What else to consider when accepting a job offer

Let's say that you and your prospective employer come to a satisfactory arrangement and you accept a new position. Surely you can loosen the purse strings a bit and relax now, right? Well, maybe. Sometimes promises and expectations don't align with reality. While this can sometimes occur because a company is deceptive, other times this happens because everyone — both employer and potential employee — are just overly optimistic during the interview and hiring process.

In many ways, getting a new job is like dating. Just like we put our best foot forward during the early stages of a new romance, employers and job seekers want to put their best foot forward during the interview process too. The big difference is that many people wait months or even years before they move in together and get married. But when it comes to accepting employment, you are expected to make an informed decision about whether or not to commit to a new job after only one or two interviews — and sometimes neither are even face-to-face meetings!

This is just another reason why it is so important to have a fully stocked savings account, even if the stars seem to be aligning early on. You don't want to overextend yourself financially to take a new job only to find that you hate it. After all, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Additionally, not all the reasons to like or hate a job have to do with the work itself or even company policies. Your coworkers can have a huge impact on whether or not you enjoy your job, since many times you work more closely with your peer colleagues than your supervisors. Unfortunately, while you almost always get an opportunity to meet with your prospective supervisor during the interview process, it is less common to get to meet all the individuals that you would be working with prior to starting a job.

Sometimes positions become vacant because a particular individual is difficult to work with. Although you can't always find this out in advance, it never hurts to ask during the interview process why the position came open. Additionally, you can ask to meet the folks you would be working with the most prior to making a decision about whether to accept an employment offer.

Your coworkers can impact your budget

However, liking your coworkers can easily turn into a different type of financial pressure. Maybe it turns out that your colleagues celebrate everyone's birthdays, weddings, and new babies. Maybe everyone goes out to lunch together every day or maybe their tradition is that everyone adjourns to the local watering hole for happy hour once or twice a week.

That type of genuine friendliness can create a type of financial and social pressure that can be challenging to combat. At least, not without ruining the collegial atmosphere that may very well be what you enjoy most about the job in the first place! Have you ever faced the challenge of spendy colleagues? How did you compromise how you socialize without alienating your coworkers?

Have you ever had a colleague or supervisor who made your working life miserable? What did you do about it? Was the situation one that you think you could have identified in advance, had you known what to ask? What advice would you give someone who was trying to determine whether they would get along with potential colleagues prior to taking a job?

More about...Budgeting, Career

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Mrs. Frugalwoods
Mrs. Frugalwoods
5 years ago

Yet another good reason to have an emergency fund! If you’re on firm financial footing when you’re job searching, you’ll be much less likely to feel the need to take the first position that comes along. You’ll have the luxury of exploring many different companies until you find a position that’s truly a good fit. In terms of socializing with colleagues, I think it’s important to the extent that it fosters a productive and collegial work environment. But, I don’t think it’s necessary as a daily or even weekly outing. My co-workers and I chat in the office and have… Read more »

Mrs PoP
Mrs PoP
5 years ago

Mr PoP also takes advantage of the work cafeteria, bringing his own lunch while chatting with colleagues who bring their own lunch. But it’s also possible that you can slowly change the dynamic in the office to fit your lifestyle better. A few years ago, most of my colleagues would go out for lunch on a near daily basis, but over the past few years they’ve joined the gym I go to (which opened a branch near our office) at lunch and we go there instead of them going out to lunch several days a week. We also bought an… Read more »

Vanessa
Vanessa
5 years ago

You can ask to meet your potential coworkers, but there’s no way of knowing if you’ll get along until you’re actually working together. And even if you like them they may quit, get fired or laid off and you may not like their replacements. I was hired to replace a troublesome employee who quit. This employee was allowed to return and the department which was tolerable to me when I was hired has nearly become unbearable. It is a very cliquish environment now with full participation of the supervisor. One employee was driven to quit, another was laid off under… Read more »

Scooze
Scooze
5 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

I hope you’re looking for a new job. Sounds like a terrible fit.

Vanessa
Vanessa
5 years ago
Reply to  Scooze

Yes it is a terrible fit and I felt it the first day during orientation while watching requisite videos on fire safety and sexual harassment filmed circa 1992. I ignored that gut feeling because it was all I could get after a year of unemployment. I moved several hundred miles with no reimbursement because I’m a regular worker, not a professional who can demand that kind of perk. My savings still haven’t quite recovered so I’m stuck. But at least I’ve been able to shelter and feed myself consistently, and that was the goal. I’ve half-heartedly been looking for other… Read more »

Beth
Beth
5 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

“After all, there are no guarantees in life and sometimes it’s best to stick with the hell you’re used to than risk starting over at a different hell.” I once said that about a job where I was unhappy and my friend replied: “that’s the kind of logic that keeps people in bad relationships”. (Professional or otherwise). I didn’t realize just how unhappy I was until I found a better job at a better organization. It took a while to make it happen, but in the interim I kept my head down and saved as much as I could. Things… Read more »

Money Minx
Money Minx
5 years ago

In 2012, I had a supervisor who still reigns supreme as the single most demoralizing person I’ve ever met. He didn’t like people to speak in his presence, would never praise, and thought that humor of any kind at any time was a sign of disrespect. I was absolutely miserable – I would come home and cry at least once a week. I felt trapped. That’s the situation that actually sparked my financial turnaround. I couldn’t afford to quit at the time, so my fiance and I agreed that we would save for the 9 months until we got married,… Read more »

Debi
Debi
5 years ago
Reply to  Money Minx

What a gret endig to a miserable situation. Happy that you perservered and it worked out for you.

olga
olga
5 years ago
Reply to  Money Minx

I was in the same situation, and without long story, I put my resignation letter on the table on January 2nd. Couldn’t have been more happy. Planned things out almost 2 years in advance, although last 8 months things really got difficult to a serious extend, I wasn’t sure I’d make it to the pre-set (by myself) date. Well, I am on my 2-week-and-out now!

