The Room with a View in that Job Offer?

Congratulations! You’ve landed the job interview, maybe even gotten a juicy offer. But do you really know what this lucrative role is all about? Do you know the details of the daily routine? The pitfalls and potential “highs” that may come along? If not, do some research before signing on the dotted line.

Wherever you are in your career, there are many factors to consider before moving on to that next job. Here are 5 questions you may want to ask yourself first.

  1. What phase of life are you in?

At each stage of your life, or at any major crossroad, it is normal to reassess and re-balance your values and priorities. As you advance along your career path, your needs change in sync with where you are in life.

If you have just started your own family, you may want to avoid travelling a lot. As the parent of a new baby, you’ll want your work hours to fit into a complicated juggling act of caring for your child, moving up in your career, and maintaining your own well-being. If your children are already old enough to take care of themselves, you may want to return to focusing on your work.

Generally speaking, your personal situation can help you decide where you want to be in your career. Considering your priorities and responsibilities, determine how many hours you can work and how hard you want to work.

  1. What is the office environment like?

If you get a chance to quickly tour the office during an interview, take the opportunity to be observant and check out the office vibe. Think about how you would feel as an employee in that atmosphere.

What are people wearing? Are they wearing comfortable but smart casual clothes like jeans? Or are they walking around in conservative skirts and fashionable heels? What’s the office layout like? Is it an open space environment where people can easily mingle and collaborate? Or is it divided into individual offices where employees can work in peace? Observe how people interact in the office.

If you don’t get the opportunity to see the office during working hours, ask your interviewer to describe a typical meeting. How often does the team get together? How do people exchange ideas? Before coming to the interview, come up with specific questions about issues that matter most to you.

  1. Do the job title, description and salary conform to each other?

Your job offer may come with a snazzy paycheck, but make sure to check if the salary is proportional to the workload. A higher salary often means higher prestige but brings with it larger responsibilities. Ask yourself if the new job will truly be rewarding. Will you be able to manage the workload without spending too much time away from your family or other interests?

Also, watch out for job titles and job descriptions that don’t match. If you are being offered a prestigious title, make sure that it lives up to its name. For example, if you are considering a VP position, but the job functions seem mid-level, this may be an indication that they do not have enough employees to help you do your job properly. Watch out for these red flags, and discuss these issues at the interview.

  1. What benefits are offered?

In addition to the salary, consider the benefits package that comes with the job. Do take care, however –   asking too many questions about vacation and maternity leave, flexible work hours and other employee benefits may give the wrong impression during an interview. Instead of asking about each benefit one by one, request a copy of the entire benefits plan for review.

Watch out for the benefits that are important to you. For example, if you and your husband are soon going to have a baby, examine the company regulation regarding maternity leave. According to Just Landed, women are entitled to four weeks before the delivery, and eight weeks immediately after. Is the company complying with this particular legislation? Some benefits may even be negotiable. If you think, for example, that you need more time following the birth, perhaps you can negotiate for an extension or suggest flexible work hours.

  1. What are your own long-term career objectives?

Let’s return to our first point, your current stage of life. Try to visualise what kind of job you’ll want to be your last one before retirement. Does the current job prospect fit into your long-term career objectives? Take note that moving along in your career does not necessarily equate with moving up. Choose the job where you feel you would be doing something that you love.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).