4 Things Other Than Salary You Need To Consider Before Accepting A Job Offer

Before you start a job, you need to decide whether to accept a job offer. And over the course of your career, some will be no-brainers; others will be a little trickier.

Take these scenarios.

  1. You get an offer that’s a little lower than you expected—even after negotiating with the hiring .
  2. You’re juggling competing job offers with very different
  3. A company you’re less interested in offers a better package than a company you’d really love to work

Here’s the thing: There’s a middle ground that people often don’t talk about. And it’s about time we explored it.

Here are four things to consider before you sign an offer letter.

1. Company Mission

Think about the reasons you’re excited to accept a job. Will they be just as exciting a year or two down the road?

It’s easy to get caught up in things like an unlimited vacation policy or epic company outings. After all, those are amazing perks—when paired with a company mission that makes you proud of what you do.

Ultimately, knowing you’re doing work that makes an impact—both within your company and beyond it—will keep you fulfilled as you build a career. For Erica Hirsch, a Senior Director at Thermo Fisher’s Business Segment, she’s found that at Thermo Fisher. “From my desk in Silicon Valley, I’m fighting to stop counterfeit drugs in Africa,” she says.

“The work I do at Thermo Fisher Scientific involves technology that helps professionals in the field quickly and accurately confirm that a pharmaceutical is what it says it is. In Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa, our handheld products are invaluable tools that agencies use to stop the growing problem of counterfeit anti-malaria drugs. Our work has played a part in significantly reducing counterfeit drugs throughout the region.”

2. Your Co-workers

Assuming you work eight-hour days, you’ll be spending 2,080 hours a year with your co-workers (minus holidays and vacation days, of course). In other words, you’ll want to choose them wisely.

We know. You can’t learn everything about your co-workers from an interview. But you can probably learn more than you think. Find out as much as you can by asking questions about the team dynamic and company culture. Do your best to figure out if it’s a collaborative environment, and don’t be afraid to be direct.

When it’s over, take stock of your experience. Did you share a laugh during your interview? Were they genuinely curious about your past experience? Did you feel less like you were answering questions and more like you were having a conversation?

These are all signs you might’ve struck co-worker gold.

3. Opportunities For Growth

We’re talking the personal and the professional kind here. Not sure what to look for? Consider whether the company makes training a top priority—not just during your first few weeks, but throughout your career.

Will you have a chance to learn new skills outside your job description or work with other departments? Some companies also have formalized mentorship programs that pair more tenured employees with new hires. Both of these can help you acquire a mix of hard and soft skills that’ll prove valuable for the rest of your career.

It’s also important to consider job mobility. Companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific offer rotational programs for recent grads that let them explore several different areas (and locations) over the course of a few years.

Some of these opportunities were probably evident during your interview. But if you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask the hiring manager questions that will help you decide.

4. The Actual Job Description 

This one sounds like a no-brainer. But it’s easy to focus so much on an impressive salary that you lose sight of what you’ll actually be doing. So, before you make a decision, go back and read the full job description again. If you’re deciding between two offers, read both of them side-by-side.

Ask yourself: If the salary were the same for both jobs, which would I choose? Getting paid more to do work that doesn’t align with your career goals might not be worth a marginal salary difference. Plus, if you’ll be working steadily toward a higher-paying job, that lower paycheck might be more temporary than you think. It’s always helpful to ask about career growth opportunities before making a final decision.

They say money isn’t everything, and it’s true. So, what do you do if you get an offer that’s on par with the industry average for your role and location—but maybe a little lower than you had in mind?

Well, counterintuitive as it may seem, sometimes the best option is to take the lower offer.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should do so every time. After all, everyone’s financial needs are different. We’re also not advocating for you to accept a salary that doesn’t seem fair based on your qualifications and cost of living.

What we ARE saying is, you should take these things into account, give it some thought, and then see where you net out. Who knows? You might be surprised where this process takes you.

Want to work for a company that offers everything you’re looking for in a career? Learn more about Thermo Fisher and apply for open roles by visiting their WayUp company profile!

