First of all, congrats! Receiving a job offer is a huge accomplishment, and you should be very proud. However, you may be interviewing with multiple companies, maybe you want to talk to your family before accepting the job, or you just aren’t ready to say yes or no for whatever reason. Whatever the case, there are four things you can do with your new job offer at this point.

1. Accept the Offer

Maybe you have been in the job hunt for a while, or this was a “one-shot, one-kill” kind of situation. Anyways, if the company, job, location, and pay are what you seek then what are you waiting for? Remember to thank the employer for their time and the opportunity, and then ask about a start date. It’s time to get to work…why are you still reading this article?

2. Retrieve the Offer

“Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am extremely excited, and I cannot wait to discuss this role with my family.” This is an easy way to tell an employer that you are excited for the job offer but not ready to give them a hard “yes” at that very moment. Prior to ending the conversation, you should expect for the employer to give you a no-later-than date to either accept or decline the offer. In my opinion, the best time to retrieve an offer is if you are expecting another job offer that you wish to compare to this one or you want to discuss the opportunity with your family.

3. Counter the Offer

A job offer is part of a negotiation, don’t ever forget that you have just as much of a voice in the process as the employer. Therefore, if the pay (the most common factor negotiated) is too far below your minimum requirement then you should thank the employer for the offer and the opportunity but tell them “unfortunately, at this compensation level I will be unable to accept the job.”

One very important thing to remember if you decide to counter an offer is that an employer has the right to cancel the offer. Thus, countering can be risky, but if the math just doesn’t add up then it is a decision you must make. I recommend that if the reason you are countering is for greater pay, then you should never request more than a 10% increase. Any amount more than 10% will give an employer the impression that you do not understand the market or value of the job. Second, if a company is willing to increase the salary by more than 10%, then I would question their own honesty and whether they truly value your skills.

One thing to keep in mind, a perk can often be just as beneficial as an actual salary increase. Let’s say you are an Electrician or Plummer that will be on call or will be required to use navigation on your phone, you may request that your employer pay your cell phone bill. This could easily add up to $1,000 or more a year.

4. Decline the Offer

Don’t forget, this is always an option. After going through the interview process or doing more research, you may find that a company or job just isn’t the right fit for you. If this is the case, the best option may be to simply thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity, and tell them, “Thank you but this role is not the right fit for me.” Remember to be grateful and respectful (this is a small world), but declining a job that is not the right fit will ultimately save the employer time & money, and they will appreciate your honesty.

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