Only you know your circumstances and priorities and so you need to be honest with yourself if you are going to avoid leaping to take a role that is just not right for you. Money will obviously be a major factor, but it is far from the only consideration. This will be a central part of your life for next few years at least and so you need to consider all of the impacts on your life and not just the financial.The point when you have received but not accepted a job offer is generally the best time to evaluate and potentially negotiate the best available deal. Once you have accepted an offer, it is rare to be able to improve the terms of your employment.
Here are some of the main issues you should consider before signing on the dotted line:
• Compensation package
It is difficult enough knowing the right rate for a job when you are moving domestically, but becomes even more challenging when moving internationally. The rate for the job will not just be a matter of what the rate would be in the local market, but also what your value is to this specific employer given the role they are looking to get you to fill. A local hire would nearly always be cheaper and so there is a reason they are looking to hire you.
The first point will be to work out how your spending power will compare with your current position. You can obtain reports, such as that from Salary Expectation, to check the cost of living and what you will need to earn. You will also need to consider the earning of your partner if they currently work. Will there be any issues with work permits for them and will they be able to use any qualifications to continue to work in your new home country.
You should also consider what you are worth and this will involve an understanding of the market for your skills and so it is well worth asking friends and colleagues in your sector for their views. Any insight you can gain from people within your potential employer can be particularly useful.
• Benefits package
Consider the entire package and not just the headline salary. Consider the benefits package including retirement plan, health insurance, stock or share options, vacation time, life and disability insurance. As an expat you will incur various costs that are not a factor for a domestic role. What relocation costs will be incurred, will any children need to be moved to an international or a boarding school, what are the accommodation arrangements. These costs will need to be identified and covered either directly by your employer or from your taxed income.
• Job fit
Make sure that you are comfortable with the nature of the work that you will be doing, the hours you are likely to have to work and its impact on your work/life balance. Be realistic about the amount of travel that is likely to be involved.
The mission and culture of the organisation is something you will need to be comfortable with. Most companies will claim a supportive environment and their values are likely to come from the standard manuals. Make sure that you can use your knowledge and your network’s knowledge to find out the reality. Much better to find out before you take a job than a few weeks in to the new role.
• Know your boss
You will generally have met your new boss during the interview process, but it is well worth seeing if you can have a chat with them after the offer has been made and before you have accepted (by phone or Skype if they are in another country). This provides the opportunity to have a more relaxed discussion and get a more honest insight into the company and your new role. You will also need to be comfortable with their management style. You may need support in the early stages, but will you be empowered to make decisions without constantly having to refer back? Will you get backup when you need it. Prospective colleagues are clearly a good potential source.
• Consider your options
You nearly always have the option to stay where you are and sometimes you can potentially negotiate a pay rise or promotion. If you are very lucky you may have offers from more than one potential employer. Whatever your options you should really list out all of the pros and cons of each option to ensure that you evaluate each.
Some compensation packages a,/strong>,strong>re negotiable and if you feel it is worth trying to get a better deal you should meet face to face to enable you to better test out what is possible.
If you decide for whatever reason to reject the offer, ensure that you do so in a way that will not burn bridges in case another opportunity arises in the future. If you decide to accept then do so formally and look forward to this new role.