Types of Entry-Level Jobs for Sustainability Studies Majors

Being a sustainability studies major opens the door to a wide range of opportunities. From science to business to journalism, odds are, there’s a way to channel your passion for sustainability studies into the career path that’s most exciting to you. But with so many opportunities out there, deciding on that path might feel a little overwhelming. One way to narrow your focus is by taking on a paid or unpaid internship during college. This will help you build up your skillset while also helping you identify the type of career that’s right for you. In the process, it will also give you a better idea of the type of entry-level jobs to apply for.

Here are some of the most common entry-level jobs for sustainability studies majors:

Accountant or auditor

As an accountant or auditor, you’ll be responsible for keeping track of how your company’s sustainability programs are performing, including how much money the company is spending versus saving in its effort to be more environmentally friendly. You’ll also measure and report on how much your company’s efforts are helping the environment in areas like recycling and waste reduction. Energy auditors specifically focus on building inspections, looking for sustainability-related improvements.

Analytic Methods Analyst

In this role, you’ll be making key business decisions by analyzing data from military and commercial aircraft systems, aircraft operations and maintenance records. You will be responsible for anticipating any issues with aircraft fleets, studying results and tracking success. You’ll then communicate your findings to your company and its clients. Part of your job will also include looking for ways to improve the design and function of aircraft.


If you’re interested in a more scientific field, microbiology might be a good fit for you. This role is very hands-on, and has the potential to make a big difference far beyond your company’s walls. As a microbiologist, you’ll study viruses and bacteria to determine how they might play a role in reducing pollution or minimizing the use of fossil fuels by creating the biofuels of the future.

Chemical engineer

As a chemical engineer, you’ll focus specifically on the production processes of a company and the chemicals involved in those processes. It will be your job to find ways to replace existing production methods with renewable resources that are kinder to the environment. For example, you might research and test biodegradable chemicals that are less likely to cause pollution.

Compliance officer

As a compliance officer, you’ll work to ensure your company is complying with health, safety and environmental laws and regulations. In this job, you could work on reports about your sustainability findings or present recommendations that will help your company achieve (or even exceed) certain regulation standards.

Human resources specialist

As a human resources specialist focusing on sustainability, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that employees understand and comply with different sustainability efforts set up by your company. In this role, you might also help with preparing and conducting training programs for new employees to educate them on what corporate sustainability means and how to achieve it.

Occupational health and safety technician

In this role, you’ll assist with projects that improve the safety of workers, company buildings and the health and safety impact your company has on the general public. This might take the form of helping design a safer workplace environment, performing inspections or monitoring the quality of air in your office building to ensure there are no toxins.

As a sustainability studies major, you have a wide range of career paths to choose from. To ensure that you pick a position that’s right for you, it’s important to figure out where your interests lie and to pursue a role that you’re passionate about. Whether that ends up being a molecular biologist or a compliance officer, the skills you’ve developed in school and during any internships will definitely help you shine.

Top 5 Sustainability Interview Questions

A career in sustainability is an exciting opportunity for your work to have a real-world impact on the environment. If you’re considering a job in this area, you might be wondering what to expect from the interview and how to set yourself up for success. There are a wide range of sustainability career paths you can take, from politics and policy to journalism and business, and each of these will come with its own unique set of interview questions. That said, these questions will likely come up in most of your interviews.

Why did you decide to go into the field of sustainability?

This is a broad question with no right or wrong answer, but it’s also a great chance to tell a personal story about why working in sustainability is important to you. To prepare, think about what inspired you to pursue this field of study and any memorable experiences from your classes or internships that made you certain you chose the right career path. Think of this question as a more targeted version of “tell me about yourself”.

Tell me what interests you most about this specific role.

This question is a great opportunity to highlight what you learned as a sustainability studies major and during any internships you had. It’s generally targeted toward getting a sense of what motivates you and how passionate you are about the potential job. To answer this question effectively, make sure you’ve done your research on the company so you can personalize your answers to the specific role you’re interviewing for. Emphasizing why your interest matches their job description is a great way to show you’re qualified.

