An offer you can't refuse?

Ever been so excited by the first job offer that comes along, that you take it without thinking? It happens all too often, say leading recruiters OfficeTeam. Read their expert advice on how to evaluate that job offer professionally, and save yourself some painful mistakes...

By OfficeTeam

You've been putting all your energies into looking for that new position, and after a few interviews, one of the firms you've applied to calls to offer you the job. It's fantastic, but you can't help feeling that you'd prefer one of the other jobs you interviewed for, but you've heard nothing from them. What do you do?

It's a common dilemma, and it's tempting to accept the first proposal that comes your way, especially if your search has been particularly frustrating. But jumping at the wrong opportunity could have serious repercussions for your career.

Try thinking through the following areas to help you make your decision:

Assess the offer

When presented with an offer, request at least a day to consider it and discuss matters with your friends and family. Keep in mind, though, that no employer is going to wait weeks while you decide. If you delay too long, the perception will be that you lack enthusiasm for the position, creating a negative impression even before you're hired. You also risk losing the job to another candidate. Be up-front with the hiring manager if you have any reservations, so he or she can address them.

Evaluating the Pay

This involves more than just looking at the numbers. Start by researching what others with similar experience are being paid. A number of online sites can provide information about salaries for professionals in your field, position and area of the country.

Also take into account your personal financial obligations. Although you probably have an ideal salary in mind - the amount you'd like to earn - be aware of your bottom-line requirements - the amount you need to earn to maintain your lifestyle and pay your bills. Even if a job doesn't pay as much as you had hoped, it may still be worth considering if it meets your basic monetary needs.

Evaluating Other Factors

Don't let higher - or smaller - than expected pay distract you from other aspects that are just as crucial to your decision. You need to determine if the new role will be satisfying six months, one year and even longer down the road.

Consider the following factors. Although the importance you place on them will be specific to your situation, each will be likely to play some part in your decision.

  • Responsibilities. Do they interest you? What is the potential for growth?

  • Corporate culture. Is the atmosphere suit-and-tie professional or laid-back casual? Are employees expected to work long hours or weekends?

  • Company. Is it stable? Is it growing? Who are the main competitors?

  • Colleagues. Will you be able to get along with your boss and co-workers?

  • Area. If you're relocating, will your standard of living be affected? Will you be comfortable in a big city if you're used to a small town? How is the commute?

Whatever you decide - to accept the position or decline it - remember your decision is final. If you turn down an offer, there's almost no chance of it being extended again, as the company has almost certainly moved on. On the other hand, once you accept, don't leave immediately for yet another job. If you do, you may develop a bad reputation in the industry or burn bridges with important contacts.

Receiving an offer is welcome news for any job seeker, but don't let your emotions make the decision for you. Take the time for a proper evaluation to ensure your hard work pays off in the form of a job you enjoy.

OfficeTeam is a leading provider of specialised administrative personnel, with over 300 offices world-wide. For more information, and online job search opportunities, visit

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