Your resume was enjoyed, the interview process went well, the hiring company offers you the job. What comes next?
This article is part of our ongoing conversation with Isabella Mori of Change Therapy.
Although it's become a cliche to always reject the first offer, many people do take it. Isabella calls that the “get – accept – phew” reaction, as in- get the job, accept the offer and give a thankful sigh of relief that your job search is over.
You can do better! Get – Accept – Phew is rarely the best way for you to react.
Time for an attitude change?
Your resume is a sales document promoting your abilities to any potential takers who see it. As you navigate probing interviews and tests, everything you say and do should be geared towards pushing your candidacy. That only begins to change once the company makes you an offer.
What does a job offer mean?
It means your sales pitch worked!
Before the offer, you were the seller and the company was the buyer.
After the offer, the company is the seller and you are the buyer.
Put another way-
Before the offer, you were trying to convince the hiring company to act by giving you a contract.
After the offer, the hiring company is trying to convince you to act and put your signature on that contract.
The job offer is tangible proof that the company wants you.
Negotiating is about leveraging
Unless the first offer has everything you want in a job contract, make the company work to attract you now that they've shown they want to do so.
While continuing to sell yourself all throughout the negotiating process and beyond, clarify that the price of your signature is the salary and other work conditions you desire.
Scared of the offer being retracted?
When I was younger and received my first job offer, I remember being afraid to negotiate. I thought that if I asked for more money, the hiring company would get insulted and take back their offer. Although it's a natural reaction for a person so inexperienced yet euphoric that someone would actually pay them to do work, there are only really 2 cases where retraction fear makes sense:
- The hiring manager is a jerk and just wants an excuse to not hire you anyway
- You applied for a job that requires no special skills. A job where the main difference between you and other candidates is miniscule and may just be timing or the fact that the hiring manager likes the look of you. Usually it's a job paying minimum wage. If you did ask for more money, you would probably get laughed at and told to get real or get lost, take it or leave it.
Outside these 2 examples, your first offer gives you every reason to negotiate and push for the best work conditions you can get.
Isabella also has some solid tips for what you can do after the job offer.