How would you describe your work process?

Sustainability jobs often require a mix of creative and analytical skills. They can be research-heavy, but also rely on effective communication with team members. This question is designed to understand how your process will fit into a company’s work environment. To answer it, consider how you take a project from initial planning stages to execution? Think carefully about your process for gathering information, forming opinions and checking your work before presenting.

Tell me about a recent challenge you faced while working on a sustainability project. How did you overcome it?

This question is designed to test your critical thinking and problem-solving skills by asking you about the path you took to solve a specific challenge. When answering this question, it’s important to be specific and outline the steps you took along with your reasons for taking them. For example, what alternative approaches did you consider when making those decisions and why did you ultimately decide on your final approach? This will show the hiring manager that you’re thoughtful about your decisions, you account for any possible drawbacks, and that you take calculated risks when necessary.

Tell me about a project that didn’t work out. What did you learn?

It’s not fun to talk about your failures, but being able to show what you’ve learned from them is extremely important. In an ever-changing field like sustainability studies, you’ll need to constantly adapt to changing research and new scientific studies. Many times, you’ll be working in areas that don’t have much prior research, which means you’ll need to be comfortable with testing things and learning from them when projects don’t go according to plan. To answer this question, think about a project that didn’t go smoothly but still positively impacted you work in a big way.

Interviewing for a job in sustainability might seem a bit intimidating at first, but by knowing what to expect and how to prepare your answers, you’ll be sure to impress the hiring manager and get one step closer to landing the job.

What Types of Skills are Best for a Sustainability Studies Major?

If the idea of contributing to solutions for real environmental change appeals to you, then becoming a sustainability studies major might be the right fit for you. What’s the best way to thrive as a sustainability studies major and set yourself up for success? It starts with having the right skill set.

Here are the top skills the most successful sustainability studies majors possess.

Communication Skills

Whether in a lab or a classroom, sustainability studies majors need to be able to work both independently and in groups to study environmental challenges and determine potential solutions. Because of this, you need to be skilled at helping your entire group come to a conclusion—even when not everyone agrees. You will also need to present your findings, whether in a research paper or in a presentation to your class and professor. For this reason, you will need to share your findings and opinions clearly and effectively.

Problem-Solving Skills
Another key skill for sustainability studies majors is the ability to take on complex problems with a combination of creativity and analytical approaches. Many areas of sustainability studies are constantly evolving, which means the topics you’re working on won’t always have a right or wrong answer. Still, sustainability studies majors need to keep working towards new solutions. In order to do this, you’ll have to think about the best way to complete a project and outline the steps it will take to get it done.

Research Skills

Since the work of a sustainability studies major incorporates science, social science and humanities, you’ll need to be a thorough, inquisitive researcher across a range of subject areas. You’ll need to be able to draw conclusions from your research findings and understand how existing research can help you better understand your field of study.

Math and Science Skills

A strong understanding of environmental science and the ability to analyze and report on data are incredibly valuable skills for sustainability studies majors. You’ll be entering a field that has a tremendous amount of data associated with it, which is only going to increase over time. Being able to read, understand and act on complex reports and statistics related to sustainability is important, whether you’re looking to work at a small company or a large one. Physics, biology, chemistry and trigonometry will all be put to good use in many sustainability careers.


Since sustainability studies majors are part of an ever-changing field, you’ll need to be open to seeking out new technologies, research methods and ideas on a regular basis. Your job will depend on looking at sustainability-related problems from different perspectives as you work to find the best possible solutions.

How to Get a Job in Sustainability

This is an industry that draws in people who care about preserving the environment for future generations, and the number of sustainability-related careers has been growing. This is great news for recent grads who are passionate about the planet and want to contribute to protecting its resources. Here are the steps you need to take if you want to land a job in sustainability studies.

