6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job

How to determine if this job is a good fit for you.

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You submitted your resume and nailed your interview. Now, you are the lucky recipient of a job offer.

In today's economy, getting a job is quite a feat. With companies downsizing and laying off loyal, hardworking employees, the job market looks pretty dismal.

Before you accept the offer, there are some important questions you should ask yourself to ensure that you have found the right job for you. If you just accept a job because it is a job, chances are, you won't be happy or end up keeping that job for very long.

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Am I being paid appropriately? There are two tiers to being paid appropriately. The first is being paid around the same amount as other people in you field. To find out the average salary of someone in your line of work, head over to Salary.com. If you are not offered a salary in the ballpark of what someone in your field with your experience is making, you may want to consider taking a job elsewhere. If the salary offered to you is in the ballpark of what someone in your field with your experience is making, the job may be a good fit.

The second tier is being paid enough to live. Simply put, this means the salary you are offered is enough to pay your bills with a little extra left over. If the salary you are offered will not cover your cost of living, chances are, this isn't the job for you.

Will I be happy living in this location? Before you accept a job offer, think about whether could see yourself living in the city the job is located in for the next year or two (or more). Do you like the city? Do you have friends and family that live close by? Are there things you like to do in this city? If you are thinking about starting a family, do the schools have a good reputation? Are the neighborhoods kid-friendly? These are all things to consider before accepting a job.

Another thing to consider is the amount of time you will be required to travel for this job. If you are not much of a traveler and the job requires 50 percent travel, you may want to reconsider accepting the job offer.

Am I doing something I enjoy? Most people spend 40-plus hours a week in the office. This accounts for almost 25 percent of your week. Do you really want to spend a quarter of your week doing something you don't enjoy? Before you accept a job, make sure the responsibilities consist mostly of things you will enjoy doing. Let's be honest—no one wants to wake up every morning and feel miserable about going to work. You want to wake up and be at least a little bit excited to go to work, and happy to be doing something you love. Don't take a job you will be miserable doing. Accept a job that will make you happy.

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Will I learn new things? You received a job offer because you had skills the company needed to help make it more successful. But you never want to have every skill the company is looking for because if you are totally qualified for the position, you aren't going to learn anything new. When you accept a job, make sure you will obtain new skills so you can grow professionally. If you are 100-percent qualified for a job, you are often "overqualified and underpaid." By making sure you will learn new things if you accept a job, you will ensure that you will grow professionally, subsequently increasing your worth to the company.

Do my potential coworkers seem nice? Coworkers can make or break a job. Evaluate how you got along with your potential coworkers during the interview process, which can help you determine whether you can handle working with them day in and day out. One thing to be aware of is that interviews may not always be the most telling sign of whether you will get along with your potential coworkers. Most of the time, the interview process consists of everyone putting their best foot forward and being as personable and pleasant as possible. Be very careful when evaluating your potential coworkers and trust your gut. If you think they are being fake or overly nice, be careful. If you sense genuine kindness, you may have found your new work home. (See How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions.)

Does this job allow me time to have a life? Your life should never revolve around your work. Your work should always revolve around your life. Life is too short to be completely consumed by work and not get out and have fun spending time with the people you care about. If your job is going to require long hours, work during holidays, and no flexibility, think twice about accepting it. Instead, find something that will allow you to live life without always being weighed down by work responsibilities.

Ashley Jacobs is the college correspondent for personal finance blog Wise Bread. Follow her latest tweets on @CollegeCents.