Got a Job Offer? Now What?
Congratulate yourself! You aced the interviews and just received a job offer. Now all you have to do is accept it. But wait – it’s not always that easy. Accepting an offer of a job is an important step in any executive’s career. You may encounter one or more of these scenarios:

What if two companies offer you a job? It can be a difficult decision if you like both companies. It may be necessary to review the pros and cons of items such as salary, benefits, work/life balance, company culture and reputation, commuting time/telecommuting, if you will find the work challenging and interesting, who you will be working with (and for!), industry stability, and whether the job fits into your long-term career plans.

What if after interviewing with two companies, the job offer you get isn’t from the company you want? Take this opportunity to negotiate the offer, which may buy you some additional time. In the meantime, if Company A hasn’t told you when the hiring decision will be made, you can contact the hiring manager and ask about a timeframe. You may even mention that you have been offered another position, but theirs is the job you really want, and you wanted to follow up to see what the timeframe is for making a decision before you let the other company know if you were going to accept their offer.

Caution: There’s that old saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” You may not receive a second job offer. If you put off Company B for too long — or don’t act “interested enough” — you may even lose that job offer.

What do I do if I accepted a job with Company B, but Company A offered me a job after I started my new position? Your new employer has invested time and money in the hiring process, as well as invested resources towards training you and getting you up to speed with the company. So don’t make the decision to leave lightly.

If you are going to make a change, make it quickly. You may be burning bridges, but you don’t need to make it any more difficult than it needs to be. Be gracious. Thank them for this opportunity. You may even want to explain that you were surprised to be offered this position, and it’s an opportunity that you just couldn’t pass up. Offer your two weeks’ notice, as you would if you were a long-time employee.

When I turned in my resignation at my current company, my boss made me a counteroffer to stay. What should I do? This is a tricky one because says that there is an 85% chance that an employee who accepts a counteroffer will not be working at the company in six months. Many times, it’s because the employee was fired, not because they received another job offer.

If you are in the midst of working on a key project when you get another job offer, your boss may offer you more money to stay so that the project can be completed. However, when the project ends, you may not be assigned to another key project because you’re seen as “disloyal” or a “flight risk.”

From a personal perspective, there was obviously a reason why you were looking for a new job. Even if your current employer matches the offer of the other company, the counteroffer won’t address other reasons why you were considering a change. Those other reasons could be critical to consider when making your decision to accept or leave.