Do These Three Things Before You Accept a Job Offer
Updated: Mar 18
We have all made choices that seem right, but in hindsight we realize were suboptimal. When weighing decisions, it helps to have some relatively objective and empirical benchmarks that keep us from waking up two months into a job thinking, "what have I done?"
Consider the following three steps before you sign on the dotted line for any job:
1. Conduct a culture scan
Culture can often be felt. You can experience it while interviewing, and you can observe how engaged people seem on video calls or in person. Culture has an impact on how people communicate, influence, work together, and make decisions – all things that matter to your experience and your effectiveness in the new job. And, now more than ever, it's directly linked to the company's bottom line. According to Lisen Stromberg, CEO of PrismWork, "In the new world of work, employers are finally realizing they need to make sure culture is their competitive advantage and, as a result, this means the time has never been better for savvy talent to decide where they want to invest their time, skills, and abilities." Here are a number of ways you can determine if a potential employer's culture is a good fit:
· Ask specific questions about the culture. Rebecca Zucker, founder of Next Step Partners, offers up eight questions to ask during the interview process that get to the nuts and bolts of corporate culture in a direct and professional way.
· Research attrition rate. What is the average attrition rate for this industry? How does your potential employer compare? Voluntary attrition is one of the most objective measures out there for how happy (or unhappy) employees are. You can learn more by reading reviews on Glassdoor, FairyGodBoss, and Comparably to understand the employee experience.
· Conduct an external audit: Find out if the company truly "walks the talk" when it comes to aligning purpose and culture. Does the company have a public purpose statement? Are its actions consistent with those stated values? For example, if social issues such as #Metoo and BLM are important to you, consider how the company responded. When it comes to pay equity, is the company transparent about its efforts and goals? Is the company facing any current lawsuits or P.R. scandals? Check out comments on Fishbowl, the professional community app, to see what is happening in the industry and/or at the company on these issues.
2. Determine if there is flexibility on work location
The pandemic has changed the employment landscape in many ways, including how and where we work. While some companies are still determining how remote their workforce will be, many have already established their intentions including the adoption of “hub-and-spoke” models with satellite offices versus a larger, central corporate office.
The bottom line is to try to get a good sense of what the future holds for remote work at the company for your role, so you know what you are walking into. Whether you want to work remotely or not, asking the right questions will help you know what to expect.
3. Make sure you are taking the job for the right reasons
We have all heard that you should not take a job for the money or the title. There is nothing wrong with a lofty job title or frothy compensation if that is the job you want. Push yourself to ask: will I enjoy this job regardless of pay or title? Would I want this job even it was in stealth mode (no one was looking and no one knew about it)?
This is not an easy internal dialogue. You want to make sure that the underlying job is actually fulfilling. Shiny objects will fade, so make sure that the day-to-day work lines up with your passion, values, and career goals. This is especially relevant if you are the kind of person who gets 99% of the jobs you interview for (you know who you are). Along with this skill comes a word of caution to tread carefully to make sure you really want the job you just landed.
If you take these three steps and feel good about your answers, congratulations! You are on your way to accepting a job with a much greater chance of finding sustainable fulfillment.