discussing a job offer

When in need of a job, it might be tempting to take the first offer. We’ve been through a pandemic, and many are itching to get back into the workforce. While it’s great to see a boom of new opportunities on the job market – and a recent dip in the state’s unemployment rate – candidates should be wary about accepting a position that doesn’t offer long-term career growth. 

Our Opportunity Junction (OJ) career counselors work directly with job seekers, helping them to identify their future goals and decide how to make the best choices when seeking employment. They’ve offered some helpful tips to keep in mind when accepting a new job – along with how to recognize red flags.

With Job Offers, Sometimes Less is More

Don’t select a job based on hourly wage alone. As OJ Career Counselor Kaylan Billeci pointed out, there absolutely are times when job seekers should consider accepting a lower base pay if other factors outweigh the price differential. 

“This might mean the lower paying job is closer to home and thus saves you time and money commuting,” Kaylan explained. “Or maybe, the lesser paying job has a better benefits package, specifically medical insurance. I would compare how much you would be paying out of pocket for benefits.”

She further said that candidates might want to take the lower wage if the job is more aligned with their skills, values, interests, and career trajectory, since this compatibility will result in untold gains.

OJ Career Counselor Hilarie O’Connor agreed. 

“The commute in the Bay Area can add to time away from the home and increase childcare costs, not to mention gas bills,” Hilarie added.

Factors to Consider When Pay is Competitive

What if two employers are offering the same pay, and the commute is relatively the same? The expense of gas and time away from family are no longer determining factors. So what else should be factored in?

Kaylan noted that work-life balance, flexibility, and room for growth and raises were important factors to consider.

Hilarie raised a great question to ask: “What is the typical timeline to be reviewed and considered for a raise?” 

Recognize Red Flags

Hilarie urged applicants to be aware of job postings that seem too good to be true and have grammatical errors.  

“Some jobs are posted internationally and are really only a ruse to gather personal information from job seekers and potentially result in identity theft or fraud,” she said.

Even when the position isn’t fraudulent, Kaylan said, “Trust your gut and pay attention to how your body feels during the interview.” 

“If something feels wrong or off, lean into that,” she continued. “Some red flags to me would be an extremely disorganized interview or hiring manager, as well as if the interviewers are stating your job duties would be different than what they have listed in the description, or if the pay is less than what they advertised (essentially, the ol’ switch and bait).”

When it comes to deciding on a new job, never take the first offer without evaluating the full package.

As Hilarie said, “Always look at the big picture!”

For more information on Opportunity Junction’s career counseling and job training programs, join us for an in-person information session. We meet on Mondays at 10 a.m. in our Antioch office, 3102 Delta Fair Blvd. Or watch a brief video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaeH_M2N7cA.