Accepting a job offer

Discovering you’re the successful applicant for a new job can bring a mix of elation and relief. But accepting a job offer calls for some careful thinking to be sure you’re making the right career move.

Searching for a job can be hard work, so receiving a job offer can bring a tremendous sense of relief. However, rather than rushing to accept the new job position, take the time to think it through.

Because there will always be some key factors to weigh up to know if accepting the new role is right for you.

Will you be challenged?

A great job will stimulate and challenge you, allowing you to put your skills and talents to good use. A role that falls short of this can quickly become boring, leaving you unmotivated and potentially looking for another job in a short timeframe.

Think too about whether your level of responsibility will be appropriate to your experience. Be honest with yourself about your limitations, for example you don’t want to be in over your head and find yourself struggling to meet the demands of the role.

Does the company culture fit with your own?

Sharing the same ethos and values as your employer can be a key factor that drives your enthusiasm for the job and loyalty to the company.

If you value work-life balance for instance, a company that expects 12-hour days and weekend availability may not a good fit for you.

Are you comfortable with the salary?

Salary may not be the only driver behind the decision to accept a job offer but it’s certainly a significant consideration. The Robert Half Salary Guide can provide up to date information on current salaries for your role.

Other non-monetary benefits such as flexible working hours may also be of value to you, so think about the full package and whether you are completely comfortable with what’s being offered.

Does the job offer the potential for future growth?

Consider how much scope the new job provides for you to forge ahead professionally. Opportunities such as mentoring and training programs can be vital in building your skills and enhancing your progression in the company.

Mentoring can help you learn about a wider range of disciplines beyond your primary area of expertise, and exposure to different departments can enhance your skills and experience and open up new opportunities.

Does the job involve major lifestyle changes?

Think carefully about any aspects of the job that will impact your current lifestyle.

Regular travel away from home or a longer daily commute may seem unimportant at first but over time they can impact your quality of life, especially if you have a young family.

Put your acceptance of the job offer in writing

If, after thinking through the pros and cons, you decide that accepting the job offer is the right choice for you, the next step is to put your acceptance in writing.

Even if you have given the hiring manager a verbal response, providing a formal acceptance in writing is a great way to demonstrate your professionalism.

Your acceptance letter doesn’t have to be long, but it’s essential to cover some key points. First, express your gratitude and state your acceptance. Next, note the terms and conditions of your employment to confirm your salary, benefits and job title to ensure there is no confusion about the precise terms of the offer.

Finish off by stating your availability to commence with the company. You may already have discussed a start date and here is the chance to confirm it.

Before you send the letter or email, proofread it thoroughly. Be mindful of correctly spelling the name of the company and hiring manager. Any mistakes at this stage could see the hiring manager have second thoughts and retract the job offer.

Be prepared for a counteroffer

When you hand in your resignation, your current employer may come back with a counteroffer. It could involve a pay rise, a promotion or opportunities to become involved in new projects to entice you to stay.

While a counteroffer may be attractive and flattering, it rarely solves the underlying reasons that saw you looking for a new job in the first place.

Before accepting a job offer, weigh it all up

Accepting a job offer that gives you career progression and opportunities for growth allows you to explore exciting new horizons.

If, after careful consideration, you’re confident that the new role is right for you, you can be comfortable that you’re taking the right step towards the next stage of your career.

Take a look at our hub for a new job for more career advice.