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Home / Career Tips

How to evaluate a job offer and avoid regret

 Tame your impulse to immediately jump in by meaningfully assessing it against you values (Shutterstock)

In evaluating whether a job offer is right for you, tame your impulse to immediately jump in by meaningfully assessing it against you values.

We delve into why it helps to have a clear sense of what you are looking for in terms of what you have to offer and what you stand to gain.

The unemployment rate in Kenya was at 2.64 per cent in 2019. This represents the proportion of people who want to work but cannot find anywhere to work.

People who lost their sources of livelihood and are in the market for new ones, those who were laid off and those whose kinds of jobs are crowded such that there are no jobs for them fall in this category.

So, when you find yourself with a job offer, there are certain concepts you need to make peace with before you find yourself gleefully accepting it.

Ask for a day or two to carefully look into the following aspects before you take the offer.

1. Your professional development

Even though getting a job may be priority for anyone who has lost one, you still need to examine its impact on your long term career goals.

If the offer is in a totally different career path for your vision, you may find yourself desperate to leave when the thrill is over. Going for such offers from time to time will litter your resume with a number of short-lived jobs.

This communicates your unreliability to last at work and inability to make considerable contributions. If you are definite about changing your career, evaluate how the job will expose you to new experiences that enable you to grow.

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Should it appeal to you despite the salary and benefits; consider taking it so long as it will serve to bring you to where you envision yourself. You should always care about your advancement.

Do not allow yourself to get into something that will frustrate you a few years down the line at a time when you will lack prospects to go somewhere else.

 You need to examine a job's impact on your long term career goals (Shutterstock)

2. Your quality of life

Part of what motivates us to go to work every day is the fact that work challenges us to perform plus the benefits we are to enjoy. Scour the offer and contract thoroughly.

Does the offer entail among others, health and life insurance coverage, annual leave or retirement plans?

Then there are those hidden costs such as a change of wardrobe, childcare; will it eventually cost more to work there?

The right job gives you happiness and contributes to good relationships and overall well-being. The number of hours that make your work day may also determine how happy you will be.

The job offer may pay you a salary for working 8 hours a day but you end up expected to work for 12 hours. Will it involve a long and tiresome commute? A long commute may not be an issue for a 25 year old but it may be unbearable for a 55-year-old.

You will also need to evaluate whether relocation costs will eventually be manageable. Depending on your family responsibilities, evaluate whether your workload will eat into your personal life.

Additionally, do the costs and benefits of restarting your job search make more sense with an offer at hand?

3. Play detective

Look into you potential employer and establish enough information for you to rely on. Get to know how you will fit into the company’s culture and its reputation.

What is the public’s opinion about the company? What is there on social media? How are their reviews on Glassdoor?

Get to know about the values, working environment, management style and culture. Will you be proud of being associated with them?

Their annual reports can also give a good view about the company’s health status and its stability to handle future prospects.

Perpetual financial pressure may make the new company a temporary stay until the next round of massive layoffs knocks. You also have to be realistic.

There is no perfect job. If it contributes to your ultimate goals, with you having to contend with a few compromises for the short term, go for it.

4. Negotiate

Everyone has some non-negotiables. Will the job infringe on your fundamental rights and freedoms such as freedom of worship? When he was being vetted for the Chief Justice, David Maraga made it clear that he would not compromise church for work on Saturday.

What are your non-negotiables? Keep in mind that you may not get everything you desire in your counter offer. 

Make a final assessment about the job should you not gain much from negotiations. Walk away if you will find it to turn a blind eye on your freedoms.

Gracefully decline the job offer with thoughtfulness. If possible, keep in touch with the professionals you have interacted with. You will come to realise that it is a small world and you will bump into each other at some point.

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