Published: April 9, 2024
two people in a meeting

Receiving an offer for a job can feel exciting and rewarding, especially in a competitive job market. While it can feel tempting to take the first offer you receive, you can benefit by taking the time to consider whether the position is right for your future. Here are things to consider and steps to take when deciding whether to accept a job offer. 

Evaluate the offer 

Carefully review the job offer details, including salary, benefits, job responsibilities, location and other pertinent factors. Ensure that the offer aligns with your career goals, financial needs and work-life balance priorities. 

Consider the company culture 

Reflect on the company's culture and values to determine if they align with yours. A positive and supportive work environment can significantly impact job satisfaction and long-term success within the organization. 

Ask clarifying questions 

Don't hesitate to ask questions if there are any unclear aspects of the job offer. This could include inquiries about advancement opportunities, training and development programs, team dynamics or other relevant concerns. Clearing up any uncertainties can help you make a more informed decision. 

Negotiate if needed 

If you feel that certain aspects of the offer, such as salary or benefits, are not in line with your expectations or market standards, consider negotiating with the employer. Do your research and be prepared to articulate your reasons for requesting changes and offer constructive solutions. Keep the negotiation process professional and respectful to maintain a positive relationship with the employer. 

Express gratitude and confirm acceptance 

Once you've decided, promptly communicate your acceptance of the job offer to the employer. Express gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your enthusiasm for joining the team. Confirm any agreed-upon terms and next steps to ensure a smooth transition into your new role. 

What to do if you change your mind 

It is vital to take the time to make a committed decision when accepting a job offer. Changing your mind and walking away after accepting a position reflects negatively on you and the university. However, if you have personal circumstances requiring you to renege on a job acceptance, communicate with the recruiter or hiring manager as early as possible. Share that while you are very appreciative of the offer and had every intention to start the position, unfortunately, due to a personal circumstance, you can no longer work in that position. 

We recommend communicating in the format most frequently used by the recruiter or hiring manager. For example, you can email them to renege on the offer if they communicate primarily through email. However, if they called to schedule the interview and make the offer, we recommend calling them. 

You may also receive a new offer for a different job that you previously applied to before you committed to the first organization. If the latest offer is for a more desirable job that aligns better with your career goals, you must decide how to move forward. 

While it is better to maintain your original commitment, you can renege on the initial offer and accept the new position. We recommend you extend your appreciation to the original employer for the opportunity and acknowledge that you understand this creates a challenge for them. Explain that you received an offer for a different position that better aligns with your goals. Given the difficult nature of these situations and conversations, please reach out to Career Services if you’d like to talk through your next steps around changing your mind.   

Find support for your transition 

Career Services provides resources to help support you during your job search and transition. You can participate in workshops, talk with a career advisor and take a free professional photo. You can also connect to the Forever Buffs Network to find support from CU Boulder alumni.  

By taking the time to consider the job offer and using your resources, you can confidently accept a job offer that aligns with your career aspirations and personal values.