Many job seekers are inclined to jump at the first job offer that comes their way. But what if it isn't exactly the type of position you wanted? Should you still take it?
Heather Huhman, a career and workplace expert for the online career site Glassdoor, said that while those who have experienced a long-term job search probably feel as though they should take what they can get, there are other options.
"When you encounter offers you don't completely love, you must ask yourself if you will accept the job offer, attempt to negotiate or wait for a better opportunity to come along," Huhman wrote in a recent blog post.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are some things Huhman recommends considering before accepting a job offer you aren't completely in love with:
1. Are serious goals being sacrificed? One of the most important questions you should ask yourself is if you would make any serious sacrifices in your career when accepting the job offer. Would you need to relocate to a new city or work more hours than you'd prefer? You should take a moment to compare your career goals to the job offer and see where they overlap. As long as the job keeps you moving forward in your career, then maybe the offer isn't so bad after all.
2. Is there an opportunity to expand your skills and experience? Almost every job presents the opportunity to learn something new. When thinking about the job offer, take a look at the different responsibilities that come with the position, as well as opportunities to learn. Will the position require you to learn a new skill or program? Will there be opportunities to attend workshops or conferences? Sometimes, these types of learning experiences turn into perks that could have a positive impact on your career.
3. Does it meet most needs? If you're having a difficult time deciding on a job offer, you should make a list of your needs — everything from lifestyle needs to career goals. If the only thing you don't love about the offer is the vacation package, maybe the offer isn't so bad. However, if you need to have a benefits package that supports your family and the job offer doesn't include that, or if you have a strong desire for a promotion and you don't think that's likely, then maybe you should try to negotiate the offer.
4. Imagine working for the company: If you can see yourself working in the office and with the people, it's probably a good sign the company could be a good fit. Even if the salary isn't as high as you had hoped, you could be accepting a job offer that provides a great company culture and an overall positive experience. Remember, not every job is about making the big Abucks — it should also be about finding happiness where you work.
5. Could this job be a stepping stone to a better opportunity? Throughout your career, you'll likely find that some jobs can help you discover better opportunities. It's OK if not every job you ever have is your dream job. Although you should be working toward your career goals, there will be times when you need to work a particular job in order to achieve your next goal. Every type of experience you gain gives you the opportunity to shape your career path.
Huhman said job seekers who do decide to accept the position shouldn't forget about negotiating.
"You can always negotiate an offer if you aren't completely satisfied," Huhman wrote. "But overall, you should weigh the costs and benefits of the position. And remember: Your career goals and values should always come first."
By Heather Huhman