You’ve Got a Job Offer, Now What?

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Job Offer

The day you’ve been waiting for has arrived. Your job offer is here. Because the interview process takes so long – an average of 23 days, according to Glassdoor – you may be tempted to say yes right away just so you can breathe a sigh of relief. Go ahead and breathe, but take a moment before you give an answer, as you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

Before you accept

  1. Revisit the list of “must haves” you drew up when researching your next place of employment. Then ask yourself the critical questions: Does this position fulfill those priorities? What are you willing to bend on?
    “If you’re not willing to bend, you need to stay true to the process you set up for yourself,” according to Reyna Sund, Director of Career and Alumni Services for Ashford University. “Otherwise, you will pass up the right opportunity by accepting the wrong one.”

  2. Ensure that you have met everyone on your team, including your direct reports and your managers. If you have not, ask human resources to arrange a meeting with these people. Knowing whom you’ll be working with is critical, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  3. Make sure you have researched your market value for the position you’ve been offered. Be certain that the offer is what it should be, based off of your level of experience and the going salary in your market.
    If you’re currently employed, and there are a few factors that could cause you to stay in your job, you might seek a counter-offer. If your current employer cannot counter? “Then you know that you can feel good about moving forward,” Sund said.

  4. Feedback – You’ll want to know how you’re doing as you work toward your goal.


Why not just take the money?

Big money sounds great, but it can’t be your sole reason for accepting an offer. Even if you think the salary will cancel out any negative aspects of the job, you might be making a mistake saying yes.

“Just because the salary is high doesn’t mean the work environment, the job functions, or your manager are going to be a good fit for you,” according to Sund. “Many people will tell you that they didn’t last long after taking a high paying job just because of the pay.”

“There are so many elements that need to be present in a new job that are crucial to your success. You spend so much of your life in your work environment that it is so important that you determine if your values are in alignment with the company culture.”

How to say no

If you’re fortunate enough to have a second, more attractive job offer in front of you, or if there’s just something about the original offer that rubs you the wrong way, you’re going to find yourself practicing a polite way to say no. Sund offered this template, which you can modify to fit your situation:

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to be considered for this position within your organization. I feel honored that you would consider me. I have carefully considered the offers that have been presented to me and unfortunately, I have chosen to accept another position that is a better fit for my overall needs at this time. I do hope that we can keep the doors open for any future opportunities that may arise.”

Remember, you want to be able to say no to an offer with confidence and no regrets. That is why it’s so important to run through your checklist of priorities before giving an answer.

For more job search tips, read “Top Interview Questions to Ask” and “Top 3 Ways to Network Your Way Into a Job” on Forward Thinking.


Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.


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