As someone who has hired numerous professionals directly and who has regularly been party to finding new roles for specialist professionals, I have seen my fair share of job acceptances.
These job acceptances are born or made from a variety of motivational factors. Some stand the test of time, some end in disaster, usually because your homework wasn't done prior to acceptance.
Here are a few golden do's and don'ts when contemplating a job offer from a new company:
How can your new job give you what you want if you don't know what you want? How can you know what you want if you don't know what is the most important?
Ideally you should have done this prior to the interview process, but even so they need to be constantly reviewed after each interview or test throughout the process.
These priorities could be anything from "managerial responsibility" to "a commute under 30 minutes".
If you have prioritised, then picking the right job should be straightforward; does the job give you what you want the most?
This is not the time to sell yourself short due to corner cutting in your homework.
Don't be flattered
Anything new and shiny will appear exciting and attractive initially.
Throw in the fact that your potential new employer is complimenting you regularly on how your personal attributes are needed and how this role will take you where you want to go etc, not to mention the potential hyperbole your recruiter could be churning out.
It is difficult not to get overwhelmed, especially when your current workplace looks unloving and tired in comparison.
The key thing to remember at offer stage is that this is likely to be as desirable as you will ever be to your new employer.
The moment you accept a role and walk through the door you will be expected to deliver on whatever potential or promises you have implied during the interview process.
This is not the time to make an emotional decision. "Gut feel" can influence your decision but now is the time to be as analytical as possible.
Do think long term
Is the job you have been offered your "forever job". Or more realistically is this job your next five year job?
If not, is it a stepping stone to what you ultimately want to do? If not, why are you considering it?
The average tenure for white collared professionals such as finance or IT is less than 2.5 years in a permanent job. Your "forever job" or career path will change, but unless you have a plan of which direction your career is heading you are at risk of meandering aimlessly or letting others decide for you.
Don't be reactive
So you're dissatisfied with your current employer and it just so happens that this company is small, now you want to work for a large multinational.
Your current employer has a rigid structure; you now want something a little more dynamic. The current place doesn't have much of a social scene; the new place has beanbags and a foosball table etc.
Jumping ship is a big decision, base it on more than compare and contrast of your current place, base it on what is right for you compared to the market as a whole.
Do take your time
If two companies want you, they will both most likely want you to sign up sooner rather than later. Your recruiter certainly will.
However if a company wants you to rush a decision it will be for their reasons rather than yours.
This is not a good way to start a mutual and respectful partnership. The decision affects you the most so the decision needs to be on your terms.
Don't focus on the money
Time and time again we see short term decisions being made where money was the dominant factor.
I am not suggesting money isn't important, of course it is! The point is that decisions based on a few extra thousand a year need to be seen as a bonus to accepting your chosen career path and not the main driver.
Sometimes this is the push factor for initially looking for a role - undervalued, under-appreciated etc, but you need to look beyond the obvious tangibles, as in most cases this won't bring out the best quality of your work once you are sat at your new desk.
Do pick your boss carefully
Perhaps the most important factor is who your new boss is. Apart from your family and close friends your line manager is going to have the greatest impact (positive or negative) on your life, especially the third of your life you spend in work.
There is no one size fits all with a boss, you need to find one that understands the aspirations and motivations that are unique to you.
The only way you can understand if your potential new boss is the one for you is to ask questions during the interview process, and if not do it after the offer based on your priorities.
No new boss will mind having this final clarification with you.