What Do You Do Once You Get the Job Offer?

Your resume got you in the door for an interview, where you were a smash hit with the hiring manager, and just as impressive with a group of would-be coworkers in the second interview. And today they offered you the job!

But before you yell out in ecstasy and prepare a well earned celebration, stay even-tempered until you know everything you’re getting into, whether you’ll even accept the offer, and how you’ll execute this important transition. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

EVALUATE THE TERMS

Relax and Buy Some Time. You’re in a great position. This job vacancy has been costing the employer a lot of money, including interviewing time and lost productivity. They’re not doing you a favor by offering you the job; they see you as the solution to their problem! You need to give them an answer, but not immediately. Tell them you’re very pleased to receive the offer, and that you will get back to them with your response within, say, 48 hours.

Review the Offer. “Get it in writing” may be a clich√©, but it’s really good advice. Many companies will detail the job offer in a formal letter. If you don’t get a written offer, it’s a good idea to ask for one. Or, consider writing your own letter, outlining your understanding of the offer. A standard offer letter will cover the following:

* Your job title;

* Your starting date;

* Whom you will report to;

* Compensation (wages or salary, bonuses, commissions);

* Benefits; and

* Vacation time and paid holidays.

Verify the Details. oferty pracy Does everything in the letter match what you and the company discussed during the interviews? Is the salary where you thought it would be? Is there a waiting period before your benefits kick in, or until you can begin using your vacation time? (Both are standard in many companies.) Know before you sign.

Negotiate the Terms. This may be your only opportunity to negotiate employment terms. Money may or may not be negotiable; the larger the company, the more rigid the salary structure tends to be. But either way, there are other things you can consider asking for, such as:

* A shorter waiting period for benefits;

* Additional vacation time;

* Shares of company stock or stock options;

* Flexibility in your work hours; or

* Company-paid career development training.

Don’t be unreasonable, but go ahead and inquire. (And now would also be a good time to let your boss-to-be know about that tropical vacation you’ve booked for next month.)

Trust Your Gut. Accepting a job offer should not be a knee-jerk reaction. It’s difficult, especially if you haven’t had a paycheck for awhile, but think hard about whether this is the right move for you to make at this stage of your career. Does this position – at this company – help you take your career in the direction you want to go? Is it the right cultural fit? Does it encourage work-life balance? Do people seem to enjoy working with each other? Does the company mission mesh with your values?

If anything doesn’t feel right, it may be wise to decline the offer. On the other hand, if you can answer those questions in the affirmative, go ahead and sign!

GIVE YOUR NOTICE

Once you’re sure you’re going to take the new job, let your current boss know and give the proper notice period (usually two weeks). In most cases, the company will ask for a resignation letter.

Resign Formally. Your resignation letter should not be an elaborate explanation of “why” you’re leaving. It should just state that you will be resigning your position, indicating the effective date (your last day on the job), and adding a polite “thank you” for the opportunities you had while working there.

Don’t be alarmed or take it personally if the company asks you to leave immediately, especially if you’re going to work for a competitor. In some companies, policy dictates that terminated employees be escorted off company property immediately. If your company has such a policy, be sure to purge your computer of personal files beforehand, as you will not have access to them once you resign.

Talk to HR. Review your benefits with a Human Resources representative at the company you’re leaving, especially about your health insurance coverage. Make sure you won’t be uninsured as you wait for your new benefits to kick in. In most cases, you will be dropped from the old company’s plan on the day of your departure, but you will be eligible for COBRA coverage, which provides for temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates as long as you pay the full cost of the premium yourself. Inquire also about how you will receive your final paycheck, and how the company handles compensation for time off you didn’t take.

Outline an Exit Strategy. Talk with your manager about what you need to accomplish before your last day. Are there any projects that must be completed? Do you need to transfer information, project deadlines, and other work details to your manager or the person who will assume your duties? Do it in a professional manner without expressing any glee that you’re leaving. You never know when your career path will cross again with those of former co-workers, so don’t give them a reason to resent you.

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