It is likely that when you are looking for a job, your main focus will be researching companies, applying to positions, and preparing for interviews. Then: congratulations, you made it through all of that, and you are hired! But now what? Navigating job offers and ensuring that you receive what you want can be another stressful part in the process of getting a new job.
Everyone may have different priorities in terms of what they look for in a job. Before going into specifics of an offer, it is important to consider how your values align with the values of the company that has offered you the job. Companies will often have mission statements or explanations of their vision on their websites, or they may explain them during the interview process. These will be relevant to any work you do for that company, so it is necessary that you find an employer that is compatible with you and your beliefs so that you can feel fulfilled and ensured of your purpose in your job.
Specifically in the job offer, there will be conditions of employment which include descriptions of the position’s responsibilities and duties to give you an idea of what the job entails. The status of the position will let you know if it is part-time or full-time and the hours of work will explain the hours of operation and the minimum hours of work per week if applicable. The position will either be exempt, meaning that it is a salaried position and you will not be eligible for overtime pay, or non-exempt, meaning that you are able to receive overtime pay.
The job offer will also outline opportunities for time off and vacation. Benefits, such as insurance, may be written out or shared during new employee orientation and enrollment could take place immediately upon getting hired or once you meet eligibility criteria. The hiring process may also include a probationary period in which the employer can terminate your employment without cause or advance notice. You should also be aware of your rights as an employee and if the state you are getting hired in has an “at-will” law, which signifies that an employee can be hired or fired at any time for any reason.
It is also a good idea to negotiate aspects of the offer. Negotiations are becoming more common in the workplace and they ensure that you make every effort to establish your priorities and get what you want out of your job. Consider what you may be willing to sacrifice in exchange for a request in your negotiation. It is common to negotiate salaries, so being aware of common salaries within that career can help you get a salary that you deserve. Salary.com and Glassdoor.com are great options to explore this. You can also make sure that there are opportunities for promotions if that is important to you.
Job offers can be packed with information and terms that may be unfamiliar to you. This is why it is integral to take an adequate amount of time in reviewing a job offer and researching its components. Determine what is the most essential to you and express this to your potential employer so that you can have the best job situation.