Getting an offer is both thrilling and terrifying. Accepting a new job is a life changing choice so it is important to take your time and process before making a decision. Be sure to be grateful and excited, but not overly eager. It is rare that you need to accept an offer on the spot, just make sure you understand when you need to make a decision by. Once you have that information, congratulate yourself! You nailed the interviews, you made a great impression, and they want you! Hopefully the company discussed salary with you up front so there are no surprises with the formal offer, but that is not always the case.
It is important to know your numbers:
- How much were you making in your previous company and role?
- How much are you looking to make?
- What does research say you are worth?
Websites such as salary.com or glassdoor.com are great starting points to get a sense of the market. It is important to keep in mind the market varies depending on location and industry, so be as specific as possible in your research. Even with research and having a number in mind, negotiating salary is one of the hardest things to do, particularly for women. Salary negotiation is an art not a science. It takes continuous practice and fine tuning, there isn’t a magic formula. It is also important to be prepared to not get what you want. You need to decide for yourself whether you will take the job for a lower number than you have in mind or if that is a deal breaker. In this day and age it is also important to keep total compensation in mind. Are you bonus eligible? Is there a 401k match? How are the benefits? All of these items should be considered along with your base salary.
If the stars align and you accept the offer, it is important to take the time to prepare to start your new job. Give yourself some time off in between leaving your current role and starting your new one. Even if it’s a long weekend, anything helps. Clearly you left your previous role for a reason, take the time to de-stress so you start your new role fresh and in the right mindset- excited, positive, motivated, and ready to learn. Remember when I said the offer was thrilling and terrifying, well so is officially starting! It is okay to be vulnerable and nervous, but remember they hired you for a reason. Practicing your new routine and commute can help ease some of the anxiety. You can even lay out your outfits for the first week so you don’t have to think about that either. Be yourself and focus on the first impressions you are making, starting a new job gives you the invaluable opportunity for a fresh start. Be confident, be yourself, and enjoy the journey.