Accepting an Offer
Once you have a firm offer of employment, take a moment to celebrate! Then, finish out the search cycle.
Who To Notify
Call other employers where you’ve had preliminary interviews, and explain the you have a firm offer from another company with a deadline for your response. Ask about your status with them. If you are not their first-choice candidate, they will likely tell you. if they are able, they may make an offer before your decision deadline. If you have the luxury of choosing between offers, use the Pros and Cons exercise to decide which one to accept, and then negotiate the best terms you can get.
After you’ve decided what you are going to do, telephone your chosen employer to accept the job offer, and then follow up in writing. If you have other interviews pending, promptly call the other employers to inform them that you have accepted a position elsewhere and terminate plans for any remaining interviews.
Inform your network of your new position, and thank them for their help. For those people who went above and beyond to help, you might want to mail them a thank you card along with a small token of your appreciation. Remember, you may need their help again in a few years, when you are ready to move on.
Accepting the Offer / Giving Notice to your Current Employer
You may accept an offer verbally, on the condition that you receive it in writing within a very short period. Make sure the letter details salary, starting date, benefits, and any other details you have negotiated. If you are currently employed, make it clear you want to give your employer sufficient notice before starting the new job. If you receive a counter offer from your current employer, resist— for these reasons:
- The factors that prompted you to look for another position in the first place have probably not changed.
- If you accept the counter offer, your current employer now has reason to doubt your loyalty, and probably just wants to keep you around until they can replace you.
- The prospective employer may conclude you were trying to gain leverage with your current employer and were never a serious candidate, which could damage any future opportunities with them, or with their colleagues.
If you are currently a student or post-doc, review your remaining obligations with your advisor and negotiate a date for completion. Consult with your new employer about your expected starting date, and keep him or her informed of your progress. Complete and file your thesis or dissertation before leaving for the new position, if at all possible.
Once you have all the details of your new position settled, finish out all your responsibilities at your old job, turn over all company property and data, and prepare for your next adventure!