Disclaimer: this is not my cat. If I had party hats at home, I would post a picture of my own cat wearing a party hat. Why? I got a job offer!
I was in the middle of writing a blog post about how my original timeline was naively optimistic. Back in March, I hoped I’d move from applications to a job offer in three months or less (patience is not my strong suit). As of a week ago, my few promising opportunities seemed to be fizzling and it began to look like I would need to start my search over from scratch.
Then, one magical day, I received a reference request. And a few days later, I got the job offer.
Things to consider before you accept
As relieved as I was, I took some time to think carefully about the offer before giving a response. If you find yourself in a similar situation (congrats!), here are some factors that you may want to consider:
- Salary offered (specifically if, like me, you’re new to a city – how does the cost of living add up now?)
- Whether the benefits package suits your life situation
- Whether the position offered is in line with your chosen career path
- The organizational culture; after your interviews, can you really see yourself working successfully with your potential colleagues?
- Day to day details such as the work itself, the commute, the schedule, etc.
Only you can decide whether the offer truly fits your needs and your circumstances – and whether you want to join the organization at all. If you feel that any part of your offer warrants discussion, speak up! I’m not a negotiation expert, so if you need tips, take a look at the Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for First-time Job Seekers, specifically the chapter entitled Closing the deal: Understanding benefits and the art of negotiation.
If you end up accepting (like I eventually did), congratulations!
I know a lot of you out there are still searching Idealist and other job boards daily and trying hard to find work. Thank you to everyone who’s followed along with this series – your cheers, constructive criticism, and honest advice were invaluable.
I received 52 comments and emails in response to this series. Of those, 17 of you mentioned the emotional toll of the job search (“frustrating,” “burnt out,” “discouraging,” etc.), and 24 of you shared words of encouragement (with me or with fellow commenters). So if you’re struggling through the job search, I hope you’ll consider that as evidence that you’re not alone! Find people to talk to; find a group to volunteer with; heck, maybe start writing a blog. I wish you the best of luck.
Signing off for now
As for me, I’m on to my next professional adventure. My first day is in two weeks! I’d like to offer a heartfelt thank you to the team at Idealist for letting my share my journey here. Here’s the whole series: