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THE INC. LIFE

Before Accepting a Job Offer, Do This One Important Thing First

After receiving a job offer, it’s time to switch from “sell” mode to “buy” mode, and do this important thing. It will guarantee positive employment.

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BY Yoram Solomon - 01 Jun 2017

WE WANT YOU! message on the card

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

During the entire process, until you receive a job offer, you are in "sell" mode. You sell yourself to your potential future employer. You may be interviewed by a multitude of people, including your future direct supervisor, your future peers, and sometimes your future employees. In some of the jobs I was hired for, I was interviewed by other people in the organization as well, and even by the board of directors.

In most interviews, the interviewers forget to ask you if you have any questions for them. Even when they do ask, you are so overwhelmed and so focused on answering all of their questions, proving your value to the company and securing a job offer, that you can't think of any question. You can't switch out of "sell" mode.

And that's OK. You should really focus on selling yourself and securing the job offer at that time.

Some will tell you that an interview goes better if you actually have questions for the interviewer. They say that if you don't ask any questions, you may come across as desperate. I'll buy that. Maybe you should have a few questions prepared in advance. Because during the interview, it will be hard for you to switch from "sell" to "buy."

Sometimes, the interviewer will spend some time "selling" the job (and the company, and the manager) to you. Maybe even most of the time.

However, once you received the job offer, there is something you should do before you accept it. In fact, you should start working on that long before you even received the offer.

Legally (and this is by no mean legal advice), a contract requires an offer and an acceptance. Once the offer was made, the contract is waiting only for acceptance. Rescinding the offer is not impossible, but highly improbable. So once you have the offer in your hand, the ball is in your court.

Don't accept immediately.

Schedule a meeting with your direct supervisor (and possibly others that you will have to interact with in your offered position and who may influence your career at the company). In that meeting, lay out your game plan. You can do that as a "30-60-90 day plan," or in any other format. Tell your future boss what you plan on doing, and see how he (or she) responds to it. Is that what they were looking for?

Setting the expectations is critical for your success in your new job. If your boss doesn't like your plan, it's better to know this now. You may be leaving a good job for something that will blow up in your face. Even if you are unemployed right now, you may be missing on other, better opportunities because you took a job that you will not be happy in.

The pressure of "selling" yourself is gone now. You already have an offer. All you have to do is accept it. Now you can switch to "buying." Make sure that this is a company (and a boss) you will enjoy working for.

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