Sherry
Sherry
5 years ago

I agree with Vanessa that you won’t really know what’s under the covers until you’re in the position. That said, one question I find can be invaluable in at least getting a bit of a bead on the local culture is not so much why the former incumbent left, but how long they had been in the position. This can be finessed with something along the lines of, “Have past employees in this position tended to stay a long time, or is there a lot of movement?” Open-ended questions like, “What do you feel was the former incumbent’s greatest strength”… Read more »

Another Beth
Another Beth
5 years ago
Reply to  Sherry

That’s a good point. I would also add that you should note how your potential future colleagues look, too. Do they look excited to be at work, or do they look as though their souls are being sucked right out of them?

Johanna
Johanna
5 years ago

The best advice I’ve heard is to keep in mind, first and foremost, that a job interview is a two-way process. It’s for the employer to make its mind up about you, but also for you to make your mind up about them. Don’t get so caught up in putting on a show for the employer that you forget to gather information for yourself. Use your intuition. If something seems “off” about the employer, pay attention to that, even if you can’t quite put your finger on why you feel that way. Beyond that, I love this post by Captain… Read more »

Mal
Mal
5 years ago
Reply to  Johanna

Ask a Manager is awesome.

Golfing Girl
Golfing Girl
5 years ago

I thought from the title of this article it was going to have a little more meat to it, like talking about negotiating a relocation package or extra vacation days. That is the biggest mistake we ever made…accepting a job offer that paid for our move but didn’t buy our house because we weren’t within the new company’s footprint. We should have made that a condition because it was a real financial hardship trying to sell that house from across the country…and we were stuck with two homes for 1.5 years. And that was BEFORE the real estate crash! The… Read more »

Beth
Beth
5 years ago
Reply to  Golfing Girl

I agree, but I’m glad I read the post because the comments are interesting. I didn’t even know companies could offer help with real estate. Hmmmm.

JoeM
JoeM
5 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Large ones do – or did. I don’t even think Ford does anymore due to the housing crisis.

Katherine
Katherine
5 years ago

I left an organization after 10 years to take a job in a different organization but under the same umbrella. I should have asked to see my work space. It was a cubicle. I had never had a cubicle and I was unproductive in one. Like really, really unproductive. I used my personal cell phone for business calls in the stairway to not disrupt my other co workers (or for them not to disrupt me). My colleagues were not at all concerned if their loud, personal conversations on the phone were disruptive to me. I moved into an office three… Read more »

Beth
Beth
5 years ago

One thing I loved about substitute teaching was that I got to see many different workplaces. Your colleagues and your administrators can make or break your experience. I had a chance to “audition” the organization I’m with now by working on contract for them first, then applying for permanent jobs. Most people won’t give up a full time job for a contract, but it’s a great way (and sometimes the only way) to get your foot in the door. In Canada where parental leave is up to a year, there are opportunities to try something new if you’re willing to… Read more »

Holly
Holly
5 years ago

One of the favorite questions I like to ask the interviewer is “What is one thing you would change about this compnay and why?”

Put the promises in writing…and that doesn’t even work.

JoeM
JoeM
5 years ago

Interviews can definitely be tricky figuring out how a supervisor/workplace actually is in the day to day versus the best scenario setting an interview has. My last position was sort of an admin/HR/accounting assistant at a staffing agency. It started off well, with a strict 40 hour a week schedule, with rare overtime. However, the sales and recruiting staff (90% of the office) worked more like 7-7. It slowly became more and more apparent to be one of the “team” and come in later, stay later, and don’t take such long lunches every day (I was the only person who… Read more »

Teinegurl
Teinegurl
5 years ago

I just started a new job about 3 months ago. At my old job we celebrated birthdays and holidays with food items no money involved. We did pool money for people who are sick, had a baby, funeral expenses but that was completely optional and anonymous. At my new job people pitch in $ for parties, retirements, babies, funerals everything! It’s much more expensive and I haven’t donated yet. I don’t want to feel like the cheap one so im starting to keep a $20-30 stash so if a card comes around I can throw in a small amount prolly… Read more »

Adrian
Adrian
5 years ago

I’ve been in the business world for over 35 years, 23 of it at the same company and I’ve been in the same department with pretty much the same bosses for the last 13 years. Why? Because they don’t hassle me. I don’t say it’s the right decision for everyone, but it’s certainly the right one for me. Over the years, I’ve had some very good bosses, but I’ve also had some very BAD bosses. I’ve had bosses who’ve yelled at me, ones who’ve demeaned me, made me feel worthless, and ones who’ve micromanaged me so much I could hardly… Read more »

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