Accepting a Job Offer

All the hard work you put in to create a perfect Resume and excel in your Interview has finally paid off and you’ve received a Job Offer. Congratulations!

So you can’t wait to accept the Job Offer and start working. But are you sure that the job is right for you? Or maybe you’re one of the lucky few who received more than one Job Offer. Which one should you accept?

There are some very important factors you should consider before accepting a Job Offer or choosing between two or more offers. These factors will help you decide whether a job is right for you or not and will also help you decide which is the most suitable job for you in case you have received multiple Job Offers.

What are the factors I should consider before accepting a Job Offer?

Recent graduates often end up accepting Job Offers without any knowledge of the organization they are going to join and then find it difficult to adjust to the workplace.

Before you accept any Job Offer, you should be very clear about what you’re getting into. You’re going to be investing a major portion of your time and energy at that organization, so make sure it’s going to be worth it.

In most situations, candidates do not have much of a choice and have to accept whatever offer they get. However, even in such situations, considering the below mentioned factors will help you prepare yourself mentally beforehand and as a result you will be able to adjust to the organization’s methods of working quicker than others and subsequently excel at the workplace.

Job Responsibilities and Future Goals

Before you accept a Job Offer, find out what your job responsibilities will be. Most of the times, your responsibilities will be mentioned in your Job Offer letter. In case they’re not, speak to the Hiring Manager and ask him/her to send you a list of the tasks you will have to perform on a daily basis in writing.

Make sure the Job Responsibilities are the same as the ones mentioned in the Job Description that you read while applying for a job.

You must also analyze whether you will be able to perform these tasks and that you’re not under – qualified for the job. Also make sure that the tasks are not too trivial and that you’re not over – qualified for the job.

You should also be sure that these jobs align with your interests and that you will be happy to be performing them on a daily basis. Additionally, make sure that these Job Responsibilities will help you meet your future career goals and objectives.

Suppose you’re Mass Communication graduate who joins an Advertising Agency as an aspiring Copywriter. But if your Job Responsibilities revolve around client servicing and other managerial tasks, it is very possible that the job will not help you fulfill your Copywriting ambitions. You would be much happier working in another Advertising Agency which allows you to use your creative skills to assist in the creation of new and innovative ad campaigns.

Try and find answers to the following questions before you accept an offer.

* What kind of tasks will you be performing on a daily basis?
*Are you going to be happy performing these tasks or do you prefer doing some other job?
*Are these tasks going to help you fulfill or move towards your ultimate career goals?
* Are these tasks too difficult or too easy to perform?


It is equally important to get an idea about the kind of workload you will have to deal with on a regular basis. If your Job Responsibilities include several unrelated tasks, it is possible that you will have to perform several duties at the same time, which you might find difficult to cope with.

Alternatively, you might not like to sit idle for most of the day and would prefer to be performing challenging tasks that help you meet your career goals as soon as possible.

Try and speak to other people working in the organization and colleagues who have worked or are working in other organizations in the same role.

It is possible that an extensive list of Job Responsibilities is a normal industry practice, but it is also possible that the organization is trying to use you as a multi – purpose employee who will have to perform several job duties at the same time, which you might or might not like.

Before you accept a Job Offer, make sure that you will be able to cope with the work load and also make sure that the work load will not be too little, so that your career progress doesn’t stagnate.


A crucial factor that you must consider before accepting any Job Offer is the salary or remuneration you would be receiving. In case you haven’t been confirmed a figure yet, speak to the Hiring Manager or relevant authority and ask him/her to confirm a remuneration figure.

Find out about the market rates for your job and see what other people in the same position are being paid. Check with colleagues and other professionals and also research on the Internet. Make sure that you are not being paid below the market rate.

Most graduates only consider their monthly salary or remuneration as a part of the financial aspect of working at the organization, which isn’t a smart thing to do. Many organizations provide various monetary benefits such as accommodation, travel allowance, paid leaves, health benefits, bonuses, performance – based incentives etc. Find out about all these factors and then calculate the total money you would be receiving including your salary.

It is very possible that a company is paying you a salary less than the market rate, but it compensates or even exceeds the market rates through various monetary benefits.

Career Growth

As a recent graduate, it is obvious that your first job isn’t going to fulfill your ultimate career objective. As a matter of fact, it is nothing but a stepping stone to bigger and better things. As your career progresses, you will get jobs that involve bigger responsibilities and bigger salaries.

Before you accept a Job Offer, make sure that the organization offers you opportunities to grow and progress as an individual and as a professional. Go through company policies and research on the internet about employee growth and the company’s recruitment practices.

It is also very important to speak to professionals who have worked with the company in the past or are currently working with the company. You can speak to them in person or contact them through social networking sites like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc.

* Does the company prefer to fill in bigger roles by promoting current employees or by hiring new recruits?
* What is the general time duration in which employees get promoted or get a raise in their salaries?
* Are employees encouraged to take up bigger work responsibilities or not?

Find answers to these questions and see whether the job will allow you to progress or whether it will stagnate your career growth.

