July 4, 2016

How to Avoid Cold Feet with a Job Offer

by Chris Winterboer

It is natural to have a few lingering questions when considering a job offer from a new employer, especially if you have been with your current employer for a long period of time. So how can you ensure small doubts don’t turn into cold feet and getting stuck in place?

The first thing I always recommend to candidates is to look back at the beginning of the interview process. What were the reasons in the first place that you decided to look for another job? Are those still viable reasons or not? Most likely nothing has changed. Which means it is much more about the job offer itself or something about the idea of change that has you spooked, which is a very natural feeling. This confirms the idea that leaving is the right thing to do. You now simply have to determine if the offer you have in front of you also accomplishes your long term career goals.

Which is actually the second thing I recommend when considering an offer – does making this move help serve the greater goal of progressing in your career? If you are simply running away from a bad situation and not running toward a better one, then the offer may not be what you need it to be. Take some time to reflect if this really gets you to a better place. In some regards you should have already had some of these thoughts during the interview process, but now is when the rubber really hits the road with your decision.

Next, I ask candidates what attracted them to this new opportunity in the first place. Was it more money? Was it a better commute? Was it a bigger title? Whatever it was, if that is still in play, then the offer will really boil down to the small details, which you have likely vetted out by the time it gets to offer stage. If the basic tenets of the role are the same or better than when you first started interviewing, you likely have the answer you are seeking.

Lastly, I always tell candidates to go with your gut. Again, it is natural to have some questions about the future. Will this next move be your next ten-year stop? Will it all be smooth as silk in the transition period? Will I like my new colleagues and boss? Many of these questions cannot be answered until you actually start working for your new employer. So if you’ve done your research, enjoyed the interview process, and now stare down a good (or maybe great) offer, listen to what your gut says. It may sound too simple, but simple is good!


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