Chapter 14: Evaluating Job Offers
Congratulations! Your hard work and professionalism have won you several job offers. Now it's time to make a careful decision, weighing the pro's and con's of each position. One way to do this is to consider all the various benefits to each job, including responsibilities, challenge, creativity, salary and commute, to name a few. Next, carefully prioritize the list of job variables, choosing your top five. Then examine each job offer against your top five job variables. A choice should now become evident.
Salary can be one of the toughest items to consider and negotiate when deciding on a job. Most likely, a salary discussion with your employer will happen only after all other items have been firmed up. The key to obtaining the salary you want is to enter into negotiations only after you've done advance research using the Internet, trade journals, and want ads. You should have a good idea of the appropriate salary range taking into account such factors as the level of responsibility of the position, your experience and education, and the health of the industry and the economy as it relates to the position.
Once the employer begins salary negotiations, realize that the initial offer is likely below what the company will actually pay. Be firm, and don't feel obligated to just accept any figure that's tossed about. However, be aware that if you're applying for an entry-level position and have limited experience, you won't have much clout. It's okay to discuss salary in hourly, weekly, monthly, or annual terms so long as you understand the bottom line. Don't forget to ask about how often you might expect a salary review. Finally, keep the focus on the responsibilities of the job and what skills you bring to it rather than the money aspect, and you're more likely to avoid an impasse in the negotiations.
Once you've decided on which job you want to take, it's time to write letters of acceptance or rejection to all employers who've made you job offers. Just as it was at every step of the job hunt, follow through at this final stage is critical.