After going through all of your hard work networking and attending Meet the Firms, you’ve finally received a job offer or multiple job offers. Congratulations! Here are some tips on evaluating and accepting an offer with your future employer:
First, why are you looking for a job?
Is this job a starting point for your career? When you’re first starting out, look for mentorship opportunities within the company. A mentor could help you navigate company policies, alert you about any unique opportunities, and support you while you are settling into your new job.
Are you looking for a job to keep you busy post-graduation? If you don’t intend to make a life-long career out of this job, then look through the job offer paperwork to ensure that you’re satisfied with all of the details. If you’re in this situation, you may not want to be tied down to the job for a long time. If you plan to exit the job early, make sure there is nothing in the job offer that will impair your exit.
Do you need a job until you head to grad school? If so, inquire about the company’s policies on graduate school tuition payment. Many large companies will offer to pay for all or a portion of graduate school tuition, if the resulting graduate degree will advance your knowledge and benefit the company. If you are in the process of taking graduate school entrance exams, like the LSAT or GMAT, or even of course the CPA Exam, check your offer letter for time off policies, since you may need time off to study or take your exam.
Carefully read the job offer paperwork
Do you accept the salary that is listed on the job offer? Are the benefits sufficient for your personal and medical needs? Are you able to receive full benefits in your first year, or do you need to work for a few years first? Does the start date work with your post-grad plans? Make sure that you agree with all of the stipulations of your job offer before you sign the paperwork. If there is something that you would like to negotiate, don’t sign the paperwork until you have addressed your concern with the recruiter or your contact person.
Does the company offer any CPA licensure incentives? Prepping for and taking the CPA Exam can get very expensive, so take advantage of all of the incentives that are listed in your job offer. If you pay for any CPA Exam or licensure fees, keep your receipts for reimbursement.
Are there any other special considerations you have to keep in mind? Some special considerations may be needing to relocate, disability accommodations, etc. If you need additional resources from the company that are not outlined in the offer, contact the recruiter for help.
Jot down your questions about the offer and schedule a call with the recruiter
If you don’t have a specific contact person or recruiter, the job offer letter should have contact information in case you have any questions or concerns.
Attend post-offer socials and networking sessions
Many companies hold socials and networking sessions for candidates who have received job offers. During these sessions, you will learn more about the company culture, and you’ll typically have a chance to ask questions about the offer. You’ll also have the chance to network with other professionals and candidates who may be your colleagues in the near future.
Lastly, go with your gut
Sometimes your intuition tells you the answer before your brain can process a logical decision. For me, there was one firm that was a great fit from the start. I went to all of the company’s info sessions and networking events, and I felt like I instantly belonged. Once you start working, you’ll spend most of your waking hours working, so pick the firm that feels right for you.
But before you start working 9 to 5 or possibly longer, celebrate your success! Congratulations again on the job offer(s)!
If you didn’t receive a job offer during the recruiting process…
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take a break to relax since the recruiting process is stressful. After you’ve taken some time for yourself, go back to your resumes and cover letters to fix mistakes and to make updates. Once you’ve perfected your resume and cover letters, then start applying for jobs again. In addition to full-time jobs, consider applying to temporary jobs because many turn into full-time opportunities.
If possible, try to get some feedback from past interviewers and recruiters about your performance, and use their feedback to improve your networking and interviewing skills.
Keep on applying to jobs and networking with professionals; your dream job may be just around the corner!
-Lysern Marcelino, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review