For most people, a job offer is a thrilling conclusion to weeks of applying and interviewing. But not all job offers will make you leap off your seat in delight. It’s not unusual to get cold feet about whether or not you should accept. If you do find yourself needing to think twice, then trust your gut and listen to your doubts. Remember that so much of your waking hours are spent at work, so accepting an offer is an important decision!
If you’re in doubt about whether or not to accept a job offer, ask yourself why you’re feeling this way. Do you feel you lack the confidence to take on the new challenge? Do you worry you might have oversold your skills at the interview, or perhaps even glossed over some requirements that you will now have to meet?
By asking yourself these questions, you can start to pinpoint why you’re feeling less than enthusiastic about taking the job. The following steps will then help clarify whether or not you should ultimately accept the job:
How did you feel about your interviewers?
Unless the company outsourced all their recruitment, your interviewers are highly likely to be the same people you work with in the future, and how confident you felt around them will be a good gauge for how you feel about accepting the job. It is essential that you get a good vibe from the people you meet at the company. Consider this before accepting a job offer.
You will (hopefully) be working alongside these people for years, and workplace cultures stand the test of time, so it’s essential that you feel a connection. If something put you off – their attitude or work ethic, or you simply found it difficult to talk to them – then include this in your decision-making as to whether or not to accept their offer. Company culture is absolutely critical, and the best firms will know how to foster them.
Can you see job progression in the role?
You will hopefully have had a clear idea about what you want out of the job before you headed into your first interview. Think about how the recruitment process continued: Did you ask about the other opportunities at the company? Can you see yourself there for the long term, or is this just another stepping stone?
If you missed out on asking your interviewers this critical question, we recommend doing some detective work on LinkedIn. You can often find people who worked in the same or similar roles at the company by a simple search. Where did they move? How long did it take them? This search should fill you with confidence. If it doesn’t, add this to your list of reasons to reconsider the job offer.
Have you looked into the company’s finances?
At Aldrich & Co, we always recommend that you carry out your own research about the companies that interest you. If you’re concerned about the company’s own future and the stability of the job they’re offering you, find their financial records before accepting a job offer. You should be able to find all companies’ records online. In the UK, Companies House is a good place to start, and reading annual reports will always be insightful.
Only renegotiate salary if you’re prepared for the fallout
Accept a job offer if it feels right. If you are excited about it, then it stands to reason that you will also be happy in the job. Even if the money isn’t quite what you were hoping for, if the job feels right, you will have many years of enjoyment at work. You can always renegotiate your salary the following year.
Be wary of taking your chances with negotiations, as it may backfire. Generally speaking, renegotiating salary just after you have been offered the job is not a good look. If you’re unsure but feel the need to talk about possibilities before accepting, we recommend talking to your trusted recruiter first. External recruiters are highly experienced in negotiating contracts and could potentially mediate this conversation for you, giving you the security you need before you take the leap.
Accepting a job offer is more often than not an exciting time, and we help our candidates all across the decision-making process, from application to acceptance. Be frank with your recruiter about your goals. Aldrich & Co has over four decades of experience in this business, and we can help you to figure out where you’ll find the most happiness and success at work.