Law Absolute - Recruitment specialists

Things to consider before accepting a job offer

13th December 2019


Finding out that you’ve been offered a job, whether it’s in law or an in-house legal job, is an exciting time. However, despite initially being attracted to the new role, there are still some things to consider before you sign your name on the dotted line, which we reveal in this guide.

Thoroughly research the company

Although you will have conducted some initial research during the interview process, make sure you spend a bit more time learning about the company before you accept the job. The company’s website is going to showcase all their successes and reviews, so take a deeper dive into your research and look for any press coverage and reviews from former employees online.

Natalie from AHR Consultants, a leading provider of HR, employment law, leadership training and safety services, shares her advice: “Always do your research. What challenges is the organisation facing? How does your role contribute to the values and objectives of the company but also check the position thoroughly - there isn’t anything worse than being mis-sold a role, it leads to disappointment and de-motivation.”

We also spoke to Ros from The Career Coach, that offers career planning, job interview advice, leader programmes as well as other services. Ros tells us: “Before accepting any job offer, carefully reflect not just on what you will be paid (especially if you are changing job because you don’t feel recognised where you currently are), but also whether the job is interesting, how it will meet your career values and needs and whether the culture of the firm (or business) and the person you will be reporting to will be a good fit for you. Were there any red flags in the interview, such as an answer to a question that didn’t satisfy you?”

Negotiate your offer

Woman on a laptop

Before accepting the job offer it’s also worth considering a negotiation. If you have plenty of experience and truly believe you’ll be an excellent asset to the company, make sure it is reflected in the job offer. After all, you don’t want to end up accepting a job for it to be a step down from your current responsibilities or salary.

Ros from The Career Coach also adds: “Read the whole offer a couple of times and consider the whole package available to you. It’s expected that you will negotiate it. Do your research from speaking to recruiters and Glassdoor to sense-check what you can expect to be paid for your level and location and your specialist skills, knowledge and contacts. Thank them for the offer and share your expectations based on what seems right for what you are bringing, and then let them come back to you with a revised offer.

“The main thing is to not let your enthusiasm run away with you but to take the whole offer and negotiate calmly. And if the role is not the right one for you, if there is another job offer on the table, you can always use it to leverage the offer with the firm or company you want. Good luck!”

Learn about the company culture

Accepting a new job shouldn’t be purely based on the money, you must see yourself fitting in with the company culture, as it could be the difference between enjoying your new role or not. Company culture is essentially the company’s personality values, mission statement and ethics, so being aware of what your potential new employers stand for is highly important.

This is recommended by Natalie from AHR Consultants: “One of the most important factors when considering accepting a job offer is the company’s culture. When I attended interviews in the past, it’s really important to get a feel for the place. I stepped into the reception area at Woolworths, I felt like I really belonged there, it’s a gut feeling, and I would always recommend people being in tune with that. When you go for a job interview, remember you are also interviewing them as a prospective employer! Company culture is so important to consider prior to accepting a job offer because it will define how well you’ll fit in with the team, the company and office environment.”

Check you commute time

Commuting on a train

When a bright and shining job is offered to you, it’s easy to forget the not-so-exciting logistics. Make sure your new role doesn’t disturb any other aspects of your life, as you don’t want to accept the job and have to sacrifice your other commitments. One important thing to check is the time you will spend commuting. If you haven’t already done so during the interview process, having a practice run of the route you will have to take twice a day will help you see if it is suitable for your lifestyle.

Natalie advises this as “sometimes people can get caught up in the excitement of a new job that they can forget some critical things, the most common is the commute! It can be time-consuming and costly and with people striving for a healthier work-life balance and flexible working, it is really important to consider the impact that this may have upon these factors.”

Check you are accepting for the right reasons

Feeling as if you’re in a work rut is completely normal from time to time, so make doubly sure you aren’t just leaving your current role because you’re going through a spell of low motivation. Learn the progress available in your new role and how it compares to the progress you could make with your current employers.

Jenny Williams, who runs a team and career coaching business, shares her advice: “The first thing I encourage people to consider when they have been offered a job is to check if they really want it. The recruitment process can be long and sometimes one-sided, and you end up feeling relieved that you have been successful. Instead, pause and consider if have you all the information you need to know and if it is exactly the right role for you right now. Questions that can help you decide include: What will you achieve in the first six months? What are the downsides of working in this role/company? How does this role help to future proof your career? Saying yes to a wrong fit role is not worth it.”

Ask about flexible working

Paper and pen

Flexible working hours has become increasingly popular over the last few years, so if remote working is important to you, make sure you’re aware of the options the company offers. Be wary that many jobs are advertised with flexi-hours, but the reality may be different, Jenny explains: “Get specific. For example, many companies talk about their purpose, values, different policies such as diversity and flexible working and it can sound great, but what actually happens there? Try and get behind the words and find out the reality because if flexibility is important to you, you need to know specifically what to expect.”

Once you have considered all the things in this guide, as well as listening to your intuition, it’s time to accept your exciting new job offer. If you’re still on the hunt for your dream job role, make sure to contact our helpful team.