Should You Accept the First Job Offer That Comes Your Way?

Sally, a recent accounting graduate, had been looking for work since her final semester. After interviewing with potential employers on campus, searching online and networking with faculty members and professional associations, she received her first job offer. Considering her arduous search, mounting student loans and a competitive market, Sally is tempted to accept the offer on the spot.

As an entry-level accounting professional uncertain about potential employment opportunities, accepting the first job offer can be quite tempting. Before making a commitment, however, thoroughly assess the situation. Carefully evaluate your goals, the potential employer and the ramifications of a “yes” decision before accepting a role.

Here are a few factors to consider when trying to evaluate an employment offer:

* What does my ideal job look like? Ask yourself what kind of organization you really want to join. Do you think the opportunity at hand measures up to your ideal? Did you feel excited about working at the company after the interview? Creating a checklist of characteristics of your ideal job will help you determine the most influential factors when making your final decision.

* Is the culture a fit? Ask yourself if the atmosphere is a good match for your personality. For example, if the department you interviewed with is heavily focused on teamwork and you particularly enjoy working on individual projects, you may need to continue your job search a bit longer.

* What if the job isn't right, but you really need the money? If you are worried about your financial stability, you may be more prone to accept the first offer you receive. However, if the opportunity doesn't fit your objectives, consider taking a temporary assignment, which will allow you to earn an income while continuing your search for a full-time position.

© 2006 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved. Republished with permission.

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