shaky, you’ll want to consider your risk tolerance.

The space you’ll work in

You’re a creative professional; the office vibe matters. Hopefully during the interview process you had the opportunity to see where you will actually work. If you didn’t, consider asking to visit your specific work area or office before you accept an offer. Ask yourself how you feel in that space. Does it seem conducive to creativity and productivity? If you’re unsure, take some time to reflect on what doesn’t sit right with you to see if it could be changed.

Also, how do you feel about the overall workplace environment? Do you like the neighborhood it’s in? Does the commute seem viable? How you feel about where you go to work each day can have an enormous impact on your performance — and your well-being.

Opportunities to grow and advance

During the interview process, demonstrating your strengths in alignment with the job description is paramount. However, when you have a job offer in hand it’s vital to look ahead to the future. Does the company offer professional development opportunities that match up with your big-picture career goals? If you ultimately want to be a creative director, does this particular opportunity propel you toward that goal or potentially move you onto another track?

Your gut instinct

Last, but not least, if you’re still in doubt don’t be afraid to acknowledge your gut instinct. After taking time to reflect on the job offer, are you nervous but excited, or feeling a little underwhelmed and apprehensive? At the end of the day, your heart and your head are essential when it comes your career, so be sure to consider both when deciding on your next move.

Octavia Goredema is the founder and editor of Twenty Ten Talent, a career resource for talented young black women. Find her on Twitter at @OctaviaGoredema.

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