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There are many life-changing events and announcements that bring pure joy to most people. They include: the announcement of an impending graduation, birth of a baby and/or an engagement, etc. However, the most frequent source of joy shared amongst family, friends and social networks, as of late, has to do with the announcement of a new job offer.

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Whether you have been searching for employment for months, being courted by a competitor, or just simply seeking a new opportunity at another company, there are many factors to be considered before accepting.

Here are five things to consider before accepting a new job offer:

1) Salary, Relocation & Flex Time Negotiations

The first offer is always just that it. It is an offer. Have you fully negotiated or tested the waters of seeking an increase of the salary offered? Have you discussed flexible work hours, profit sharing and/or stock options? Make sure you leave no stone left unturned before signing an acceptance letter.

2) Ask Questions

If there is anything in your offer packet that you do not understand, by all means, ask questions. This includes understanding tentative health care benefits, contributions to your IRA, vacation time, maternity leave, etc. A big mistake to make is assuming you understand terms, rules, and policies when you, in fact, do not.

3) Corporate/Company Culture

If you were able to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work every day at your last job, but the new job being offered doesn’t even allow business casual on Fridays, then you may want to decipher if that fits your comfort level. Additionally, are you transitioning from a rigid office that monitors your every move into a more laid back environment that fosters more team building and flexibility than you may be accustomed to? Ask about and understand any changes in corporate/company culture that may call for you to adjust your communication style, dress, hours and attitude.

4) Factor in Your Commute

Yes, this job may be everything you have ever dreamed of, but it comes with an hour and a half commute….each way! With the stressors of traffic, gas prices, time away from family and possible additional funds needed for public transportation, it is important to make an informed decision as to if the commute, and the costs associated with it, are worth it.

5) Personal Goals & Issues

The perfect job opportunity presents itself, but will your personal life allow you to take it? The responsibilities surrounding the care for children and aging parents, may sometimes prevent us from moving to a new city, accepting additional work hours and/or mentally being prepared to handle a new job. Before accepting an offer, do some serious reflecting on where you are personally to determine if you are truly ready to take on this new opportunity.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.


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