By Sunny Simon

      Luann called me breathless after her interview proclaiming she got the job. Normally this type of announcement propels me into my happy dance, but not this time. My client decided to take this interview as she was just beginning her job search and  after reading the job description, she wanted to use the opportunity as a practice forum.

     When your mom told you some things are just too good to be true, she was right. Situations like this occur in the employment field. You spot an advertisement extolling an excellent salary, bonus, unlimited vacation, etc. and your heart starts beating fast. Beware, this is probably NOT your dream job, just a come-on to a position offering far less than meets the eye.

     My strategy was to give Luann some time to process the interview so I told her I would phone back. Thirty minutes later when I called peppering her with questions about the job, Luann admitted a lack of information. At this point, she had not accepted the position (thankfully) so I suggested scheduling a meeting to review questions pertinent to making a viable decision. You can probably guess the bottom line, once she had the missing data, she declined the job.


     Job searches are rigorous. Done correctly, it takes time, energy and sacrifice.  It’s natural to want to bring this project to an end as quickly as possible. Once I made the mistake of falling into that trap. Tired of the grind, I accepted a job which appeared fine on the surface. After six weeks I gave my notice, cutting my losses as quickly as possible.

     Let’s review a few crucial ways to evaluate a job offer. Start with “show me the money.” An offer should be considered based on total compensation, not only base salary. What an employer may lack in salary and bonus opportunities might be compensated for in the benefits package. The same is true in reverse. List your priorities and zero in on the details.

     How valuable is your time? Consider your commute. Is the job worth fighting traffic two hours a day? If so, could you negotiate a work-from-home day once per week or stagger your hours to avoid the bumper-to-bumper slow dance?

     Next ask yourself, where do I go from there? Does this position enhance your career goals? Will it pump up your resume? Do your homework on the company. Does their culture match your value system?

     Doing your due diligence prior to accepting or declining a position can save you some major future headaches.  Have patience, the right job will surface. Good luck! Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at