The ultimate goal of a job search is to secure a job that you find fulfilling, both personally and financially. Not all job offers will be exactly what you want in a new job, so it is important to weigh your options before accepting the position. Employers typically give you a few days to respond to a job offer, so you can evaluate the offer and decide whether it is the right position for you.
Salary is one of the most important factors in deciding whether to accept a job. Many employers begin with a salary offer lower than they are willing to pay because they expect you to negotiate the salary. Do your research if you are not sure what the salary should be for the job. Web resources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics offer wage information for careers in a variety of fields. It is also worth speaking to advisers and peers in similar positions to determine where the salary range lies.
Job benefits are the extra perks on top of your cash salary. Benefits range from health insurance to retirement accounts to free parking, and vary from company to company. Look at your personal circumstances to decide if the benefits are right for you. For example, good health insurance might be important if you have health problems or want to start a family; or, free parking might be a perk you need if you must commute to an area where parking is expensive.
The work environment is often a make-or-break factor for an employee's success in a job. Observe the dynamics of the office and employees before committing to a job. Also take the time to ask the hiring manager about the office culture and dynamic. For instance, you might not comfortable working in a silent workplace if you enjoy conversing and collaborating with coworkers. Ultimately, go with your intuition: Your impressions will tell you if something feels right -- or wrong -- with the company.
Career advancement is important to many people. You might not want to work for a company that does not offer you opportunity to expand and grow your career. Find out the company's promotion practices and whether it encourages promotion from within the company. Companies that promote through the ranks typically invest more in the careers of employees than do companies that look solely for outside talent.
A new job offer is wonderful, unless the company has severe financial problems and must lay off employees shortly after you are hired. Research annual reports and any financial information you can find about your company to see where it is, moneywise. Also, review stock analysis (if it's a public company) and any news articles about the company to gauge the general feeling the financial world has about the organization.