  1. Develop your knowledge of sustainability topics

When you’re planning for your career, you want to have as broad an understanding of sustainability-related fields as possible. Think through the classes you’ve taken in areas like landscape architecture, economics, urban planning and anthropology. Make a point to stay on top of sustainability-related news and consider subscribing to newsletters that cover sustainability like the NASA Global Climate Change newsletter or the Climate Action newsletter. Beyond this, do some research to find out about specific companies doing work in sustainability. Forbes’ annual list of “The World’s Most Sustainable Companies” is a great place to start.

  1. Determine what aspects of sustainability you’re interested in

After you’ve gotten a good grasp on what’s happening in the sustainability space, the next step is narrowing your focus so you can pick a career path that matches your interests and skills. For example, if you enjoy tracking metrics and have knack for making everything you do more efficient, you might consider a career as an analytic methods analyst. Or, if you’ve always been passionate about government’s role in sustainability issues, you might consider a career in environmental policy and planning. Other potential career paths include business, landscape and architectural design and marine science.

  1. Intern with a company that focuses on sustainability

Once you’ve done your industry research and you have a strong focus in mind, the next step is getting hands-on experience by interning at a company that focuses on sustainability. Internships are a great way to gain deeper knowledge of a field while also getting a sense of the role or roles that are best for you. Keep in mind that while smaller companies are great for a more cross-functional internship experience, bigger companies might give you a chance to specialize in a very specific field and gain the type of industry experience most people only get once they’re working a full-time job.

  1. Know what your top-choice sustainability companies look for

While companies focusing on sustainability have plenty of differences, they all share a passion for environmental preservation. They also share a desire to hire smart, motivated recent grads to join their teams. Once you have an internship or two on your resume and start applying to full-time jobs, pay close attention to the mission and work of each company and think about how everything you’ve learned so far can help your potential new employer. Whether you’re applying online or heading to an in-person interview, be sure to highlight everything you’ve learned about the industry so far, and emphasize your passion for the company and the field of sustainability.

By following these tips and honing your skills and knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to finding a sustainability job that’s right for you.

What is a Sustainability Studies Major and is it Right for Me?

Do you care deeply about the environment and keeping it in tact for future generations? Are you passionate about a wide range of academic subjects ranging from science to the humanities? If so, a sustainability studies major might be for you.

What is a sustainability studies major?

Sustainability studies majors learn how to protect, preserve and make the smartest possible use of the planet’s natural resources. Students in this major pull from a wide range of study areas, including science, social science and the humanities. Typical classes in this major include ecology, landscape architecture, urban planning, economics, anthropology and sociology.

Is it right for me?

The field of sustainability studies is best suited for someone who is interested in current environmental challenges and looking to incorporate a variety of subject areas and research methods into their work. Pursuing a major in sustainability studies means you will be part of timely, important work to better understand and make improvements to the ways we interact with the planet.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding if a sustainability studies major is right for you:

  • Am I thoughtful? Do I enjoy research-heavy work?
  • Am I open-minded in my work? Do I look at something from a variety of perspectives to find the best possible solution? Am I both creative and analytical?
  • Am I curious? Do I constantly seek out new technologies, research and ideas?
  • Am I a problem solver? Do I care deeply about finding solutions to complex challenges?
  • Am I inquisitive? Do I question how things are currently done and look for ways to do them better?

If you responded “Yes” to all or most of the above questions, then being a sustainability studies major might be for you.

What can I do with a sustainability studies degree?

There isn’t a single go-to career path for those in the field of sustainability studies. Instead, there are a wide range of career paths to choose from. Sustainability studies majors can look into positions and advanced degrees involving:

  • law
  • politics
  • policy and planning
  • journalism
  • business
  • landscape and architectural design
  • marine sciences
  • … and more

What do sustainability studies professionals earn?

With a variety of career options, there are also a range of salaries sustainability professionals can make. Chemical engineers and atmospheric and space scientists make $90,000–$93,000 on average, while environmental engineers, civil engineers, health and safety engineers and industrial engineers make between $75,500 and $79,000 on average. The average salary also goes up significantly as you advance in your career, with chief sustainability executives making an average of $167,000.