Yes, the compensation part of a job offer is very important and no one would begrudge you for taking a job just for a dump truck of cash to be emptied onto your front lawn.
However, a job offer features a lot of other components that are just as important as compensation, components that are often hard to put into hard numbers.
For instance, is the pay really that impressive? Are you moving into a position with advancement potential? What is management like? Can your new role help your career, and do you care?
These and other questions need to be asked before you accept any job offer.
How Much Money Are We Talking About?
A lot of people find that their finances strongly affect their career decisions, which is understandable. A 25 percent increase can sound like an easy decision when just looking at it on paper. A 10 percent salary reduction might feel like an instant deal breaker. However, more thought should go into the salary.
For each job offer, you must also consider if the compensation presented is fair and attractive. It’s not only about the numbers on your paycheck; but also about other areas of compensation. What are the benefits? What is the match percentage on the 401k and how long does it take to be fully vested? Do you have a chance at getting equity in the company? Is there any profit sharing?
Now that you have all the compensation for this job offer and can compare it to your current situation, it solves a big piece of the puzzle. Should it be the only part of your decision? Absolutely not, and this is why.
Is There Potential for Advancement?
Jumping back to the 10 percent reduction in salary, that could be a huge negative in your job offer evaluation. But it really shouldn’t.
Examine your new position. Are you currently a manager and you are becoming a director? Does the number of direct reports to you increase? Do you have the opportunity to run your own division? Do you have the opportunity to start a new division and really make a mark on the company?
These opportunities should really be just as important (if not more important) than the salary and compensation part of the job offer.
Don’t Forget About the Culture
For some people, there is no paycheck big enough in the world that will make them put up with horrible working conditions, a mountain of responsibility or unethical business practices.
Consider your personal priorities when evaluating a job offer, and then look at the job based on those priorities. For instance, if you are a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, will a massive paycheck convince you to work for a conservative organization? This information could be difficult to find during the interview process. Use your network and connections to get real feedback from people who either currently work for the company, used to work for the business or have interacted with the organization previously.
What’s it like to walk into the office daily? Are people on pins and needles? Is it a family atmosphere? Do people enjoy each other’s company or is it strictly business?
Will You Like Management?
Sometimes the pay at a job is great, the work is inspiring, your colleagues are a blast to be around, but management treats you horribly.
In the interview process, try to gauge the temperament of the person who would be your immediate supervisor and consider if their disposition matches your own. If possible, ask them questions about how they recognize the achievements of their workers. Try to figure out if them expectations are reasonable. Interactions with potential co-workers can also provide honest feedback during your job search as well.