Collins Community Credit Union

All Things Considered: A Guide to Successfully Navigating Job Offers

Whether you’re a recent grad or a veteran worker, the job market can be a difficult place to navigate, and the appropriate response to a job offer will vary based on one’s lifestyle, goals, and priorities. For example, a family-oriented person might prefer a steady 9-to-5 with good benefits over a high-paying but wacky-houred gig. So, before you commit to a position, consider the following points:

Published on Jun 11, 2018

What to Accept

When it comes to deciding whether to accept a job offer, there are a few things that you should know: your self-worth, your abilities, your goals, and your limitations. By having a solid understanding of these things, it will be significantly easier to weigh the value of a job offer. By knowing your self-worth, you’ll know if a job is providing fair compensation. It’s also important that you’re capable of successfully fulfilling the job requirements, which is why you should have a firm grasp on your abilities. As far as goals are concerned, you don’t want to waste your time working at a job that doesn’t get you closer to fulfilling them. Knowing your limitations will help you when questions arise, such as, “Am I comfortable with these working conditions?”

When to Settle

The “American Dream” is known for its ability to evoke strong emotions and ideal visions for the future. However, the stepping stones are frequently omitted from the equation, and we’re often prone to forgetting that it’s sometimes wise to settle. This is especially applicable for entry-level jobs. It can be tempting to take the job with the highest salary, but for those with lofty aspirations, a lower-paying job is sometimes the smarter choice. So, choose an offer that will help in the long-term: a company that’s known for promoting internally, a company or position that will strengthen your resume, etc.

How to Decline 

After you’ve decided that a job isn’t a good fit, it’s important to turn down the offer graciously. You don’t want to burn any bridges. So instead of blowing off an offer and leaving the hiring manager hanging, you should formally decline (preferably in writing) as soon as possible. 

Other Things to Consider

It’s okay to take a few days to make your decision (although, traditionally, not more than three). Acknowledge the offer and let the hiring manager know you’re going to mull it over, then be sure to get back to them within a respectful timeframe. You’re allowed to negotiate an offer. If you feel that the proposed salary is too low, politely provide a counteroffer. That said, it’s important to keep requests and negotiations within reason; otherwise, you risk jeopardizing the offer. You can sometimes use other offers as leverage. If you’re weighing your options, feel free to mention that you’re considering another offer. Potential employers appreciate the honesty, and some will even improve their initial proposal for an in-demand candidate.  

Lastly, listen to your gut. Regardless of whether a job seems perfect, if you’re hesitant, it’s often for good reason. Trust your instincts.

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