Jobs and Career Opportunities » Careers and Occupations: Looking to the Future » Getting a Job - Sources Of Career Information, Applying For A Job, Evaluating A Job Offer

Getting a Job - Evaluating A Job Offer

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When a job is offered, the job seeker must carefully evaluate the opportunity. There are many issues to be considered, including the salary, hours, responsibilities, and location of the job. However, prospective employees should also consider the stability of the organization, the opportunities for training and advancement, benefits associated with the position, and the culture and business philosophy under which the enterprise operates. Information about large businesses, agencies, or organizations is generally available on company Web sites or in annual reports or company newsletters. In addition, employers often provide job candidates with background information that will help them become more acquainted with the company, including its history, its corporate philosophy, its size, and the range of its products or services. Print resources for company information include Dun & Bradstreet's Million Dollar Directory, Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations, and Ward's Business Directory. Internet databases that offer business and financial information are numerous, and the most comprehensive of these can be accessed through a library or school subscription.

Job satisfaction is often linked with opportunities to learn new skills, earn more money, and assume greater responsibility. When assessing an employment offer, it is important to consider the nature of the work itself, the hours required, and the impact each might have on one's personal life and future goals. Those considering employment with a company should find out if and when overtime is required, for example, and whether the position is exempt from overtime pay. Finally, but perhaps most important, a candidate must review the salary, medical benefits, advancement opportunities, and vacation time offered and learn how performance reviews are conducted and how often salary levels are re-evaluated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers information on salary and compensation in its National Compensation Survey (NCS; http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ocs/home.htm), and data tables available at the NCS site can help compare salary levels in different areas of the country.

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