You’re a little fish in a huge pond. You’ve gone through what feels like a million interviews now. Your closet contains more business attire than you ever thought you could possibly own. And the main event of your day is trying to figure out new ways to make your resume stand out even more as you continue to search for other opportunities. But today, you get a phone call. Company X would love to hire you! They weren’t your first choice, and you just had an interview with Dream Job a week ago, so they could still get back to you. What about all the other places you interviewed with? What if a better job comes along? What if they don’t pay you enough? What if you hate it? What if you just take a deep breath, and chill out for a second. You just got a job offer, congrats! Do you have to take it? No. Should you take it? Well, that depends.

First off, don’t feel like you have to accept the job on the spot just because you’re excited to even have an offer, your parents are breathing down your neck to get to work and the company seems really excited to work with you. It is a big decision to make, so you’re allowed to tell them “Thanks so much for the offer, can I have a few days to let you know?” Most people on the job hunt are going on multiple interviews and possibly getting offers from multiple companies, so it’s not uncommon to have to let the choice simmer a few days before forging your path.

While making your decision, there are some questions you should ask yourself. Do you and the company fit? This means do they have goals you’re interested in, do you agree with the work that’s being done there, could you be happy working there, and even thinking about how you got along with the interviewer(s) and anyone else you met at the company. This is probably the most important question you can answer. Just like you choose your friends, you have to be careful about who you choose to work for. You don’t want to be miserable at work and hate everyone you work with or hate what you are doing there. Even if it isn’t your first choice, you have to be able to see yourself working for this company, making friends and ultimately enjoying what it is you’re doing. If the answer is no, then you really shouldn’t accept the job, regardless of pay or benefits.

Besides whether or not you, the company and your potential colleagues can be like peas in a pod, you have to think of your future. Will this job enable you to further your skills and acquire new ones? Consider whether or not there is room for promotion, or the potential for you to work with other departments or branch out beyond your typical work duties. Should you leave this job and company one day, you want to be able to say you got something out of the job. If you’re simply sorting files and doing things you’ve done for internships and not growing, it won’t be worth your hard work and time. You also should look into the potential to be fired. Do some research and make sure the company is doing ok, if they’re stable and what kind of turnover rate they have—keep in mind that certain professions simply come with a high turnover rate, no matter who you work for.

You also need to think of the benefits from the job. Will you be able to pay rent and live off of your salary? What other kinds of benefits, like insurance or research facilities, will come with accepting the position? Besides being financially secure, you have to make sure you have the means to do the job at hand. For example, if you are to be a researcher or fact-checker, make sure the company has the ability to let you access whatever kind of information you need. Consider whether you think you can do the job well—just because there are a lot of perks you want to take advantage of, you shouldn’t accept unless you know you can do it.

At the end of the day, it depends on what you feel comfortable with and what your gut (or heart) tells you is best for your future. If you’re optimistic about landing that job you interviewed for at your favorite company, then take some time and wait it out. If you’d rather play it safe, accept a job at another company if you think you can be content working there. Remember, just because you accept a position, doesn’t mean you can’t ever progress or change career directions down the line. Working with one company now doesn’t mean you’ll never get a chance at that dream job later. Regardless of whether or not you say yes or no, always be respectful and even try to keep in touch with the people you spoke to. You never know when Dream Job can turn into a nightmare and you might want a new setting.

Good luck!


I’m reading Essentials of Sociology Down To Earth Approach