New Grads: Red Flags to Look For When Accepting a Job Offer

In Accepting Your First Job Offer, Take Your Time Before Making a Decision.

Considering the extremely tough competition in the job market today, receiving your first job offer can give you that much needed relief and a feeling of security. However, you need to know that no matter how great everything seems to be, you should not readily accept the offer without giving it a lot of thought. You need to protect yourself from encountering serious problems down the road. And you can do this by looking out for these warning signs.

Lowball salary. You may not have gained enough experience under your belt, and are grateful for the opportunity being offered to you, but this does not mean that you should accept a salary that is significantly lower than that of your peers in your industry. As a rule, you need to make sure that you are satisfied with the remuneration package offered to you until the next pay hike.?

You should also consider negotiating your salary before you sign the offer letter or commit to anything. This is extremely important since most new graduates, especially the women, are reluctant to push for higher salaries because of their lack of experience and the current situation in the job market. They also don’t want to let their prospective employers gain the impression that they are pushy and overly aggressive. Keep in mind that while money is not everything, it is one of the most important factors that you need to consider.

Negative work environment. You can learn a lot about a company’s culture and environment by observing the people in the organization so make sure you come in early during your interview to pick some valuable clues. If you are used to a more positive work environment and the people in the company you are applying for seem distant and cold, then you may need to carefully think about your next move.

You can also access detailed information about the company online by using career sites such as and social media sites such as LinkedIn to uncover a wealth of information about a particular organization. If there are a lot of negative reviews and if the same issues come up every time, then you may want to consider it as a warning sign.

Inability to withstand market pressure. Since this would be your first job, you need to make sure that you are joining a company that has already earned a solid reputation in your industry and can make it in the long term. While there are some startups that will undoubtedly make it big in the future, there are also a lot of new companies that will eventually succumb to the pressure. Remember, you are just beginning to establish your career so you would not want your first job to be pulled out from under you.

Carefully review your offer and think things thoroughly before you make a decision. It is your future that is on the line.