You’ve completed your interviews, and now, you have a job offer or perhaps even multiple job offers in front of you. How do you decide which position is the best fit for you? Will taking the job help or hinder you in the future?
Your team here at Black Diamond can help! We believe there are five essential questions to consider when accepting a job offer.
1. ARE THE SKILL SETS A GOOD MATCH FOR MY CAREER?
We know that you are an individual with a highly specialized skill set, and we do our very best to match you with companies that need your particular set of skills. However, only you know where you want to be in five or even ten years.
Before accepting a job offer, make sure that the skill set requirements for the job are things that you believe will elevate your career. For example, if you are a software developer looking for more management responsibilities and you have the option of taking either a lead programmer or senior programmer position, take the former. A lead programmer’s responsibilities include mentoring junior programmers and that can get you the experience you need. A senior programmer role focuses more on the code than the people on the team.
2. DOES THE WORK SCHEDULE MEET MY NEEDS?
Today, in a post-pandemic world, you have more options for your work schedule than ever before. If the position offered is for you to work remotely, ask questions to understand the expectations.
• Do you have to be online between certain hours?
• Are there specific times people need to reach you (don’t forget about time zones)?
• How often do you need to go into the office?
• Are there travel requirements and how often would you need to be on the road?
• Are you allowed to work outside of your home state or country? If so, for how long?
• How often does the team meet?
• How much time do you have to work independently outside of meetings?
These questions will help you understand how flexible your work schedule could be. Also, if you’re working two or more contracts, knowing the answers to these questions will help you determine if the job fits your schedule.
3. AM I EARNING MY SKILLSET HOURLY RATE?
Black Diamond experts do our best to get you the hourly rate your skillset deserves. When looking at a job offer, you want to make sure that you’re getting paid for the job you’re doing. Some things to consider are health insurance, retirement, and other job costs.
As consultants working with Black Diamond Networks, we offer health insurance plans and pay up to 50% of the premium. We’ll also have 401k plans for you to participate in. Both benefits are available after 60 days on the job. And if you need to relocate for the project’s duration, a per diem may be provided to cover expenses as part of your compensation.
A consulting position gives you unique opportunities to work on new technologies or be involved in areas you usually wouldn’t be exposed to. So, when looking at your compensation, don’t forget to consider the value of helping to cure diseases, researching rare cancers, or designing surgical devices to better people’s lives.
4. WILL THIS POSITION ADVANCE MY CAREER?
The last thing you want is to feel like you’re treading water when it comes to your career. Instead, you want jobs that build on each other, enhance your resume, and challenge you. So before accepting an offer, ask yourself, “Will this position advance my career?”
Will you work with a big-name client? For example, as a software developer, would having a big tech company name on your resume make you stand out? And will the project give you a leg up in your job search? If you answer yes to these questions, this might be the job for you. However, if you answer no, then maybe you should hold off on accepting.
Another thing to think about is the rate at which technology evolves. You need to make sure your job allows you the opportunity to experience and work with new programs and technologies. For example, PERL was a popular scripting language twenty years ago. Today, there are no modern ecosystems around PERL; Ruby and Python are what people use. If you were a PERL programmer, you might find yourself stuck maintaining legacy systems (aka treading water) that are waiting to be phased out. And unless you learned a modern scripting language like Ruby or Python, you wouldn’t be able to build modern projects.
5. ARE THERE RED FLAGS AND HOW DO I LOOK FOR THEM?
Sometimes, red flags aren’t apparent during the interview process, you must dig for them. There are three questions you can ask:
• Why is there a need for the position?
• How long has there been a need for the position?
• Did I meet with my direct manager or supervisor during the interview process?
You don’t want to accept a job and find that the company has internal dysfunction, leading them to hire a contractor. It’s one thing to seek outside help when your employees don’t have the skill sets needed for a project. However, it’s a red flag if the reason is due to poor management, low morale, and other internal issues. Asking why there is a need for the position and how long there has been a need can give you insight into the work environment and the health of the company.
Finally, to avoid any surprises on your first day of work, make sure that you have met with your direct manager during the interview process. This person can give you the best and most detailed information on the day-to-day expectations of the job, such as your schedule, the team you’ll be working with, and your job responsibilities. As the saying goes, you want to get this kind of information straight from the horse’s mouth!
We hope these questions will help you find the best fit for your skills and schedule. If you have any other concerns or just want some more guidance on accepting a job offer, reach out to Black Diamond at any time!