From LiveMore

The Job Offer: Should You Accept or Negotiate?

So you’ve been offered a new job with a new company, should you accept it…stay tuned for some of my tips…

Some of my initial videos I posted were about the job hunting process. My advice was based on my many years of recruiting experience. Today I want to talk about how to handle a job offer. I just recently accepted a job offer with another company and it was definitely a decision I made after careful scrutiny. I worked at my job for 14 years so it wasn’t easy. Here’s what I did to make my decision.

When a company extends an offer, first of all, they should be willing to send it in writing. I usually recommend that you not accept an offer on the spot. I’m sure there may be some exceptions but it’s best to take a day to think about it. Discuss it with people you trust, your spouse, family and/or friends. But don’t discuss it with coworkers. Even people you think are your friends can panic if you tell them you are leaving and tell other people or worst case your boss. The last thing you want is to get fired before you’ve even accepted the offer. And by the way, an employer can fire you for looking for a new job.

Before you accept an offer, you need to take into consideration all of the benefits and the cost of those benefits, such as salary, health insurance, your hours and commute, the job duties, etc.

For example, on the job offer I recently received, I learned only after asking the cost of their health insurance that they are considerably higher than my current costs. Don’t be afraid to ask very specific questions such as the cost of health insurance and the coverage. Most HR departments can readily provide an explanation of benefits. Also, what is their paid time off policy, vacation days, sick time and personal day? When do you become eligible for these benefits?

Often times you may not be eligible for health insurance for 60 days in which case you need to consider the cost of Cobra insurance which is interim health insurance provided through your previous employer. In my case, the cost came to about $400 per month, which is obviously expensive and something to be considered.

After weighing all of the pros and cons of my offer, I decided to go in for the counter offer. This is when you go back and attempt to negotiate the conditions and terms of your employment. Before you counter, you need to consider your ideal offer and what your minimum acceptable terms are. You may need more pay, more vacation time, flexible hours. Often times, these things are negotiable for the right candidate. However, you do want to approach the subject delicately. You don’t want to sound cocky or demanding. I’d suggest saying something like, “I’ve given your offer very serious consideration and crunched some numbers. I really want to work for your company and I love the sounds of the work I’d be doing. But in order to make it work, I really need to earn XX dollars more. Also, would you be willing to make me eligible for 2 weeks vacation time immediately.” Don’t be nervous if they need to get back to you. The worst they can say is no and I’ve never seen anyone retract an offer in response to a counter offer.

You’ll need to decide your minimum acceptable offer and wait for their response. When the respond, feel free to take another day before you accept and make your decisions based on the minimums you’ve already established. This helps to remove some of the emotion in your decision.

No matter what you decide, I wish you luck in your job search! Thanks for visiting