A job search can easily be compared to a long grueling race. Getting a job offer is like crossing the finish line. But before you claim the winning medal, there are still a few things to consider.
Don’t Answer Immediately
Even if you want the position, ask the employer if you can have some time to think about it. Tell the recruiter that you would like to sleep on it or to discuss it with your family. Being “job smart” means taking the time to weigh the pros and cons of the position, the company, the management, and the details of the offer itself. Rarely will an employer retract an offer if you ask for time to think about it. However, be fair to the employer. Don’t drag your decision on for weeks, and if you decide not to take the position tell the employer so they can pursue another candidate.
Always Get the Offer In Writing
James, an account executive for a software company, had been unhappy in his current position for quite a while. He had been interviewing with various companies when he received a verbal offer from a competitor. In his excitement he immediately gave two weeks notice to his current employer. A week later, the company who had made the verbal offer said that they had taken another look at their budget and were going to have to hold off on hiring him. Meanwhile, he had already burned the bridge at his current job.
Whenever you get a job offer, always get it in writing. This doesn’t have to be a formal employment contract. Far from it. You just need to ask for a confirmation letter that outlines the details, including salary, start date, and any perks you negotiated. Don’t turn down any other job offers, break your lease, or make any major purchases until you get it in writing.
Consult Others Whose Opinion You Value And Are Affected By Your Decision
Seek the advice of people whom you respect in the industry and ask their opinions of the company. How is the company perceived in the marketplace? Will this help your career or are you about to step on a sinking ship? Also talk with your spouse/family if applicable, especially if the position will make more demands on your time.
Why Do You Want The Position?
Why do you really want this position? Is it a great opportunity or company? Are you accepting the job to gain much needed experience and skills or are you accepting the offer to get out of a bad situation? Only you can answer these questions, but you should know ahead of time what you are getting into and accept the job for the right reasons.