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The Laid Off IT Guy! Evaluating the Job Offer

In the progression from second round interview, where you know you are among the finalists for the position that you have applied to, the ultimate conclusion from the interviewing process is that the employer will select you for the position and offer you the position!  Don’t accept or reject an offer on the spot.  Always take some time overnight to consider everything that you are being offered.  There are things you want to carefully consider.  You’ll never have this much bargaining power again.

This is an exciting time, but don’t let your emotions get the best of you.  There is still a business decision to be made.  You will never get another time with this employer to negotiate your options any more than you do right now!  They want you.  They’ve asked you to come to work for them.  Make sure to get the offer in writing.  A verbal offer over the phone is a great way to find out from the recruiter or human resources professional that they want you to work for them, but there is nothing to negotiate until you have the terms of your employment in writing.  The written offer should contain your start date as well as starting salary.  It might also contain special options that are unique to each job and each employer.

Most certainly your eyes will be drawn first to the line containing your pay.  After all, that is why most of us are working, isn’t it? We want to earn a paycheck to support our families and live more comfortably.  Know that most employers will not offer you the top end of their pay range for this position in their first offer.  It is almost expected that you will counter their offer with a higher salary.  You should try to ask for more money.  They could say “no” and tell you that it is all that they have budgeted for this position, and that might certainly be the case, but if you don’t ask you certainly won’t get it.

How about vacation?  Vacation is one of the cheapest extra benefits that an employer could offer you. They aren’t paying you more money.  They just aren’t getting the productivity out of you for the days that you are gone.  On a per day basis, extra vacation isn’t costing your employer very much at all.  Go ahead and ask for another week.  Be prepared to provide a reason.  In my case, I’ve had 4 weeks of vacation for the past 10 years and if I was starting a new job now I would be entering the company as an experienced hire.  I can use that to my advantage instead of accepting the entry level 2 weeks, that most companies offer.  Hopefully, you can, too.

Other perks that I can think of include stock options, profit sharing bonuses, technology perk, such as company provided cell phone, company car or car allowance, training classes or education reimbursement.  Check out all of your options and ask questions.

Another thing to consider during the Job Offer phase is where you stand with other employers. Are you close to receiving an offer from another company, perhaps one that is better than the one with the offer?  You can use the Job Offer as leverage to go back to other companies you are talking with to see if they are ready to make you an offer, as well.  It’d sure be nice to have more than one offer to consider and then pick the one that works best for you.

These are all reasons why you don’t want to decide on the spot.  Make sure to ask all of your questions and receive satisfactory answers before accepting or, in some cases, declining the offer.  It has to be a good fit for you and your career; otherwise it isn’t going to work out long-term.

Your comments at the bottom of the page are always welcome.  You can also write to me at my email address below and I’ll get back to you.  Best of luck to you on your search!

Thank you!

The Laid Off IT Guy!