Saturday, July 07, 2007

Got a job offer? Evaluate!

GETTING a job offer is one of the most exciting and thrilling events in one's life. But it is also a time when dilemma strikes with full force, if you are already employed. No matter how enticing the job offer, you end up questioning the wisdom behind the move. You feel the burden of foregoing certain benefits of the present situation even if it means giving up the normal nine to five work hours for a hefty package. You doubt the future and question its certainty. It might be something that you've wanted for a long time. It might be an offer out of the blue. If all these ifs and buts leave you in a quandary, it's time to get objective and evaluate the job offer.

Avoid emotional decisions

Do not let your emotions have a free run. One usually regrets emotional decisions or finds ways to rationalise them. If you decide to leave the job because of an unpleasant employee or an unruly boss, you are giving too much of importance to factors that don't deserve that much attention. It's important that you quit the present job for the right reasons. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the new boss or new colleagues will be any better. Resolve to hone your people skills instead.

Get the background information

That's common sense. Get information on the organisation's business or activity, financial condition, age, size and location. Read the company's annual report meant for the stockholders. Browse through the press releases, company newsletters, its website and recruitment brochures. If possible, speak to the current or former employees of the organisation. Try to get a clear picture of the company's successes, failures and plans for the future.

Match your own interests and beliefs

Try to determine if your interests and activities are in consonance with those of the new organisation. Organisational culture should agree with your working habits. Or it should stand for values that you aspire to reach in your work life. If it does, you will find it easier to adapt to the new position and take up your new responsibilities with enthusiasm.

Size of the organisation

Weigh the pros and cons of joining a large or a small organisation. A large size organisation offers benefits like advanced technology, specialised roles, training programmes and better employee benefits. However, there is a danger of feeling dwarfed and limited in one's role. You may not get an opportunity to expand your skills and role.

Smaller firms on the other hand offer broader area of authority and responsibility, a more direct interaction with the top management and every contribution to the company's success gets highlighted.

Relatively new organisation

New enterprises may have a higher failure rate, but there are equal chances of making it big by being part of an expanding firm. Moreover, it enriches your work experience, adding quality to it, as you get to learn skills involved in starting up an enterprise. In a well-established organisation, on the other hand, the risk factors are minimised.

Get objective

Get to know what the expected working hours are. You might have to take personal factors into consideration before making a change. With a large number of BPOs coming up, this becomes more important as these centres usually operate in the evenings right through the nights. Get to know the distance and commuting time required. Inquire whether a pick up would be available if your workplace is very far away from your residence.

Employee turnover

If the organisation is facing a high employee turnover, get to know the factors. Are the employees dissatisfied? Are the enterprise policies not employee friendly? If possible ask the person whom you are replacing about the reason why he or she quit.

Advancement opportunities

Will you get to learn new skills, increase your earnings and rise to positions of greater authority? Are there opportunities for mobility within the firm? What is the appraisal system like? Do they have training programmes for employees? All these questions are very important to plan one's career graph, keeping the next step in mind.

Salary and benefits

Get a rough estimate of what the job should pay. Inquire from people who were hired for similar positions. Make sure you get credit for your work experience. Advertisements in newspapers for job openings or on websites usually give a range of salary for the position.

If you are relocating to a different city, then make allowances for differences in cost of living. Get to know their policy on overtime.

The most important thing while evaluating a job offer is to get one's priorities right. Apart from that, one needs to take care of the objective factors listed above. Making an informed decision will help you get the right job not just this once but every time in future that you are faced with an enticing job offer.