Here’s a counterintuitive fact about job searching: The most stressful part of the process often begins after you have a job offer in hand. It’s true that each step of a job hunt brings its own unique challenges – particularly the interview stage. But receiving the nod from your prospective employer means that the clock starts ticking on needing to decide if you want to accept the opportunity, as well as on providing a timely answer.

While you may have felt certain when you first applied for the job that you’d be thrilled to take it if offered, you’ve no doubt had a chance to learn much more about the actual position and company since then, through interview questions, learning about the interviewer and other ways. If you’ve jumped through enough hoops to have been extended an offer, then you’ve likely already met the boss and key colleagues with whom you’d be working, walked through the office to get a feel for its culture and had a chance to answer that perennial interview closer: “Do you have any questions for us?” If you listened closely to the answers you received at each stage of the process, then you should be ready to now ask yourself the following five questions to help decide if the job is right for you:

Are the trade-offs worth it? Each company has its own unique set of perks and benefits. So along with weighing any salary differential between your current position and the new one, it’s also important to carefully compare benefits packages. Health care insurance plans, for example, may sound similar on the surface, but you won’t really know what you’re getting until you read the fine print and compare plans and services side by side. If you have dependents to cover, find out whether the new company pays for that, or if you pay out of pocket. You also might have worked your way up to more vacation days through your tenure at your current job than you’d be eligible to receive when taking a new job. Examine all of the pros and cons before deciding whether the total set of trade-offs are worth it to you. READ MORE.

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