Do You Want This Job?
If you're going to consider a job offer seriously, first be sure that it is a job you really want. Are you willing to live and work in the area in question? Is the work schedule and way of life one you would enjoy? If you're just graduating, is the job in the field you'd like to pursue? These are all things you should consider before you make your final decision.
Considering the Work Environment
Another important factor to consider is the kind of environment in which you'll be working. Is the company's atmosphere comfortable, challenging, and exciting? You must look at specifics, including office or workstation setting, privacy, proximity to other staff, amount of space, noise level, and lighting.
What is the level of interaction among coworkers? Some organizations strongly encourage teamwork and dialogue among staff, while others emphasize individual accomplishment. You should think about which approach works better for you. If you have serious doubts about whether you will like the work environment before you accept the job, you may grow to hate it after you accept the job.
Should I turn down a job if I don't like the way the office looks?
Don't automatically reject a job offer if the office is small or run down. Take it into consideration along with all the other factors. The office may look undesirable, but do the people working in it seem lively? The positive may outweigh the negative.
Corporate culture encompasses many things. It includes a company's values, practices, and goals and the way it goes about achieving them. If you work for a company, you should feel comfortable with its culture. If you are a staunch environmentalist, for example, and the company you are considering working for is a big land developer that supports deforestation, this may not be the place for you.
If your prospective employer expects their staff to put work ahead of family, and if that is something with which you don't feel comfortable, think carefully about accepting a job offer. It is unlikely that the corporate culture will change, and either you will be uncomfortable working within it or you will go against it. Either way, you may soon be looking for another job.
Most people would be thrilled to be able to walk to work, or at least have to deal with only a five-minute ride. Unfortunately many workers don't have such an easy commute to their jobs. Getting to work often involves sitting in traffic or enduring a long trip on public transportation.
Americans spend a lot of time commuting to work. This results in quite a bit of down time for many people — time they can spend doing something more productive. According to the 2000 United States Census, the average travel time to work was almost 26 minutes.
One thing you must ask yourself before you accept a job offer is “How long will it take me to get to and from work each day?” And then you must ask yourself whether that commute is too long. You may not mind leaving your house at 6:30 every morning, but how will you feel about getting home at 8 o'clock every night?
Can You Work with These People?
When you think about the fact that the majority of your waking hours will be spent on the job, the importance of working with people with whom you get along looms large. While you don't have to love everyone in your workplace, you do have to have decent relationships with your coworkers and your boss.
If the boss speaks in a derogatory tone of voice to one of his employees in your presence, think of what he will do when you aren't there. After all, shouldn't he be on his best behavior when there's a guest in the office?
When you are interviewing for a job, take note of your prospective boss's demeanor. Does she seem like a reasonable person or does she seem like someone who can fly off the handle pretty easily? Listen to her interact with other people — for instance, the receptionist. Is she polite and friendly?
As you walk through the office, look at the people there. Do they look content? Do they seem friendly? It's difficult to make these assessments through first impressions, but if something doesn't seem right to you, pay attention to your instincts.