Federal Careers

You’ve finally gotten that job offer you’ve been waiting for. Congratulations!! Before saying yes, consider these 8 things:

1. Am I happy with the offer? This includes location, salary, working hours, location, benefits, etc. If not, are any of the things you’re unhappy about negotiable? Once you accept the offer, negotiations are offer the table.

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2. Have you done a true comparison with your current job? What are you gaining? What are you giving up? Be honest with yourself.

3. Do I know what I’ll be doing? If not, ask. Get a copy of the job description if possible.

4. Who is your new supervisor? Do you have a name? Have you met him or her? Looked them on LinkedIn?

5. Will you have a big learning curve? A new job automatically requires some learning. How steep is the learning curve likely to be? Do you just need to learn the “their” way to do things or do you need totally new skills? Is there support to help you make the necessary transition? You don’t want to set yourself up for possible failure.

6. Do you need time to decide? If you have hesitations about accepting the offer, ask for time to decide. Be reasonable in your ask; decide what you need to know before accepting (or declining)—do you want to meet with coworkers first? Your new boss? Be enthusiastic and polite but make sure you’re comfortable before saying yes.

7. Is the organization you’re about to join stable? If the job is in the private sector, do your due diligence to the extent you can. If it’s from the government, is the program well funded? Supported?

8. Do you have everything in writing? Is your offer, including benefits, in writing? An email is acceptable but you want an official and detailed offer than that is from someone with the authority to make the offer. If there’s a contract to sign, has that contract been reviewed by an attorney? Make sure all of the details are to your satisfaction before agreeing.

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Getting a job offer is exciting. But don’t let your excitement overcome your good sense. It’s better to turn the job down now (if appropriate) than accept the offer that does not work out.

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