Congratulations on receiving your job offer!

You can feel proud of how you prepared to succeed — from presenting yourself on your resume, to conducting yourself in multiple interview rounds, and impressing on the employer that you are the person they need.

Receiving the offer is a culmination of the hiring process. Whether or not you accept the job, it is important to conduct yourself in a manner that you will feel proud and satisfied about., Here are a few suggestions that may help you feel so. 

here are four steps on how to negotiate and accept a job offer.


Close up - Smiling woman holding a mug while talking to someone.
Close up - Smiling woman holding a mug while talking to someone.

express thanks and interest, and ask for time.

At the outset, acknowledge the offer with enthusiasm and thanks — and request for time to go through the details of their offer. It will be better to do this in writing. Find out their timeline for your decision, and if you genuinely feel you need a little more time, make the request, and agree to the time you will get back to them.

assess the offer with clarity and unbiasedly.

First, go through the offer and its details without a reference point. List down all aspects of the offer in a column. Now in the second column, list your expectation of the element (be honest and realistic

when doing so, without underplaying or overplaying). How does the various elements of the offer align to your expectations? What are the parts of the offer that delight you, that you can accept — and that certainly needs negotiating? Are there any deal breakers in the offer letter? If needed, take the help of a mentor who understands your requirements and the market, and whose experience can be a positive guide.

Beyond the monetary aspects of the offer, are there any conditions listed? Such as, background verification checks? It would be good to clarify what exactly you have to do for the offer to crystallize.

prepare a clear counteroffer.

You have two scenarios here. One, you are sure that this isn’t the offer you would like to take — in which case, you can politely reject the offer. And two, there are only some points that you want to

negotiate on.

Both scenarios call for prepared action. In the first instance, the employer could come back to you to negotiate. In the second, you will initiate the negotiations. Either way, have clear counter-offers – with

what is ideal, and also with what you are willing to settle for. This way, you will be seen as someone who is as cooperative as you are decisive.

negotiate professionally.

Different elements of the offer need to be negotiated differently. For the salary component, do a thorough research of the

  • market salaries for the job you have applied for,
  • the combination of salaries and benefits that are prevalent in the industry, and that work best for you, and
  • the benefits that can be asked for.

From a cultural aspect, if your offer letter does not say much about the performance management and flexibility aspect, ask for clarifications during your negotiations — again, with a strong awareness of the trends in the market and what is acceptable and non-acceptable for you. Both in agreement and disagreement, demonstrate professional courtesy and decisiveness.

Having a recruitment consultant can be tremendously advantageous during the negotiation process. It can be both challenging and awkward for an individual to negotiate with a future employer, and a competent consultant can be a huge help.

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convey the final decision in a win-all manner.

If you are happy with the job offer as it was given to you, or after negotiations, congratulations! Even as you accept the offer over the phone with warm thanks, make sure to officially send in your formal

acceptance in writing. This letter gives you the opportunity to confirm the offer details and the date of joining.

It is quite possible that despite best intentions from both sides, you feel that this is not the offer you would like to accept. Send a polite letter declining the offer (without detailing why) while expressing your appreciation for the offer. This will create a positive feeling on both sides, ad help if your paths will cross in the future.

Accepting a job offer is a wonderful final step to taking a next step in your career. You learn to distinguish between what is really important and what you can let go. So here is a toast to the next step in your professional journey!


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