What is the process of accepting a job offer?

It’s a great feeling to land the job, but there’s still a lot to tie-up before signing on the dotted line. Be ready to ask yourself a few important questions, and get the answers you’re looking for before you accept.

Among the most obvious are “Do I like the people?” and “Am I’m getting the right salary for the position?”

You don’t need to be best friends with your boss – in fact, it’s usually better if you aren’t – but you mustn’t take an instant dislike to each other either. If you sense you aren’t going to get on, for whatever reason, take it very seriously and consider declining the offer on that basis alone. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with each other, after all.

Managers very often recruit people similar to them so you should also have a good idea what your new co-workers will be like. Ask the interviewer what the team is like – their answer probably won’t be very detailed but may give you some insight.

While you can’t expect to get the exact details of other employees’ earnings, you should be able to discover whether you are at the top, bottom or middle of the scale, and why. In big companies with multiple sites, it’s usual for there to be regional ‘weighting’ to take into account higher living costs. Use a salary checker to gain more information on whether the offer is fair.

Making negotiations on salary can be a tricky business, but if you think you’re worth a couple of extra thousand on the salary being offered, there’s no harm in asking.

How does it feel?
Chances are you will have had a glimpse around your future workplace and possibly been introduced to some potential colleagues. What was your impression? What was the atmosphere like? Did you warm to the place? Again, trust your instincts, since there’s nothing else to go on at this stage. Serious reservations need to be listened to.

It’s your dream job, but its two hours and a steep uphill walk away, via the Canada’s worst performing train line. If relocating isn’t an option, will you honestly be able to handle that every day?

How about the social aspects of the job? Is there a decent selection of places from where you can get a good coffee? Are there a few nice places to get a drink in after work? Can you spend your lunch hour shopping? Is there a park nearby to enjoy when the weather permits it? If these are important factors to you, take a good look around the area before accepting.

Have a think about your other options. If you’re waiting for an offer from elsewhere, try to delay accepting for a few days. Don’t leave it too long though otherwise you’re likely to annoy the employer and risk seeing the offer withdrawn.

How to say ‘yes’
How you accept a job offer depends on how it was made to you. If you were offered it verbally, face-to-face, then you should accept it in the same way or over the phone. However, always back this up with a letter of acceptance, and expect a letter of appointment in return. If this process has been handled by email, feel free to use email yourself. Make sure you get formal confirmation of your new position, including start date and time and any forms you may need to supply or complete.

As soon as you accept a new job, you’re morally obliged to take yourself off all job sites and notify any agencies who may have been acting on your behalf. If you are on any other shortlists or have any other applications out there, inform the companies concerned.

It goes without saying that you also need to let your current employer know you’re resigning. Check the terms of your contract with them and make sure you give them adequate notice. This could also have a bearing on when you can start your new job.

Make sure any references you’re using are aware of the situation, and make sure their going to give you a glowing review!

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