Let’s be frank, finding a new job isn’t always easy. When you finally hear back from an interviewer, it can be tempting to agree to whatever they say.
But is that really the best course of action?
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In this article, we’ll discuss whether you should accept the first offer you get from a prospective employer, and what to do if you decide to reject it.
Reasons You Should Take the Offer
If you need to start making money right away, take whatever you can get (at least for the time being).
But, even if you have a little leeway, there are still circumstances in which taking your interviewer’s first offer is acceptable.
If you’ve done your homework and have a ballpark idea of what your starting salary will be (and what benefits you should be offered), and your future employer offers more, you probably won’t be able to negotiate any higher. Your employer likely knows the offer is above average, so you don’t want to risk appearing greedy.
Or if you know you’ll have multiple opportunities to grow personally and professionally (and in terms of salary), you might be better off taking what you’re offered and working your way up to bigger and better things.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Take the First Offer
If the offer is below your expectations (as well as your needs), there’s no point in taking it. This isn’t to say you should expect more than you deserve, but we’ll get into that in a moment.
If the job won’t lead you toward growth, don’t take the first offer, or any offer regarding that position at all. Even if the offer is decent and allows you to live comfortably, you’ll most likely end up stagnant, bored and regretful of your decision to stick around.
Similarly, even if the deal looks good on paper, you should consider how it will affect your work/life balance. If you’re making an above-average salary, but have no time to enjoy life outside of work, it’s likely not worth it – plus, it could easily lead to burnout.
What to Do If You Say No
If you decide not to take your future employer’s initial offer, there are a few things you can do:
- If you know what you want and what you deserve, you can open negotiations right away
- If you don’t know these things, take a step back to consider your options
- Evaluate the offer against the national average in terms of salary, benefits and workload
- Do some soul-searching to determine exactly what will make you happy in your career
Most employers will not fault or penalize you for taking a step back after they’ve made an initial offer. If they do, you probably don’t want to work with them.
Are you looking for a new job that fits your career goals?
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