Accepting or Refusing a Job Offer
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Accepting or Refusing a Job Offer

on 18 November 2020

​The Decision-Making Process

It’s that time of one’s professional career, when an advertised position would have come somehow caught your eye – you would have submitted an application without thinking too much about it and hoped for the best.  When you were invited to attend for the interview, you went because you were interested, became more interested during the interview and eventually came to the situation where a job offer has been presented to you. What do you decide? How can a person decide if the job is the one that he/she should accept, or if the job offer shouldn’t be considered further?

This is the decision making process that each and every person in gainful employment has passed through at least once in his/her working life. The choice of accepting or refusing a job offer received depends very much upon the feeling, identification or relationship that one would have built up with the interviewer as well as the organisation as a whole in the build up from application to job offer. However, there are a number of undeniable facts that one should consider in such a situation.

Receiving the Job Offer

Once the job offer is received, one needs to reconsider the details of the offer and the actual offer being made. This is the tangible offer that has been made, and consideration has to be given to what is being offered as opposed to what one is already earning.  Moreover, the time taken to provide the job offer from the last date of contact and the time frame requested within which to give a reply gives a clear indication on the urgency that the employer has to fill the particular position.

Considering the Positive and Negative aspects of the Job Offer

If seriously considering the job offer, than one should consider attentively both positive and negative aspects. Among the positive aspects one can look at the new responsibilities, new challenges, and possibly a development in one’s professional career.  When considering the negative aspects, one should definitely consider what he/she is leaving behind – including colleagues, comfort zone and expertise acquired from experience.  More importantly, it is fundamental to consider the real deciding factor(s) behind one’s decision to move from the current employment.  If this is the first job of one’s career, or the last professional move being intended, than it is important to ask the same question but for different reasons:  Ask yourself if this is really what you want to be doing. The person embarking on the first step of a career needs to ask this question as this will form his/her future career, whilst the person who is considering the last move of a professional career will ask this question as this is what he/she will want to enjoy the last lap in one’s career.

Source of the Job Offer

Google Analytics illustrate that the most common source of job positions placed on the labour market are recruited with recruitment agencies, possibly because such organisations guarantee a professional service in recruitment.

More importantly, recruitment agencies provide organisations with the peace of mind that candidates being considered would have been already screened and interviewed prior to even being considered by the organisation in question. Likewise, recruitment agencies provide potential candidates with the peace of mind that the organisation that is offering the role is a stable organisation, that can guarantee a stable job. As indicated in Figure 1, research on sources of vacancies also shows that Recruitment Agencies are the most popular source of roles identified, and this is because such agencies would only work with reputable organisations that offer secure employment conditions to potential candidates.

Further Questions on the Job Offer

Having considered the details of the job offer, it’s now time to go into the details and determine other relevant points to consider:  is the position on a definite or indefinite basis, what is the job title and job description, at what level is the position in the organisation, who will be the direct superior, will the position be working as a part of the team, and what are the initial expectations from the person filling this role? These and other questions need to be answered as they all affect the chemical reaction that will spark the decision as to whether to accept the job offer or not.

So when should you accept, and when shouldn’t you accept a job offer?

When should you accept:

  • You are happy with the financial package offered.

  • You are looking forward to the challenges that you have identified in your new job.

  • You do not have any questions still at the back of your mind as to “What if….?”

  • You don’t regret moving on from your current position.

  • The new organisation’s values fit in with what you are looking for.

When shouldn’t you accept:

  • Not all requested information is provided to you.

  • You still have a considerable doubt as to the security of the position.

  • Promises are made but nothing is put down on black and white.

  • There is an unclear future, role or responsibility attributed to the position being considered.

  • After all interviews conducted and job offer made, you still haven’t met with your direct superior.

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