For some people, decision-making comes natural to them. For most of us, it can be a difficult challenge. We stress over whether or not we will be making the right decision. This causes us to delay in making our decision, which only compounds our problem since the longer we take the more doubt creeps into our mind (and the mind of the hiring party).
The good news is that while deciding to accept (or reject) a job offer is a big deal, the decision-making process does not need to paralyze you. Just like with most things in life, if you follow a process, take an analytical approach, and seek guidance, then you can reach the right decision for you.
So, if you face the enviable task of considering whether to accept a job offer (or which job offer if you are really on a roll), then below are some items to consider:
• Downside Is Usually Minimal: While it is true that deciding to accept a new job is a big deal for most people, the downside of the decision is pretty minimal. If you are currently unemployed, then you either will be unemployed again or working a non-optimal position while you seek a new one. Either way, you are no worse off then you currently find yourself.
• Don’t Rush Yourself: Employers are interested in you accepting a job offer as quickly as possible. Resist the pressure of making a decision prior to fully reviewing the offer and your options. I believe that the biggest reason that some offer decisions are later regretted, is because it was done in a rush. Let the Hiring Manager know that you will need some time (48-72 hours is standard) to review and discuss with your family. By leveraging family, you take the focus off yourself with the Hiring Manager and transfer it to someone else.
• What Do You Value?: When you started your job search, you should have created a list of items that you are seeking in your next position. The list may include a variety of items, such as a compensation level, a desired commute, or a particular work responsibility. Whatever was on your value list, review how the offer in front of you rates in comparison. If you hit on most of the items and especially any that you had marked as high priority, then you know you are on the right track to accept. On the reverse side, you should also have noted any “deal breakers”, which are items that end the acceptance discussion for you. If any of these exist, then perform a quick review to make sure it is still relevant and (if so) then you have a rejection to make.
• Consider Your Other Options: How does the position compare to what you currently have, both in your current position and any other possible opportunities you are pursuing. Once again, write out your Pluses and Negatives, or you may find it easier to do a side-by-side comparison of your options. While there rarely is an opportunity that is “perfect”, you will generally find that by doing this exercise, one stands out more than others.
• Talk It Out: There is a reason why when a person has a personal issue, they find not only comfort but clarity when talking the situation out with someone. Connect with a friend or family member that you know is a good listener, and outline to them the obstacles you are facing in making a decision. You will probably find that this other person does not even give you their opinion because by the time you are done explaining the situation, you have reached your own conclusion. If you do solicit the opinion of another person, recognize that ultimately the decision is yours, as you have to own your career.
• Is It the “Final Offer?”: If there is something in the terms of the offer that is holding up your decision, then perhaps you should go back to the Hiring Manager for a possible counter. What you should do first, is determine what change is needed in order to make your decision on an acceptance. You would then communicate this desire to the Recruiter and/or Hiring Manager. If the prospective employer accepts your counter conditions, then you have successfully negotiated.
You work your entire job search in order to get to the point where you can make a decision regarding whether to accept a presented offer. This is not the time to panic nor procrastinate over having to make such a key decision. By taking a measured and systematic approach of evaluating what you want in a position and how this job ranks, will allow you to feel confident in whatever you decide.
As always, best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: