Just imagine you are ready to find the next step in your career. After interviewing with a potential company, they inform you that they will be putting together an offer. This is exciting news but can also be stressful as you try to evaluate whether you’re going to accept. Certainly, the best-case scenario is that the job offer is so great that you won’t have to think about accepting. However, it is often the case that more consideration is required. It is helpful to analyze job offers from 3 perspectives to see if they line up with your career goals.
First, consider the work itself:
- What are the responsibilities of the job? Are they the right fit with your strengths and what you enjoy doing? When people enjoy what they do, they perform better because in those situations work doesn’t seem like work.
- Does the job develop your niche knowledge further or provide an opportunity to broaden your exposure? There are plenty of career options for being an expert as well as being more of a generalist. The question is, do you like focused work or do you like more broad and general exposure to company business?
- What is your potential career progression with the company? Do you see it leading in the direction you want to go? Many people who want to change the focus of their work consider taking a lateral role to build knowledge and experience. Once that is obtained, then more senior roles will open down the road.
- Does the company value the actuarial and analytic perspective? Are senior management roles occupied by people with analytical backgrounds? This can be a good indicator of how your department and future role is perceived within the company.
- What is the company culture? Does it align with your ideas of a good work environment?
- Does the company promote from within? Has there been turnover? LinkedIn and Glassdoor can be helpful in evaluating both aspects.
- Is it a large company or small company? Large companies often have more defined roles, whereas smaller companies tend to have broader and less defined roles.
- What are the standards you will be evaluated by? Are they realistic for your success?
Second, consider the offer from a personal perspective:
- Is the location something that works for you? Is it close to family and is the commute something you can handle long term?
- Are the demands of the role something that will allow you to have the work/life balance you’re comfortable with?
- Are there seasonal busy periods when you’ll work longer hours?
- Is travel required? Does that work with the demands of your personal situation?
- Are work hours flexible? Is there a chance to work from home one or more days a week?
Third, and finally, consider compensation:
- We advise our candidates to look at the offer from a total compensation perspective. This includes base salary, short term bonus, long term bonus and benefits. It’s important to understand the full picture before negotiating. That way you can be sure to ask for what is most important to you.
- A strong benefits package paid for by the employer can be a big advantage. Benefits are not typically negotiable as it tends to be company-wide policy.
- Are the bonuses aligned to increase with better performance and/or more work? Is that a positive or a negative for you?
- Companies generally have more flexibility in offering a sign-on bonus to address a bonus or long-term incentive that you might lose if you leave your current role. They also sometimes have flexibility on PTO days depending on your experience level.
Hopefully, this provides a useful reference to weigh a job offer. If you have questions about any of these aspects, you can always request a brief call with the hiring manager to explore it further. If you are thinking about beginning your job search consider starting conversations with more than one company. By doing so, you will have a chance to contrast and compare different opportunities across the spectrum, and with this information you can more confidently pick the best fit. DW Simpson is here to help expand the opportunities you can consider. Please reach out if we can ever assist in the search for your next role!
By: Dan Karrow