Believe it or not, the end of the semester [+the school year!] is nearly over. ++ This year, we have 300+ graduating CHAARG girls! Needless to say, there will be a lot of Bolt Babes rockin’ the cap + gown in a few weeks ; ). Whether you’re getting ready to walk the stage or still have a couple years left [cherish them!], many of us will be on the lookout for our first full-time gig.
After applying for internships + jobs galore, you’ve *finally* received your first offer — such an exciting feeling! You may feel pressure to quickly accept without giving it much thought, especially if you’ve been searching for a month or two… or four [that’s beside the point ; )], but before *officially* accepting, there are some questions to ask//things to consider that shouldn’t be left unanswered. After all — this is a huge decision! Here’s some things to keep in mind:
ARE YOU READY FOR THE COMMUTE?
Sure, your new job may only be 8 hours a day, but your commute also needs to be factored in to determine how long you’ll really be gone each day. It may seem silly to turn down a job simply for the commute, but consider how easy or difficult it will be to do maintain your daily routine when taking the commute into consideration.
How will you get to work — can you walk//ride your bike, or do you have to drive or take public transit? Will the commute take as little as 5 minutes or as long as an hour [or more!]? What time do you have to wake up + around what time will you be getting home? If the commute is a burden, often times your job will feel like a burden as well. Make sure you’re fully prepared + willing to take the necessary steps to get to + from work every day before committing to a position.
DOES IT OFFER A SUFFICIENT SALARY + BENEFITS? DO THEY FIT YOUR NEEDS?
We’re definitely a proponent for pursuing your passions + doing what you love even if it doesn’t pay the highest salary — however, being able to support yourself + live comfortably is the reason we have to work in the first place. Before accepting a position, make sure you are being fairly compensated for your work, whether it be an hourly wage or a salary. Do some research on what the market rate is for your position, experience level + salary for your city.
Beyond pay, does the position offer benefits such as health insurance, a 401k, retirement package, paid vacation + sick days? Most importantly, do these benefits fit your needs? There’s not much good in a position that can only offer benefits that won’t actually benefit you. Take into consideration what you really need in order to live your most comfortable life [without going overboard ; )] before accepting an offer.
++ CAN ANY OF THOSE BENEFITS BE NEGOTIATED?
The salary + benefits may not be *ideal* right away, but most companies usually expect their new employees to negotiate these terms upon accepting a position. Do some research before negotiating a raise in salary or additional benefits, + make sure you can reasonably explain why you deserve the further compensation + how you’re qualified for it. Confused on whether or not to negotiate? This article from The Muse can help ya out.
WILL YOU WORK FOR A TEAM INVESTED IN YOUR SUCCESS?
Even if your first job isn’t the *most exciting* thing in the world [more times than not, it isn’t], working with a team that is genuinely dedicated to facilitating your growth as a #girlboss + an adult is beyond important. Especially at your first job, having a strong mentor who is willing to invest their time in helping you grow + refine your skills is essential for becoming the best version of your *professional* self. Make sure your colleagues + management are radiating positive vibes + are true *team players* before officially accepting an offer.
IS THIS WHAT YOU TRULY WANT?
++ The most important question of all — is this job *truly* what you want? When I was first on the job search as a fresh post-grad, I went on a ton of job interviews [+ I mean a ton], + there were so many that I knew I would not feel happy with if I were to accept the position. Some jobs I was offered + some I wasn’t, but I didn’t accept a position until I was truly ready + happy to do so. Do not feel pressured to rush into accepting the first job that comes along — you will find the right path for you.
Whether your first *big girl job* comes after your first interview or your fiftieth doesn’t matter — what matters is your happiness. Never compromise that!
+Nat [@natalie_inchaarg], VirtCHAARG//Grand Rapids