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Job offer etiquette

March 28, 2022
Job offer etiquette

So, you’ve just received a job offer for a new opportunity, and you’re filled with excitement, a (little) bit anxious, but overall ready to move on to pastures new. Job offer etiquette is rarely spoken about in a formal sense, so we wanted to run through what best practice looks like and how you can manage the offer process to ensure a smooth transition to your new employer.


Step 1 | Communication


Focus on communicating clearly with your employer and your recruiter (if you choose to use one) the moment you get your job offer. Whether this is asking for some additional time to review it in writing, or it’s updating them on your leaving date and working your notice, focus on being as honest and upfront as possible. 


It’s understandable that in some situations, you may feel awkward or unsure how to broach a difficult conversation with your current employer, but our advice would be to write down what you want to say first, and schedule an official meeting so you have time to think through everything!


Step 2 | Get everything in writing


From agreeing on your start dates, to sending your written notice, ensure that you communicate everything verbally in writing. Equally, ask your current and future employer to summarise all communication in writing, too. This allows for a “paper trail” and no confusion to be made around conversations that have happened verbally.


Step 3 | Manage a counter-offer


Counter-offers are incredibly common, and involve your current employer giving you a better (or matching) the new job offer that you have on the table. 


If you are working with a recruiter, they should coach you through how to have the conversation, as well as decline the counteroffer in a polite way. However, if you aren’t working with a recruiter, you’ll have to have the conversation alone – which can be tough! However, you have to think of the following things when rejecting a counter offer…


  1. Why did it take for you to leave to be recognised for your hard work?
  2. Why else are you leaving the business? If it’s just for money, you may be more inclined to take the counteroffer. But, if it’s for multiple factors, then remind yourself of this instead of being blinded by the financial gain.
  3. Do you see yourself staying for at least another year or two? If the answer is no, then don’t take the counteroffer. Your happiness is the most important!


But, what happens if I get cold feet? 


Again, this is incredibly normal and much easier to overcome than you may think. Particularly if you’ve been with your current company for a number of years, there can be comfort in the familiarity and the fear of the unknown can creep in! But, remember step #1 – communication is key. Your recruiter, current employer, and future employer will all resonate with how you feel, you just have to talk about it!

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