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10 Things Almost Everyone Forgets to Consider When Accepting A Job Offer

10 Things Almost Everyone Forgets to Consider When Accepting A Job Offer
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The feeling is sensational. Euphoric. There’s nothing quite like it. For a few brief moments when that outstretched hand reaches toward you, you feel invincible, important, and untouchable. You’ve just been offered a new job.

It’s easy to get caught up in this moment, nod furiously, and clasp the hand opposite in an excited fit of appreciation. Someone wants your services and is willing to pay you for them – it’s no wonder you feel a little giddy.

But what else is this person really offering you? What sort of position will this new job put you in? There are several elements you really ought to consider before accepting the offer of a new job, and listed here are 10 typical things that pretty much everyone forgets to take into account when it comes to deciding whether to add that new company to your resume.

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1. Sacrifice

One of the main things that people really forget to take into account when it comes to accepting a new job is what they will realistically have to sacrifice in order to fulfil their new duties. A new role – whatever it may be – comes with new responsibilities, and it’s absolutely vital to make sure that you get a good idea of what the new position will involve and whether you can amend your social calendar accordingly. What will you have to give up in order to succeed? And is this really viable?

2. Environment

Meeting your fellow employees for the first time is always an uneasy, awkward experience. You may often feel like a spare part when you’re a newbie, and without the right people around you, you may end up feeling that way for the rest of your time in that position. Before you accept a job offer, ask to meet some of your new fellow employees. These are the people who you will be spending over forty hours a week with, so it’s absolutely essential that you’re amicable with them. Being in the wrong work environment is damaging for your career, your well-being, and even your mental health. Don’t take a leap of faith when you’re offered a new position – make a conscious effort to introduce yourself before you even accept the position. If your boss is a good one, they’ll be more than happy to let you.

3. Stability

Starting a new job isn’t much good if you end up walking out the door after a few weeks. When it comes to accepting a new position, make sure you are financially and contractually secure in every aspect. A lot of people never consider the prospect of being made redundant just a few weeks after starting their new job. After all, you’d have to be incredibly unlucky for it to happen to you, right? ‘Fraid not. There are several industries out there who are prone to making forced lay-offs, and no new job is ever 100% secure. Take the state of the current economy and financial climate into account before shaking hands, and do some independent research into the financial welfare of the firm you’re all set to become a part of. Can this company really afford you? And if so, for how long? Always make sure you’ve settled on stability before accepting a job; in writing too. Verbal contracts aren’t much use when redundancy hour rolls in.

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4. Your own lifestyle changes

Okay, so everyone takes salary into account when it comes to being offered a new job. In many people’s cases, it’s the motivational factor for applying for positions that otherwise seem somewhat mundane. But what a lot of people don’t take into consideration with regards to pay is whether this is enough to live on if circumstances were to change. There’s no problem with thinking about the “now”, but before accepting a job, you need to think about the future too. Life is spectacularly unpredictable, and just weeks after accepting a job that has a perfect pay rate for you to live on as a single person, it might no longer seem like such a healthy wage if a new partner and family are lying in wait around the corner. You can’t always plan when you’re going to fall in love and have a family, but you can plan which job you’ll take so that you have some insurance cash to fall back on if things turn chaotic around the corner. Don’t settle for stable living – look at the job offer and determine whether the pay rate will be enough to get you through more financially burdening times that might lie ahead.

5. Benefits

A lot of companies offer some great looking benefits on paper, and when you’re on the verge of accepting a new job at an exciting and well-established business firm at a young age, any benefits at all seem delightfully appealing. Whilst the word “benefits” does a great job of leaping off the page at you, in reality, it’s a word that can be startlingly misleading. Benefits may be exactly what they say on the tin, but are they necessarily right for you? When accepting a job offer, make sure you’re getting the type of benefits that you deserve and need in order to live comfortably.

6. Commuting

Sure, that commute from your place to your new work location looks completely doable on paper, but have you actually put it to the test? One of the biggest mistakes people can make before accepting a job offer is merely assume that travelling to work won’t be an issue. You can’t put your whole faith in interactive maps – the journey from your home location to your new place of work is something you have to complete for yourself in order to determine how long it will actually take you. Before accepting any new job offer, be sure to practice the commute route a couple of times, ideally during rush hour, to get a realistic sense of how long it will take you to reach work every day. Long journeys to your daily job will take their toll on your health and may even put your new career in jeopardy if you’re turning up late on a regular basis.

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7. Challenge

Many people consider their dream job to be getting money for sitting around with their feet up and a big ol’ glass of good wine in hand. Sounds blissful, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the human mind wouldn’t take long to fall apart if we lived our lives like that every single day of the week. Our brains need stimulation and challenge for happiness and development, and you need to make sure that your prospective new position is going to offer you the kinds of challenges that will make you want to succeed and better yourself. It may not always feel like it, but challenge and a decent dose of hard work is actually extremely good for you. That’s why sitting around with your feet up and a big ol’ glass of good wine in hand feels so good when you actually find time for it: it’s because you’ve earned it.

8. Pride

Many people treat working as something that ought to be left at the office and never discussed outside of those four walls. But this is no way to live your life. Studies have shown that you can spend as much as 32% of your entire life at work. Ask yourself this: is it really worth having to dedicate almost a third of your total time on this planet to being bored and miserable? Before you accept a job offer, make sure it’s one that you can enjoy and be proud of. Something that you don’t mind getting up for, and something you can happily discuss without feeling nauseous.

9. Stress

Simply put: there is no perfect job on this planet. Every occupation comes with a certain degree of stress, and that’s just the way that life is. What you can do, however, is determine whether you will be able to realistically handle the amount of stress this new job might impose on your life, or whether it will leak into other areas and damage you completely. A lot of people who are offered a job that comes slapped with a warning sticker for stress usually dismiss the caution and claim they’ll be able to deal with it when the time comes. This is always a mistake. Before accepting any new job, sit down and look at what the position requires of you. Can you realistically achieve the targets set for you? Becoming wildly stressed will place a huge strain on your health as well as on your social life, so make sure that your new job is going to be something that’s both manageable and fun – not something that’s going to give you a heart attack.

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10. Opportunity 

What exactly does your new job offer you in terms of opportunities? Does it provide you with some juicy substance for you resumé? Will it allow you to gain knowledge and develop within a particular industry? Can it act as a stepping stone to greater things? These are all questions that you need to take into consideration when accepting a job offer, as it’s all too easy to see a nice wage scrawled down on paper and jump right in. A good job should open you up to other opportunities.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Gareth Lloyd

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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