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7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer

7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer
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With unemployment rates high, being offered any job is a call for a celebration! Pat yourself on the back for having the resume that stood out, and for making a great impression at your job interview. You deserve it! But… Before you jump the gun and scream your answer from the rooftops, make sure it’s what you genuinely want. Ask yourself the following questions to see if the position is right for you before accepting a job offer.

1. Am I sacrificing any serious goals?

You’ve always wanted to be a writer, but this job will have you on call 24 hours a day. When will you have time to write? Or what if the job calls for so much writing while you’re on the clock that you don’t have the desire to work on your novel when you get home? You have to weigh your goals against your desire for the job. If you’re ok with scrapping your novel and throwing yourself into the new job for a year or so, go for it! But if not, writing is going to make you feel horrible. Then the job probably isn’t worth it. Hold out for something that will fulfill you during the day, then give yourself time for your own passions and goals after hours.

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2. Can I expand my skills and experience?

Will this position help you grow? Will it use skills you’ve already developed? Will it call on experiences from your past jobs? Once you’re out of college and done with retail jobs, you need to make sure that each subsequent job you take will help you move forward somehow. You don’t want to waste time treading water just to earn a paycheck. Make sure the job can use your skills and help you grow them to fit the position even better.

3. Do I understand the job duties?

Did your potential employer go over the job position with you? Do you know what you’ll be doing each day once you clock in? Make sure you understand all of the job duties. You need to know what’s expected of you, and you need to be sure that you can accomplish these tasks to satisfaction. Can you do these tasks every day without losing your passion? If you have any questions or issues with what’s expected of you, make sure to clear it up before you accept the job offer. Once you say yes, your employer assumes you’re saying yes to everything he’s outlined for you.

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4. Will my needs be met?

Will you be happy with this job? Are your daily duties things you can (and will) enjoy doing? What about the pay – is it enough to meet your needs, or will you have to be on an extreme budget? Do you need insurance, and does the company offer it? Do the work hours allow you to pick your kids up from school? Make sure you’re getting what you want and need from this job before accepting it, realizing it comes up short, and feeling stuck.

5. Can I see myself working for the company?

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    Does this company have the same morals and goals that you do? If you’re passionate about recycling, you’ll want to work for a green company – or at least a company that will encourage you to start a recycling program! Don’t work for a big production plant that sends pollution up into the air during every working hour. What are the other employees like? These people will be your coworkers – do they seem happy? You’ll spend more time with them than you do your family! Could you be around them every day? Can you take orders from your boss, or does he seem like he’ll be too demanding and cause a lot of trouble?

    6. Will I be able to move up?

    Does the job hold any future for promotion? If you can’t be promoted, could your duties and title change if you prove yourself? You don’t want to be stuck in a job that won’t reward you for your hard work. Also, think about how loyal you’ll feel to the company. It’s important to have loyalty, of course, but will you feel tied to the job if something better comes along in the future? Will you feel guilty, like you put in so much time and effort with the company, you’ll be pushed into staying, even if you are being promoted or compensated? It’s great if you want to stay with the same company and move up the ladder, but if you’ll feel bad leaving them behind for something better in the future, then you probably should hold out for that dream position now.

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    7. Will I enjoy the job?

    Look back at all your answers. How does the job look, now that you’ve been honest with yourself? Does it look like the right thing to do? Will you enjoy the job? Will you like going to that office, working with those coworkers, and complete tasks for that boss? If your answers were all pretty negative, don’t feel bad! It’s better you find out on the front-end that you won’t enjoy the job, instead of accepting it and feeling stuck. If so, congratulations! You’ve found a great new job that will help you learn and grow.

    Featured photo credit: Bill Strain via flickr.com

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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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