Last Updated: Jan 17, 2013
I’ve written a lot about networking, internships, and many other aspects of the job search. But what about when you’ve been offered a job that you really want to take? How do you accept? And what comes next?
Accept graciously and professionally
Depending on the way you receive your job offer (by phone, e-mail, or in person), it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and react without really thinking. If you receive the offer via e-mail, it’s a good idea to type out a draft and have someone look it over before hitting send. You want to make sure that you express your happiness to have been offered the job while also maintaining a level of professionalism. The same goes if you receive the offer by phone or in person. Smile, say yes, and express your enthusiasm about the company and the position, but save the screaming and cheering until you hang up or leave the office.
If the information isn’t already presented to you, you’ll want to make sure to confirm some details before your first day. For instance, what time are you expected at work the first day? Oftentimes you’ll be asked to come in a little bit later the first day since your supervisor will want to get some work accomplished in the morning before showing you around. And don’t be afraid to confirm details over your compensation too—you want to make sure you fully understand your salary, benefits, contracts, paid time off, and any other parts of your pay that may be confusing.
If you aren’t clear on the dress code, make sure to ask. However, even if your new workplace has a casual work environment, it never hurts to dress up a bit the first day. It shows professionalism and respect, and it’s better to overdress than under dress.
Ask what to bring with you. Do you need certain identification to fill out paperwork? Will you be given the supplies you need at the office? Will you need to bring your laptop while they set up your computer? Regardless, if you’re headed to work in an office, it’s a good idea to bring the basics, like a pad of paper and a pen. That way, you’re covered no matter what.
Preparing for the job itself is one thing, but be sure to scope out your commute too. Yes, that subway ride or drive might typically take 30 minutes, but when you add in rush-hour traffic, expect it to be longer. Don’t be afraid to do a test run if it’s possible, or at the very least, make sure you leave plenty early on your first day. You can even use that first commute to time it, and plan what time you’ll leave from here on out.
Do some (more) research on the company. Sure, at the interview you were probably asked on a basic level what you know or like about the company, but you don’t want to be caught in a situation where you’re expected to know something about the organization, and you don’t. Also, look further into your role and what you will be expected to do at the company. Knowing to a certain extent what you can expect the first day will help calm your nerves. And never be afraid to ask questions to your supervisor before you begin!
Congratulations on your success and best of luck!