Work Culture and Office Environment

One of the most important factors that you should consider before you accept or reject a Job Offer is the Work Culture and Office Environment of an organization. This will affect your daily life at the company, and can be a major factor if not the most important factor in determining how satisfied you will be with the job in a year.

Finding out about the Work Culture and Office Environment of a place can be difficult, but speaking to current and past employees as well as reading up on the internet can be a major help. Try to find answers to the below mentioned questions.

* Are employees encouraged to use their creativity and innovation skills or just stick to already established methods?
* Are the timings fixed or flexible? Do employees have to work for long and irregular hours every day?
* Do employees constantly work under the pressure of unreasonable deadlines or are they given a reasonable amount of time to finish their tasks?
* What are the Managers and authorities like? Are the needs of employees paid heed to or not?
* Do the Managers promote a friendly and relaxed atmosphere?
* Is there any job security at the organization or are employees fired for the smallest of reasons regularly?
*Are employees friendly to each other or is everybody only focused on doing their job and going home?
* Does the company focus on assigning work in small teams or is the structure more hierarchical?
* How many leaves (paid and unpaid) are employees allowed to take? Is this less/more or same as the average market amount?

Find answers to the above questions and see whether you would be happy in such an environment or not. Remember that no organization is perfect, but at least the values, objectives and work methods of the organization should align with yours.

Location and Travelling

The location of your workplace is also a major factor that you should consider before accepting a Job Offer. You might not be willing to travel back and forth to a place which is 2 hours away from your home. This not only involves investing a lot of extra time and energy, but will also have an impact on your daily costs.

It often happens that the interviews take place at another branch of the company and you’re required to start working at a different branch. Find out in advance about the office at which you will have to report to on a daily basis. Make sure it’s not too far or located in an unsafe area or located in a place which is difficult to reach.

The nature of some jobs requires employees to travel constantly on a daily basis. Speak to people working at the company and the Hiring Manager and find out if you would be required to travel a lot or not. Consider whether you will like or dislike travelling on a regular basis. Some people enjoy travelling and visiting new places, whereas for some staying away from their families regularly is an unsettling thought.

You must also find out about the possibilities of you being asked to relocate to another city or state as a part of your job in the future. You might or might not be comfortable with the thought of relocating to a different place. Try and find out whether you can be asked to relocate or not, and in case you are, then whether you will have a say with regards to your relocation or not.

Reputation of the Company

The reputation of the company that has offered you a job can also be a major factor that affects your decision with regards to accepting the Job Offer or not.

Some big companies with formidable reputations can be great additions on your Resume and increase your value as a professional. Examples of such companies are Microsoft, Google, General Motors etc.

You might want to work at a company for a limited period of time even if the job isn’t ideal for you just so that you can mention that work experience on your Resume.

Research about the company online and see whether it is worth it to just take up a job at the company due to its reputation. Working in a reputed company can be a big boost for your career and can open up new and exciting avenues. It is also likely that your market value in terms of your salary increases if you work at a big company like Google.

However, you should also be wary of the fact that performing a completely unrelated or trivial job at a big company can at times go against you and not prove to be worthy of putting on your Resume.

Consider the market reputation of the company, and see whether it will prove to be a boost for your career or whether you will actually end up wasting crucial years of your life.


Once you consider all the above factors individually, look at the big picture and imagine yourself working at that organization. Consider all the factors in totality and then decide whether the offer is worth accepting or not.

Keep in mind that every job and organization has its pros and cons. Some organizations might pay you a lot, whereas some organizations provide more opportunities for growth and career progression. Similarly, some organizations are known for their friendly work cultures, whereas some organizations would be excellent additions to your Resume.

Consider your own needs and reasons for doing the job and see whether the job will be able to fulfill those or not. Your primary motive at that point of time in your life might only be to earn money, or you might be focusing on building a career. The Job Offers you should accept in either of these cases can be very different from each other.

Try and find answers to the following questions and see how you feel about the offer in totality.

 * What are your Job Responsibilities going to be? Are you fine with performing those tasks every day? Do they align with your future goals? Are you under – qualified or over – qualified for the job?
* Is the work load going to be too much or too little?
* How much will you be paid for the job? Is the salary as per market rates, or above or below market rates? Consider additional monetary benefits as well.
* Are you going to be able to grow as a person and as a professional in the job?
* Are you going to be comfortable in the work culture and office environment of the place? Are your needs going to be looked after?
* How far is the office from your house? Will you be comfortable in travelling that distance and route daily? Will you be asked to relocate or travel a lot as a part of your job?
* What is the reputation of the company in the market? Is it going to make your Resume more impressive?

Find answers to these factors and analyze how you feel about the Job Offer. Speak to your friends, family, colleagues and other professionals for advice. However, do not let their advice dictate your decision but only act as a guiding force.

Most of the times, it is a person’s gut feeling that makes one choose/decline a Job Offer or in some circumstances, choose one over the other.

Make a decision once you’re convinced that you’re doing the right thing. In case you’re not, you can always ask the Hiring Manger for a little extra time to decide. In case you can’t decide, trust your gut feeling and go ahead. Your career is just starting; you are more than allowed to take risks!

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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.