Evaluating and Negotiating Offers

Congratulations on receiving an offer! You are probably feeling both excited and relieved. After the initial euphoria wears off, you may find yourself wondering whether this is the right job for you. How do you decide what's most important to you in your work?

Note: You should ask for your offer in writing (not over e-mail), and you should be given a sufficient amount of time to decide (At Thayer, we say three weeks).  

The following exercises will help you identify your personal, professional and practical needs. 

Step One: What Is Most Important To You?

The first stage in evaluating a job offer is to explore and identify what work and life values are most important to you. Fill out our "Priorities Form" to help find what's important to you.

Step Two: Compare Offers

The following worksheet incorporates the exercise just completed and a comprehensive knowledge of the specific job offer. Comparing Offers

Should You Try Negotiating?

The decision about whether to try to negotiate terms of an employment offer may seem somewhat tricky, but with some advance research, you will be able to make an informed decision about entering into a negotiation.

First, identify the primary issue that you want to negotiate, using the results of the exercise you have just completed. You may need to negotiate for more time to make a decision. Other issues that you may wish to negotiate include salary, sign-on bonuses, and start dates. Think carefully about what terms and alternatives are acceptable to you. For example, if your request for a higher starting salary is denied, you might negotiate for a performance and salary review earlier than they are typically conducted.

Before beginning a job offer negotiation, it is important to do some research on your value to the organization and to gain a basic understanding of effective negotiation techniques. Thayer Career Services is available to assist you.

What it Means When You Accept an Offer

Never accept one offer and then later renege if a more attractive one materializes. To do this is unethical, and reflects poorly on you and Thayer School. It may sound old-fashioned, but "your word is as good as a written contract." If you verbally tell one employer that you accept a position, then change your mind and accept another...you could potentially be the target of legal action for not honoring your word. While this rarely happens in today's challenging market, it is an important consideration in the job search.

If you have any questions about multiple offers, please ask Thayer Career Services for assistance.