There are few sweeter words than, “We’d love to bring you onboard.” Even if you haven’t been actively looking for a new gig, knowing another company wants you is a huge ego boost. Plus, even if you don’t plan to accept the job, a new offer can serve as a valuable tool to leverage a raise or promotion at your current job. But in order to maximize the opportunity, you’ve got to be just as strategic as you were while acing your interview.
Step one, says career coach Heather Monahan, is to get the offer in writing so you know exactly what you’ve got. Second, know that this is just the beginning of a series of conversations with the potential new job, your old boss, and yourself.
Terrified? You shouldn’t be. You’re in the best possible place. You have a company that wants to hire you and one that would love to keep you. So take your time. Remember: You have the written job offer, and they won’t take that away just because you need a few days to think it through. And if you’re not sure it’s the right move, know that you can absolutely tell your boss you got a new job offer without offering your resignation. Consider this: Companies spend an average of $1,000 and 30 hours to train someone in a job. If you’re a good worker, your current boss would love to keep you on board. You have the upper hand. So use it for getting what you want and what you need.
Ahead, we went to the career experts for the questions you have to ask yourself before you accept an offer.