Whether you’ve actively been looking for a new role or an exciting opportunity has been presented to you, it’s a fantastic feeling when you receive a job offer. It’s easy to get carried away and forget our sensible side at a time like this so to help ensure that you make the best decision for your future, here are six things it’s important to consider before officially accepting that job offer.
What is your job title and what will your responsibilities be?
A lot of people aren’t too fused about their job title but it is actually very important to find this out because it defines the scope of what your exact role will be and the duties that your new employer can and cannot expect you to do. Your job title should also reflect your responsibilities. For example, if it’s a management position, your title should say so.
Also make sure that you double check the job description to ensure that it adequately reflects the role you are applying for. You want to make sure that it doesn’t impose added responsibilities that you can’t or don’t want to do.
Technology has made it possible to work from various locations all around the world and many of us are no longer based in just one office. If working from home is something you and your new employer have agreed to, make sure your contract states this. Some of us love travelling from location to location for work but do bear in mind that if you have agreed to work in a wide geographical area, your employer will be in a strong position if you object to a move at a later stage.
Salary, benefits and bonuses
Whatever was stated in your offer letter, make sure it’s in your contract too. For example, check that there is provision for payment of other benefits that have been agreed such as enhanced pension, a company car, bonuses and commission payments. If commission is performance-related then make sure that there are set targets and a clear understanding of who decides whether or not the objectives have been met.
You may really need a new job because of money or you’re desperately unhappy in your current role or perhaps you are just incredibly excited about the company you are interviewing at. It’s great to be enthusiastic and recruiters love this in a candidate but be careful not to get carried away and agree to hours you will later regret.
As well as the usual working hours, find out if you will be required to work any shift patterns, weekends, evenings or overtime. Being upfront about this in the beginning means that there won’t be any nasty surprises later down the line and you know exactly what to prepare for.
It can be difficult to address holiday entitlement before you have even accepted a job because you don’t want to appear as though you are already thinking of taking time off. Every company operates differently however so it is important to understand this before signing any contracts.
Find out when the holiday year runs from because this will govern how much you will be able to take in your first year. Due to the nature of the business some companies don’t allow employees to take holidays at certain times of the year and it’s better to know this in the beginning rather than finding out once you have already started. It’s also nice to know if any untaken holiday can roll over into the following year because when you do start a new job you might not want to take any time off until you are completely settled.
It’s crucial to check that your notice period isn’t unusually short or long. One to three months is standard for most companies. Any less than this is no good for you if the company decides to terminate your contract and any more could hamper your chances of being able to find a new job because few employers would be keen to wait more than three months for even the best candidate.