Five Factors to Consider Before Accepting a New Job

roadWe all have a mental checklist. Let’s face it, if one of the reasons why you’re resigning is a horrible boss, you’re probably looking for a much better one in your new role.

Although priorities are all a personal preference, on the whole there are some universal truths about decisive factors that connect all of us to a new job. In particular when you evaluate more than one offer simultaneously and decide with path to pursue, Jada A. Graves offers insight on the topic in her U.S. News & World Report piece.

1. The big picture. Are you jumping ship to land onto a sinking one or is the next job opportunity a long-term one with growth potential? Is this specific job going to move you toward your goals or is it a hiccup and minor detour? If it is a detour, what are some of its benefits? Just some food for thought.

2. Salary potential. Of course, it’s always a prudent move to get salaries in writing but you should find out how long it will be before you’re eligible for an annual increase. And if you’re eligible for a year-end bonus (insert squeal here!), find out what the deadline. For instance, if the cut off was September 30 and you’re starting on October 14, you won’t be eligible until next year. If the case is truly the latter, ask for a sign-on bonus. (Heck, why not ask for a sign-on bonus anyway? The worst they can say is no.)

3. The atmosphere. We’re not saying your new salary isn’t important but the atmosphere is a pretty lofty factor to evaluate as well. In the piece Graves writes, “Be observant during your visits to the workplace. Take stock of whether there’s a lot of cheerful chatter or tentative whispering. Do conversations seem to happen behind closed doors? How much natural light seeps through and how nice is the decor? Your workplace’s atmosphere may considerably impact your mood, so think carefully if this office has an environment where you think you’ll thrive.”

4. The commute. Interviewing is oh-so important. You can get a sense for the atmosphere and also try on the commute for size. After you’ve received the offer, why not hit the streets again? Her advice: “This time, travel to and from the office during the hours you’d report to and from work, and imagine how you’ll fare doing that day after day, throughout various seasons and travel conditions. Weigh your test run against how much you actually want the job you’re offered.”

5. The location. Yes, this is not exactly the same as the commute even though mentally we may lump them together. Is your new work ‘hood safe? Well lit? Do food/lunch options exist? Are you close to your gym, grocery store and doctor’s office? Also, do you need to pay daily parking fees or a hefty commuter’s bus/train pass? She adds, “These issues might seem small, but they add up once you’re on the job.”