What To Do When You Get An Offer: Your Call Back – and it has little to do with money

As we introduced last week, all your hard work and perseverance has paid off and you have an offer in hand! You followed our advice and didn’t accept their offer, but graciously thanked the hiring manager / recruiter for the offer and told them you’d get back to them shortly. So, now the clock is ticking – – what do you do?  

Proverbs 4:26 says, “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” No better time to do that than when you have received an offer to go to work.  Assuming a 40 hour work week, with getting 8 hours of sleep a night, you’re making a decision that affects 36% of your waking hours. It’s a significant decision! And that’s just the time aspect. Ideally, you’re wanting to make a sound decision that increases the odds of your being fulfilled in this new place of employment.    

Review Your Assessments

The first thing to do is thoughtfully assess the offer by asking yourself this question: “If I had to answer yes or no right now, based on what I know right now, what would my answer be and why?” Jot down some notes about your answer and thoughts. It’s amazing how accurate our first assessments can be, but it’s also amazing how many assumptions our minds can make while arriving at that assessment. Our brains are actually wired to make quick decisions (think fight or flight), and we can use the way God made us to help us arrive at good decisions. Go back to your initial answer and thoughts and also jot down what questions may have started to surface. You’ll want to come back to these as you prepare a list of questions for your upcoming conversation with the hiring manager.

Seek Wise Counsel

Next, you’ll want to get some wise counsel. Proverbs 4:13 states, “Hold on to instruction, and do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”  First, you’ll want to discuss the offer with your spouse and gain insights from that conversation. Second, talk with someone you trust and who cares for you, but who is also able to offer you some objective advice about the offer and your situation. Last, Crossroads Career is here to assist with a conversation with one of our seasoned Crossroads Guides. Since they don’t know you, they may be able to raise questions or trigger insights you may not have gotten yet. What is very important through these conversations is to continually capture your thoughts, opinions, questions, and assumptions. All of these will be important to the follow up conversation with the hiring manager.

Once again, you should ask yourself the question, “If I had to answer yes or no right now, based on what I know right now, what would my answer be and why?” After you answer this question, go back to the first time you answered it and compare. Ask yourself this additional question:  “Am I saying yes to this offer because I’m genuinely excited about the organization and the role, or because I’m tired of being unemployed?” Or if you had said “no”, ask:  “Am I saying no to this offer for some logical reasons, or is it just a gut feel at this point?” Whatever you come up with as answers are just fine – – what’s important is that you’re thinking through the options.

Time To Make The Call

Now, assuming you think you’re still interested in the offer, you’ve arrived at the point to call the hiring manager and ask him / her for the opportunity to have further discussion around some questions you have on your mind. You probably already have some questions developed from the process thus far, and next week, I’ll line out some additional questions to help you develop your “top 10” questions for further consideration. What’s important at this point is for you to have responded to the organization / hiring manager within the time frame you had committed to, so they know you’re seriously considering their offer.  

Usually, this type of request to ask for more discussion is viewed a little apprehensively. Most hiring managers / organizations wish the initial offer would just be accepted as is, so the idea of further conversation with the offeree points to more risk that something may go wrong with their first choice. And that makes them a bit nervous. In fact, he / she may ask you what it is you’d like to discuss. The right answer here is not “money.”  🙂  The right answer has to do with learning more about the organization, the role, and the team involved. That usually settles the nervousness down quickly and the logistics of getting the meeting / call setup is then in process.

Get Your Questions Answered

Last week I referred to what will be the objective of this meeting. With most recruiting / hiring processes, there is no way for you to get to know everything you should get to know about the organization, role, and team.  Additionally, when you are asking questions with an offer in hand, you hold leverage you may not hold again for quite some time. So NOW IS THE TIME to confidently (yet politely) get your questions answered. And while you’ll inevitably be asking some questions involving money, they are clarification questions and not the primary questions you need to ask.

Ultimately you’re trying to ascertain the simple question of “yes or no” to this offer. Yet the simple question is laced with more complex implications (see start of this blog). 🙂  By thoughtfully putting yourself through the paces of what you would initially do with the offer, then getting additional counsel and beginning to accumulate thoughtful questions about the organization, role, and team, you’ll be setting yourself in good stead to arrive at a much better decision than if you didn’t take the time to go through this “Offer Receipt Due Process.”  Your investment of time, along with what also becomes their investment of time with you, should only enhance their view of you as the offeree.

Next week, we’ll get into the questions you’ll want to ensure you ask at this meeting, all with an objective of shifting their “liking” you to “loving” you!   Blessings!

Dave Sparkman currently serves as the volunteer Crossroads Career board chair and local ministry leader. He is also the founder and managing director of Spark Your Culture, a corporate culture consulting firm. Prior to that he worked at UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune #5 public company, serving in the role of Chief Culture Officer. His unemployment experience came from the implosion of Arthur Andersen, where he served as the West Region Managing Partner, People. 

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