What to consider before accepting a full-time offer after your internship

  • If you've secured a full-time offer after your internship, take the time to explore other options and learn about the specifics of your offer before accepting.
  • Experts recommended figuring out what you're looking for in terms of compensation and benefits and considering whether the role meets those needs.
  • Also connect with long-time employees and interns who've transitioned to full-time jobs to ask questions about their experiences working at the company.
  • If you feel like there's still room to grow in your role, it's probably a job worth taking.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

You crushed your internship — nice work, by the way! — so much so that the company has offered you a full-time job. For the first time in your life, you have a salary in front of you, benefits, and a fancy professional title to append to your resume. There's no reason not to take the offer, right?

In reality, you might be leaving a better option on the table by not exploring other opportunities. Then again, it may be the right call to stay at a place you know and are familiar with. So what do you do?

We spoke to career experts about whether you should take that job offer — or keep looking for something better.

Get to know the company 

Even though you may have interned at this company for a few months, you may not know what it's like to work there full time. For better or worse, interns often have vastly different experiences than employees who work year-round.

Before committing, it's essential to research the job and company. That includes asking current employees who used to be interns what their transitions were like, as well as meeting other members of the team and asking about their experiences working for the company.

"Your goal should be to learn as much as possible about the company," said Marc Prosser, the cofounder and managing partner of Fit Small Business, a site that provides reviews and articles for small business owners. "The best way is to talk to people and set up interviews. Ask the internship coordinator to see if they can set up meetings for you with members in management to learn more."

Know what you want before shopping around

It's always good to keep your options open, but you don't want indecision to cost you opportunities. That's why clarifying the time you have to make a decision is crucial.

"Explore other options, but keep in mind not to take too long," Prosser said. "Whenever you're offered a job, be sure to ask, 'How long do I have to decide?'"

Next, decide what you're looking for in terms of compensation and benefits, as well as what kind of company culture you're want for the long term. Knowing these factors will help you decide, advised Tiffany Gibson, lead talent acquisition specialist at Alexander Mann Solutions, a Cleveland-based talent acquisition and management solutions company.

"The question is, what's your motivation for wanting to explore those other [job] opportunities?" she said. "Know your deal breakers and ask questions about the perks or benefits you feel you're missing out on." If you think the place you've been interning with won't be the right cultural fit or just can't offer the benefits you need (schedule, commute, insurance, etc.), then it's probably a good idea to look elsewhere.

If you've got room to learn and grow, take the offer

Remember, your first job is far from the end-all-be-all, especially with millennials making job hopping the new norm. So if you're happy with your coworkers, the compensation and benefits you've been offered, and the opportunity for career growth, then it usually makes sense to take the job.

For Alexandra Vidaeff, marketing and business development coordinator at Graced by Grit, a women's workout apparel company, the decision was easy. She based her decision of accepting the full-time offer from her internship off of these four factors:

  1. She felt respected by the company's senior management.
  2. She was given an immense amount of responsibility immediately.
  3. She found a mentor who helped ensure she was growing professionally and within the company.
  4. She knew her coworkers were intelligent, hard working, creative, and fun.

"I knew that even if I got a better offer, [one that was] better paying or from a more prestigious company, I would not feel so respected or so trusted to do work that directly affects the image and growth of the company," Vidaeff said.

Whatever you decide, congratulations if you're offered a full-time gig from your internship. That means you've been doing a stellar job — and you've got a great start to your career ahead. 

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