BEFORE YOU ACCEPT THAT JOB OFFER

Despite the high unemployment rate in the country, experts say people should consider many factors before saying ‘yes’ to an employment offer. This is a bitter truth, but there is an obvious truth hidden in that statement.

The unemployment rate in this country for instance is above 20%. This means that millions of people are out there searching for jobs; a development authorities describe as troubling.“Unemployment is a global problem, and in Nigeria, the current unemployment rate of 23.9 per cent is worrisome,”
The implication is that whenever a job vacancy is announced, thousands of people apply. So, it is not surprising to see people giving testimonies and celebrating job offers no matter how low the offer is.

In the excitement that follows such an offer, many people fail to ask the right questions and before long they find themselves on the hunt for a new or better job.HR experts say it is important for people to consider many things and ask questions before taking up a job in any organization. Some of those questions that must be asked and clarified are listed below:

Is the offer accurate?
It is common to see people complaining that their employers have not fulfilled promises made to them during interviews. But when their employment letters are scrutinized those promises are often not stated. One of the important things to check before accepting a job offer is that the promises made in the course of the interview or salary negotiation are fully captured and documented. Verbal promises often do not add up to anything, especially in the case of litigation. Promises or offers regarding vacation, promotion, exit requirements, entitlements etc have to be properly documented and signed off by both parties (employer and employee).

Is the pay good enough?
Pay being good depends on individuals. A good pay for Mr. A, may not be a good pay for Mr. B. This, for many people, is the main issue. HR experts, however, say such things as the work environment may even matter more than pay cheque. Nonetheless, when offered a job, it is of optimum importance that you determine whether the pay is good enough. Is it enough to keep you motivated and to allow you function effectively? Can it pay your bills? Experts say to determine whether the pay is good enough, it is important for people to determine what their skill sect is worth. Before you go for any job interview, you have to decide your ideal salary expectation, the realistic salary and your minimum benchmark. This way you know when to say no or yes to an offer. To determine the minimum you are able to accept, it is important to consider the physical requirement – things like distance, transportation, and feeding.Many people have failed to do this and accepted offers only to realize that the package is not as good as should be.

What are the benefits of working there?
Salary is one of the important determining factors to take a job. While it is very important to review the salary being offered, it is also important to understand what it means to work for any organization. Are there other benefits aside from salary? Experts say when the benefits of working with some companies are evaluated they may amount to even more than salaries. Some companies organize training for their workers at huge expenses. These trainings cost hundreds of thousands of naira for people who have to enroll privately. Some companies have health insurance schemes for their workers and their families. Some people who work in hotels, for instance, say they hardly get to spend money on food. All these need to be considered before a job offer is accepted or rejected. If the nature of your job means you do not have to worry about medical bills, cost of feeding or transport fare, then you should be able to put less emphasis on your salary and look up to accepting the offer.

Is the location okay?
It takes some people two hours or more to get to their offices each day. This is not ideal as it will surely affect your productivity. In accepting a job offer the location has to be put into top consideration. If you live far from your place of work, you are bound to spend a lot of money every month to get to work; this will diminish the amount you are left with to pay your bills and to save. That is apart from the stress of being on the road, probably stuck in traffic for hours. Compared to your peers who live close to the office, you are likely to be less productive and punctual and you will be exposed to more financial pressure.

What is the work environment like?
You also need to consider the work environment before accepting an offer. What kind of people are you going to be working with? Some work environments are more suited to extroverts, some to introverts. Similarly some work environments will require you to have impeccable human relations skill as you will be dealing with a lot of people, while some just need you to get in, get the job done, and get out.
Have you thought about whether you will fit into the environment? Are you sure you won’t end up spending your whole day avoiding people and giving thanks once it’s time to go home? Many people have quit jobs just because of the nature of the environment. “The job was boring”, “My colleagues were too withdrawn” and “The environment was not conducive”, are among the reasons that some people have given for quitting their jobs in the past.

Is there a clear job description?
Does your offer letter clearly specify what you will be doing once you accept the offer? Do you know what is expected of you – what you are expected to do daily? Many people do not and many offer letters do not capture that too. Many have accepted a job offer based on their understanding of what they know the role of the position is according to the text books or what they heard or did in their last jobs. They don’t bother to find out what it means to do the same job in that particular organization. So, by the time they are asked to run an unusual errand they may end up saying, “This is not what I signed up for.”It is very important to understand what the organization wants from you and to have that expectation documented. It is equally important to be clear on such things as work schedule. By having a clear schedule and job description it is easier to plan and do your job as expected and have a good work-life balance.

How about the career prospects?
Another important question is about the prospects you have working for that organization. Some organizations are well known for failing to promote people when due. Some have no clear career path at all, leaving workers clueless as to what they have to do to get a promotion. In addition to knowing what is required of you, you need to know what it would take for you to rise to the top in whatever organization you are about to take up a job with.

Most importantly and summarily, you should consider policies regarding: health insurance, vacation, illness, bonuses, training, further education, retirement age, growth, travel allowances, job security, among others before you say Yes to that job offer.

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