Business Coach Column by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) from the Manila Bulletin
Congratulations to the new graduates! Your parents may be so very proud of you. After so many years of struggling with homework and graded recitations, you have finally made it.
For sure, your next mission is to hunt for a job. After the delight of the graduation march, we welcome you to the struggles of looking for your first job. Being the proactive person that you are, you may be holding this very newspaper because you are actively seeking employment.
You may be dying to get a job, but I advise you to seriously evaluate a job offer before accepting it. I am not saying that you should be picky, but you do want to be assured that the job you are getting is in consonance with your skills and capabilities.
Here are guide questions that would help you evaluate a job offer:
• What are the job’s duties and responsibilities?
Before accepting the job, you should have a clear understanding of what you are going to do. You must have knowledge of what you will be doing, so you can see if you will be able to utilize the talents you have acquired in college.
• What is the pay structure?
Know the salary you will be getting before signing any contract. Note that it should be at least at par with what the industry is paying for the same position elsewhere. Of course, it helps also if there are extras such as incentives or bonuses. Some companies also provide perks such as unlimited coffee, birthday treats, flexitime, health plans, etc. This may not really cost much, but it shows how much the company values its employees.
• Do you feel a sense of pride in belonging with the company?
You may have found out that the company is engaging in illegal activities, or is dishonest in its dealings. Ask yourself if you can stomach this, or if you would rather seek employment elsewhere.
• Is the company stable?
Consider if the firm will still be around for at least as long as you plan on working there.
• How credible is your job title?
Some positions have over inflated titles to attract applicants. Jobs with titles like “management trainee” should be probed so that you can see if your career path at that company will actually lead to a management position.
• What are the working hours?
Find out if the company requires frequent overtime, or if the job necessitates that you work on weekends and holidays. There are also some jobs that require working at night. There is nothing wrong with this, but knowing this will prepare you for skipping family gatherings and weekend getaways in order to work.
• Would the job require you to travel a lot?
This may be either good or bad, depending on your personality. If you love to travel, go ahead and grab the opportunity. However, if you dislike travelling, you may consider other job options.
• Will there be a written contract?
Note that if you are given merely a verbal agreement, there is a high chance that some promises made to entice you to work at that company may be “forgotten”.
• What are the company’s restrictions?
Know the company policies on tardiness and absences. Evaluate the contract. Some contracts prohibit employees who leave a company from working for a competitor for a specified period of time. This is legal and enforceable. However, find out how long this takes effect. It should be for a limited period of time… not forever.
• Does the company prepare people for promotion?
You must know if it will be a dead end position. Try to find out if the company offers training, as this will groom you for the next level.
• Can you abide with odd company policies?
There are some bosses who will require you to wear costumes during Halloween and Christmas. Before accepting the job, ask yourself if this is fine with you.
Also, there are some companies that are so strict, that they will monitor all your actions through a closed circuit television (CCTV), while some will want you to undergo yearly drug tests.
• Does the company follow labor laws and regulations?
Try to find out if the company remits SSS, Philhealth, HDMF, and tax dues. The company must also give overtime pay, night differential, and service incentive leaves as mandated.
It is difficult to find a job, and you may be very tempted to accept the first company that is willing to hire you. It might be better to have a not-so-ideal job rather than being unemployed. Nevertheless, be prepared to analyze the offers in case you have options.
(All rights reserved. Copyright by Manila Bulletin and Ruben P. Anlacan, Jr. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.)