This post is courtesy of Pat Meehan.
“There is no part of your life that should be missing the aspects of accountability, self-awareness, and self-improvement, including your response to a job offer.”
You have come such a long way in the process of building your “Career of a Lifetime.”
1. You have chosen accountability for your career and as a way of life in general.
2. You have identified your basic skills and specific skills that you have developed in your career history.
3. You have put together a skill-based, accomplishment-based resume.
4. You have worked hard on becoming self-aware, and have identified areas where you have opportunities improve yourself, and you have put into action some very specific self-improvement activities.
5. You have realized where you are in your career, you know where you want to go from here, and you have marketed yourself towards that goal.
6. You have gone through the job interviewing process, followed-up with the appropriate people with whom you interviewed, decided that some of the job’s were not to your betterment, and discovered great opportunity in a select few.
Now, your time has come. You are getting a formal invitation to join a company as a long term, or even lifetime member of that company’s team. Through the process of going through the six steps above, and becoming a creature of accountability, self-awareness, and self-improvement, a company to which you considered as an employer of choice, has considered you as the employee of choice. You now receive a phone call from the hiring manager, and you are told that they have decided they want you on board, and they are ready to make you a job offer. This can be one of the scariest calls of all. The reason it may be scary is because you haven’t taken your new way of life of accountability and self-awareness, and prepared yourself to handle this call. That is why you are reading this chapter.
Like everything else you have done so far, the process of listening to a job offer and responding to it is another step in relationship building just as much as it is a self-improvement step. More good deals have been totally blown because the candidate became paralyzed with tension and fear when the good news of a job offer came. Being prepared for this call is just as vitally important as being prepared for the interviewing questions that you handled so well. There is no part of your life that should be missing the aspects of accountability, self-awareness, and self-improvement, including your response to a job offer.
Receiving and Analyzing the Offer
Now that you have gone through a life changing commitment of being accountable to yourself, it’s time to take that accountability into the job offer stage of your career. It is time to become self-aware as to how to address the job offer when it finally presents itself. This offer comes to you as a result of the relationship building you developed in the interviewing process. You showed enthusiasm, and you discussed your skills and abilities in a self-assured way. You complimented the company and the interviewer by communicating your true feelings about the qualities that made that company your employer of choice. You asked for the next step, and now you’ve got your answer in the form of a job offer. How are you going to respond to this person who is enthusiastically extending you a job offer? Let’s go through it step by step.
Step One – Be excited and very friendly: Every time your phone rings during this part of your life it could be your prospective new boss calling to offer you the job as a result of your excellent interview. When you answer the phone, greet this person with extreme friendliness. Prepare yourself to be immediately friendly in answering this phone call. For example, “Well hello Tom, it’s great to hear from you!”
Step Two – Be thankful and excited about the offer: You are told that good news has arrived and the company wants to present an offer to you. You could say, “That is great news to hear.” The person will make a verbal offer, telling you the starting salary and a few other details, and may say, “How does that sound to you?” You want time to evaluate this offer. By being proactive, you are have already prepared yourself to know what to say next. You might say something like, “Tom, I am very happy that you have called me to make this offer. Working with you and your company is really a great opportunity, and I am very excited about it. I know there are a lot of details in the entire offer. Would you mind mailing, or emailing the offer to me? I will read the details and discuss them with my wife to see if we have any questions. I will reply back to you by Wednesday morning.” Your promise to reply back to Tom shouldn’t be more than one business day after receiving the written offer. Pause, and wait for Tom.
Tom replies, “Absolutely, we always send out the written offer for your total understanding of it, and there is a place for you to sign to accept the offer and to give us a start date. I will email the offer to you this morning, and why don’t you come by tomorrow afternoon at 4:15, after you get off work. We’ll address any questions you have then, and identify a start date.” Tom is doing a good job of closing the deal in a timely manner. You respond, “Thanks Tom. That works fine for me. I will check my emails for the offer, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.”
Step Three – Analyzing the offer: You have done very well so far. You greeted Tom with a friendly and enthusiastic sound in your voice. Secondly, you stated you were excited about getting the offer, as well as, the opportunity to work with Tom and his company. Now it’s time to review the offer and break it down into pieces.
The first thing to be totally aware of is that Tom wants you to accept the offer. At this stage, there are no doubts in his mind that you are best the candidate for the job. Your value to Tom is now at its highest level. A rejection on your part would be very disappointing for Tom.
The next step is to analyze the offer itself. A written job offer is broken down into a number of elements that are part of the total package. The written offer should include the following elements:
* The job title, “Production Group Manager.”
* The base salary for the job and how the salary is paid, (e.g., weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly or monthly). It will usually state the amount you will be paid per pay period, and the total sum annually.
* Incentive Bonus: If there is a bonus plan, separate from the base salary, your offer may state, “The employee is eligible for the company’s incentive bonus plan, which is based on the company’s achievement of its budgeted profit goals. For the pay grade of this position, the employee’s maximum bonus potential would be 10% of the base salary. The bonus is paid in March, following the previous calendar year. If the employee works only a portion of the calendar year, the bonus will be pro-rated accordingly.”
* The benefits will be stated (e.g., group medical, dental, group life, disability, flexible spending, 401K, pension, profit sharing, etc.).
* Paid Holidays will normally be stated (e.g., New Years Day, President’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day). Different companies may vary on holidays however, this example is very typical.
* Vacation Days: (e.g., Two weeks after the completion of a full or partial calendar year, three weeks after five years, four weeks after 10 years, and five weeks after 15 years).
* Relocation Package: If relocation is an element in this career move, the relocation package will include specific items, (e.g., a three day house hunting trip for the employee and spouse including transportation, lodging, and meals. Temporary living expense for the employee for two months including a company furnished apartment, meals, three paid trips home on weekends, costs of moving contents from original location to the new location, and one month salary for other general incidentals, etc.).
Now, you have received and thoroughly reviewed the offer. You have formulated your thoughts in relation to the offer and what you learned about the company during your interview. You are now ready to make an informed decision because you are totally self-aware.
For more career search self-help information take a look at Pat’s book, “Career of a Lifetime.”