Things to think about before you accept a job!

by Stephanie Miller

It’s that time of the year when the job offers start to roll in. We can get so excited about the offers that we forget to think about some pretty important factors before accepting the job. The position might seem great at the surface but there are things that can impact your happiness and success more than you realize. There are three areas that I wish I would have thought about before accepting my first job in the field: finances, benefits, and needs vs. wants.
  1. The offer. Don’t accept a job offer just because it is the only one you have upon graduation. There are going to be more opportunities down the line. Make sure you do not settle for a job that you might not find a connection to or be excited about. Have patience with yourself and the process, the job for you will present itself! 
  2. Finances. The first thing to think about is the cost of living where the institution is located and if the salary offered will meet your needs. Use this cost of living calculator as a tool: It helps compare prices from where you currently live to where you are planning to move. Take into account what your bills will look like outside of rent. What will the cost of your student loans be? What are gas prices and are there tolls in the area? What other monthly expenses do you have? After calculating all of this, can you afford to take the salary offered? Where can you cut back on spending to make ends meet? 
  3. Benefits. If this is your first professional job that offers benefits for employment, it’s really important to understand what benefits are and how they can impact you. Do they offer you a relocation allowance and how much? What are the insurance and retirement plans? How many vacation and sick hours will you receive? Do you have any specific needs that require accommodations? These are all things that the supervisor or HR representatives can answer. 
  4. Non-negotiables. What do you need in order to be successful as a professional but even more important as a person? What are things that you need in your life to be happy? Do you need to live in big city or a college town? Do you prefer to work at religious affiliated, private or a public institution? Can you connect with the institutions mission and values? Did you find a connection with the staff and students? Can you work with the supervisor that interviewed you? These are all things that affect our work but also our personal life. With the pressure of always wanting to be successful, new professionals often work harder than play. It’s important to have things that make you happy in your work life as well. 
Accepting your first professional job can seem like a daunting task after reading over these tips and making your pros and cons list. The most important tip to remember from this blog is that nothing is perfect. There might be 10 things that you really love about the job and institution and a couple that are turning you off. You have to decide what means the most to you and how much you can get out of your experience. No decision is a bad decision. You will learn so much no matter the job and where you end up. Make sure to talk through these questions with a mentor, supervisor or partner. Just remember to make an educated decision for YOU!
Stephanie Miller
Assistant Director
Campus Life- MMC
Florida International University
Works Cited
Cost of Living Calculator . (2017). Retrieved from BankRate :

Student Affairs - the First Years

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