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Job Offer? Why You Should Think Before Saying Yes

Getting a job offer is always a great, confidence-boosting feeling. But if you say "yes," will you be doing so for all the right reasons? Is it the right move for you career-wise? Here's why you should stop and think before you accept...

Once upon a time there was a software tester called Grace who, after three years in her current job decided that she had achieved all that she could and wanted to move on to pastures new. She updated her CV, applied for a few jobs and was eventually offered three interviews.

Grace attended all three interviews and apart from a slightly embarrassing incident involving a spilt glass of water, they all went pretty well. Grace was feeling confident.

But she was turned down by her first choice company, apparently due to the quality of the other applicants. This was disappointing but not the end of the world and Grace remained positive.

The following day she received a phone call from the second favourite company; again Grace was unsuccessful. This was a massive blow, leaving her doubting her own ability and questioning whether she even deserved an improved position.

A few days passed and Grace was feeling less and less confident about the third company. She was dwelling on each answer she had given, what clothes she wore, how firm her handshake was etc. But then her phone rang and she was offered the position. Grace accepted the offer, happy and relieved that the saga had a happy ending.

Or did it?

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We’ve all been in situations like the one Grace found herself in, feeling almost as if the company is doing us a favour by offering us the job.

But they are not. This company was her third choice for a reason and ignoring that fact could very possibly leave her less happy in her new position than in the job she was leaving.

When you receive a job offer, it’s vital to remove yourself emotionally from the situation as best you can and focus on what you would actually gain from accepting.

Try asking yourselves these questions:

  1. Do I like the company?
  2. Is the remit of the job an improvement over my current role?
  3. Is the salary a notable increase from my current salary?
  4. Is this role likely to improve my future career prospects?

Asking yourself these questions will give a good indication of how suitable the role is and help you to see the situation a little clearer. When you have answered them, if they all have positive responses, then you can bring a little more emotion into proceedings by asking yourself one more question:

How did I feel about the opportunity straight after the job interview?

Despite job interviews generally being seen as an opportunity for the interviewee to impress the interviewers, they can be far more useful for feeling out the company you may end up working for. How did you get on with the people you met? What about the atmosphere in the office, the questions you were asked etc. All these impressions can give you a feeling for what the company is like, as well as the kind of person they are looking for.

An easy indicator is to consider how you felt about your interview performance. If you felt excited that you did well, it’s a good sign you actually want the job. Equally if you felt gutted that you maybe didn’t do very well, then you probably like the place.

Alternatively, if you left the interview feeling somewhat apathetic, whether it went well or not, then you can safely assume you didn’t dig the place.

Unless you’re out of work and just need a job quick, you should take some time, ask yourself these questions and even if one of the answers is a negative one, then you’re probably better off holding out for something better.

There are always more jobs, there will always be better opportunities, and if you rush your decision, you will likely pick the wrong one.

Grace may well feel grateful to company number three for their offer, but ultimately if she thinks back to why it was her third choice in the first place, the chances are that she will realise that it’s not the right role for her.

A job offer isn’t them giving you a job, it’s them giving you an opportunity. And like any opportunity, it’s up to you to decide if it’s the right one for you.

Jonathan McGreevy

Jonathan McGreevy

Jon is a regular blog contributor who contracts for SoftwareTester.Careers. He has led the test strategy on projects ranging from small apps to company-defining flagship solutions.

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