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4 Ways to Spot a Bad Job Offer


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Getting a bad job offer can impact your career and financial goals. Your future potential earning is based on your current job offer which compounds over time. Don't settle for a bad job offer. Take the time to analyze your offer and understand what is important to you and stick to your standards. The recruiter and hiring team is trained in negotiation. Do your research on your company and to determine your worth.


Being able to spot a bad offer is imperative. Don't always rush into the first offer you get. I've found that most people feel fortunate when getting a job offer versus feeling deserving. It's almost like a bad job offer is expected while a good one is rare. You should never feel okay with a bad job offer. Learn to spot and reject a bad offer quickly with a counteroffer or a potentially a full decline.


Learn how to spot a bad offer. I've known many people who have accepted a bad job offer because they are not asking the right questions nor doing the needed research. Leverage friends, coworkers, and family to better understand what is a good or bad offer. In our current situation, it is tempting to accept just any job offer. But don't as this can lead to long-term issues both professionally and personally. There are 5 keys ways to spot a bad job offer.


Low Salary Market Rate


A low salary offer is a clear sign of a bad job offer. Use sites such as Linkedin or Glassdoor to understand what the market rate of your future position. And be prepared to stand your ground with your future employer. Beforehand, identify what if your minimum salary requirement and desired percentage increase should be.


This is where a network becomes very important. Spend time talking to mentors, coaches, friends, or even family to get their thoughts on your salary offer. If you feel you are not getting a good job offer then work with the recruiting manager to adjust or negotiate a better salary. Statistically, women tend to not negotiation or push for a better offer in comparison to their male counterparts. Learn the art of simple negotiation. Here are a few key tips on how to negotiate your next salary.

  1. Research your role's market value

  2. Ask for the roles current potential range

  3. Ask for more than what was offered

  4. Determine your bottom line number

The easiest thing to remember about negotiating is to simply ask. Just ask as there is no harm in posing a question. If you are receiving an offer than you know the company was impressed by your skills during the interview process. Use your leverage to push for an offer you are happy with.


Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

Minimal Work-Life Balance


It's important to have a job that has a good work-life balance. In fact, this should be a baseline requirement for all job. Unfortunately, there are many roles that lack a good balance. Ask your future employer what type of culture they have? How do they value and determine success? What are the words they use to describe leadership? Be mindful of how they talk about their employees particularly the high performers.


Do they congratulate workers who work long days and nights? This is something that can be discussed during the interview process and afterwards with the recruiting team. This step helps you get to know the culture of your future company. If you find that the company has limited to no work-life balance then it's probably not a good offer. Spend time getting to know this company just like you would if you were dating a person. Minimal work-life balance is a clear sign of a bad job offer, especially in the current job search environment. Take your time during this step.


Unclear Health Benefits


Your healthcare costs are one of the biggest expenses you will have especially as you get older. Having good and a well-rounded healthcare benefits is crucial. If the healthcare benefits and programs offered in the job are not clear then its a sign of a bad offer. If the structure they provide are not within the normal offering question it. Ask for more detail and probe to get clarity. I am stressing health benefits as this is apart of your compensation package. People tend to focus on the direct monetary incentives of the total competition package and forget to review the healthcare offerings as well.


You can end up saving a lot if you have the right healthcare benefits so don't glance over this step. It gets more important if you have a family. Americans have one of the highest healthcare system. This means a large percentage of your money goes to managing these costs. It's possible to have a lower salary with a better healthcare plan and still have a larger take-home pay than someone with a higher salary. Do the analysis and ask the company if you still have questions. Spend time going through the details of the health benefits. Again, ask questions to gain clarity. Don't get sidetracked by the salary alone. Think of your package in it totality.


Limited Job Progression


Always think 2 - 3 role ahead when accepting an offer. During the interview process, this is a great time to ask about job progression. Are you tied to your current role for 3 years? is the organization flat with career limited movement? This conversation should be happening well before the final offer but don't accept an offer with limited job progression. If you do, then you will find yourself looking for a new job soon after.


Job progression is needed for personal and professional career development growth. Don't just think about your current job but determine where you want to be in your career 2-5 years from now. This the basics of goal setting. If you land in a job that works just for the now you will find yourself in an endless hiring cycle. Nothing wrong with jumping to a new job if the offer fits but there are synergies and strong benefits with clear career progression. Think long-term, not short term when accepting an offer. Your job plays a large part in your life. Reach out to others who are in similar roles and ask them how career movement worked for them. What does it take to get to the next level? How long does it take? And see if this aligns with your career path. Take the offer but be intentional.


The best way to spot a bad offer is to ask. Keep asking questions. And then ask more questions and probe even more. Don't ignore your gut intuition but be inquisitive with your offer. Ask the difficult and uncomfortable questions now to save you headache, money, and time later. There is no harm in asking questions during the hiring process. Most recruiters and HR teams desire an engaged candidate. It shows you are taking initiative and owning your career. There are many signs of a bad offer but most stem from not asking the right questions at the right time. So take your time and ask away.

About the Author:


Grace Kasozi is the Founder of Kasozi Associates a platform dedicated to connecting women professional to women life, business, and career coaches to help close the gap. Grace has over 10 years of experience building well-known brands. She holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota and is currently a Global Brand Manager at large midwest CPG. She spends her free time traveling the world with her husband and 2-year-old son.

A platform designed to connect women professionals with women career coaches to advance their career or business journey.

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