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The Runaway MBA: Don’t relax after a job offer; there’s always an annoying catch if you do enough research about the company

Just don't ask me to get the tip

Just don't ask me to get the tip

After months of searching, networking, and qualifying yourself as a candidate, you receive an offer. It’s a moment where you exhale in relief, but you are not quite over the finish line. You need to qualify the offer.

Just as the employer poked, prodded and examined you like tonight’s dinner, you should in turn examine the firm before making a choice. You should clearly understand the situation you may soon be entering. After all, do you want to find yourself back on the job market just weeks after you started?

In dating, suitors can present a certain image of themselves before their actual character is revealed. My cousin says you need at least five interactions with someone before their true self starts to show. Likewise, you must come to understand an employer’s true character; every offer has a “catch”.

I don’t expect companies to be perfect; it’s a matter of understanding the catch and deciding whether you could work and thrive under those circumstances. Does reality match what the firm has told you about the way it does business? Will it let you talk with current staff? Can you speak with past employees, who can serve as referees as to the firm’s integrity and ability to honour its commitments?

The truth that lies within

I recently received an offer but did not accept it. Perhaps you are thinking I was crazy in this economic climate. And the firm had just spent thousands of dollars considering me for the role. During the interview process I developed concerns about what I was being told and the reality on the ground. It was like a first date where the guy picks up the bill but then asks you to leave the tip – alarm bells were triggered.

My concerns initially appeared minor and I wanted to address them with the interviewers. When they were reluctant to discuss, I searched for past employees who could validate or counter my impressions. Eventually, through my own research, I confirmed the catch, and unfortunately it was one I really couldn’t live with.

Please do not misunderstand my message and be manically distrustful of all employers. But it’s natural to be slightly suspicious. If you have concerns, discuss them with the company. Its willingness and ability to ease your worries will provide comfort and certainty in your decision to accept the role or keep looking.

The Runaway MBA is US-based financial professional who is looking to move to Asia. The views expressed are her own and not those of eFinancialCareers.

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