Finally, after sending a bunch of CVs, and attending a couple of interviews, a door opens. You receive an offer letter which confirms your position, start date, job description, work schedule, base salary and benefits. You also have a chance to sit with the hiring manager to confirm certain matters that you require further clarification for.
In a perfect world, the job should tick all of the points below for you to gladly say ‘yes’ to it. However, in reality, there is a possibility that only a few of those mentioned here will be included in the offer. At the end of the day, you will need to evaluate which are the most important points for you and your dependents to consider.
1) The salary. This is the main consideration for many. Ideally, your pay should allow you to buy the things that you want and not only those that you need. Remember, your goal should not be to simply survive, rather to live life to the fullest. At best, the remuneration offered should help you live a stress-free life where you are able to cover for your monthly expenses and save up for a rainy day.
2) Benefits can be anything from health insurance, flight tickets, paid holidays to cash incentives. It is good to eye the perks that will keep you motivated on a monthly basis, but it is more important to consider the benefits which will provide security during critical times, i.e. free hospitalization should you fall ill or meet accidents.
3) Does the Job Description (JD) describe what you really want to do? There is a possibility that the expectations of what you are going to do for the company are different from what is detailed in the JD. Are the tasks mentioned manageable? Will it provide the necessary challenges that would keep you on your toes until you move up the career ladder or to another department? If your answers to both are yes, then you can go ahead and tick more boxes in the list below.
4) Proximity to your house/accommodation. If it is not possible to move closer to your workplace, evaluate if the time spent going to the office and back home is worth it. Ask questions like: ‘Once I reach home, will I still be able to rest properly, have time to study, or finish my chores?’ If the salary and benefits are not big enough to compensate for the time you sacrifice for travel, then maybe you need to re-think if you should accept the offer or not.
5) The culture fit. This guides how employees think/feel and accordingly interact with each other. Based on your research or visits to the office, picture yourself fitting in. If you think you will jive perfectly with the people, you will be excited to go to the office everyday. On the contrary, if you think you are and will remain different from everyone, staying in that office would only exhaust you and cause you to be unhappy.
6) The title given. There are companies where an Admin Executive is essentially the same as an Admin Assistant. We have to admit that having the word ‘executive’ in one’s title positively alters the way the employee is perceived and treated, especially by clients. It also helps attain a better post when transferring to other companies. Before saying yes, be sure that the company is not reserved in giving decent job titles to employees.
7) The size of the organization. Being employed in big companies does not always have an edge over working for small to medium enterprises (SMEs). This is especially true when you are just starting in your career. It would be good to begin your journey with SMEs as these allow you to assume varying functions involving different aspects of the business. You then have a wider range of tasks worked on which will help you in your journey.
8) Support towards your personal development plan. Check if the business has programs that push workers to map strategies towards the attainment of their personal goals. If so, see what kind of support is being offered for their plans to materialize. Ask if continuous training is being given to help the staff grow within and beyond their position.
9) Name and reputation of the company. Being affiliated with known companies is a plus point to be added to your CV/resume. On another note, it can be safe to assume that companies with bigger names have deeper pockets that can help them weather catastrophes such as the Covid-19 pandemic. We can say that being part of these companies can ensure higher chances of work stability for you during crises.
10) Work-life balance. It is good if the employees of the company work to live and not just live to work. If they are simply living to work then they have defeated the real purpose of work itself. And, if that’s the case, then maybe, it is best to head for the exit door after courteously declining the offer.
Based on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we first need to satisfy the basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Once these are met, we continue moving up the triangle until the need for self-actualization is satisfied. Preferably, the job you should say ‘yes’ to is one that would allow you to progress towards reaching your fullest potential.
Work is work is work. It’s the hand that feeds us. It’s a blessing. But sometimes, it can be a curse especially when it turns toxic that the salary you get, no matter how big or small, will never be enough to compensate for the ill feelings. Everyone is replaceable at work – that’s the honest truth. It is up to the individual to find work-life harmony, and to get there, is to quit being in-denial of toxicity.