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Higgins Capital Management, Inc.

Evaluating a Job Offer

Evaluating a Job Offer

If you're considering changing jobs, you're not alone. Today, few people stay
with one employer until retirement. It's likely that at some point during your
career, you'll be looking for a new job. You may be looking to make more money
or seeking greater career opportunities. Or, you may be forced to look for new
employment if your company restructures. Whatever the reason, you'll eventually
be faced with an important decision: When you receive an offer, should you take
it? You can find the job that's right for you by following a few sensible steps.

How does the salary offer stack up?

What if the salary you've been offered is less than you expected? First, find
out how frequently you can expect performance reviews and/or pay increases.
Expect the company to increase your salary at least annually. To fully evaluate
the salary being offered, compare it with the average pay of other professionals
working in the same field. You can do this by talking to others who hold similar
jobs, calling a recruiter (i.e., a headhunter), or doing research at your local
library or on the Internet. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good source for
this information.

Bonuses and other benefits

Next, ask about bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing plans that can increase
your total income. Find out what benefits the company offers and how much of the
cost you'll bear as an employee. Don't overlook the value of good employee
benefits. They can add the equivalent of thousands of dollars to your base pay.
Ask to look over the benefits package available to new employees. Also, find out
what opportunities exist for you to move up in the company. This includes
determining what the company's goals are and the type of employee that the
company values.

Personal and professional consequences

Will you be better off financially if you take the job? Will you work a lot of
overtime, and is the scheduling somewhat flexible? Must you travel extensively?
Consider the related costs of taking the job, including the cost of
transportation, new clothes, a cell phone, increased day-care expenses, and the
cost of your spouse leaving his or her job if you are required to relocate.
Also, take a look at the company's work environment. You may be getting a good
salary and great benefits, but you may still be unhappy if the work environment
doesn't suit you. Try to meet the individuals you will be closely working with.
It may also be helpful to find out something about the company's key executives
and to read a copy of the mission statement.

Deciding whether to accept the job offer

You've spent a lot of time and energy researching and evaluating a potential
job, but the hardest part is yet to come: Now that you have received a job
offer, you must decide whether to accept it. Review the information you've
gathered. Think back to the interview, paying close attention to your feelings
and intuition about the company, the position, and the people you came in
contact with. Consider not only the salary and benefits you've been offered, but
also the future opportunities you might expect with the company. How strong is
the company financially, and is it part of a growing industry? Decide if you
would be happy and excited working there. If you're having trouble making a
decision, make a list of the pros and cons. It may soon become clear whether the
positives outweigh the negatives, or vice versa.

Negotiating a better offer

Sometimes you really want the job you've been offered, but you find the salary,
benefits, or hours unfavorable. In this case, it's time to negotiate. You may be
reluctant to negotiate because you fear that the company will rescind the offer
or respond negatively. However, if you truly want the job but find the offer
unacceptable, you may as well negotiate for a better offer rather than walk away
from a great opportunity without trying. The first step in negotiating is to
tell your potential employer specifically what it is that you want. State the
amount of money you want or the exact hours you wish to work. Make it clear that
if the company accepts your terms, you are willing and able to accept its offer

What happens next? It's possible that the company will accept your counteroffer.
Or, the company may reject it, because either company policy does not allow
negotiation or the company is unwilling to move from its original offer. The
company may make you a second offer, typically a compromise between its first
offer and your counteroffer. In either case, the ball is back in your court. If
you still can't decide whether to take the job, ask for a day or two to think
about it. Take your time. Accepting a new job is a big step.

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The information contained in this communication is provided for information purposes and should not be construed as a solicitation or offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments in any jurisdiction. Past performance does not guarantee future results.  No offers may be made or accepted from any resident unless Higgins Capital Management, Inc. is registered to transact business in your state of residence.