So you snagged a snazzy new job offer, way to go! After countless conversations with a recruiter, mastering rounds of interviews, thank you letters and cover letters, you did it!
As the words, “we’d like to formally offer you the position of….” hit your ears (or eyes), you wait for that feeling of overwhelming relief and joy. After all, this is what you’ve been working toward. But, the excitement never comes. Instead, anxiety, nerves and uncertainty set in.
You can’t help but wonder, did I make the right choice? Did I evaluate all of my options? What do I really know about this company, anyway? Any initial delight fades into a full-on panic attack as you begin believing you’ve made a hasty decision that can’t be reversed.
If this sounds like you, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. In fact, it’s completely natural to have second thoughts when beginning a new job.
Major life changes elicit the fear of the unknown. In the same way buyer’s remorse can hit after purchasing a new car or home, “acceptance remorse” is a common feeling when transitioning to a new company.
The good news is that you probably didn’t make anything remotely close to a bad decision. The reasons you had deep down for entertaining a new opportunity still hold true but are clouded by the realization that much of what you know, what you’re comfortable with, is about to change.
Accepting a new job offer is a huge decision, but before you rush to find an escape route, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to answer the following questions.
The stress of interviewing can make you forget why you started this process to begin with. Think back to that first conversation with your recruiter. What intrigued you about the prospect of a new opportunity? Were you looking for a chance to advance your career? A more flexible work environment? A salary that better aligns with your skillset?
Remember the frustrations you expressed during those first one-on-ones chats. Those challenges aren’t going away without making a change. As Mandy Hale put so well, “change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving and progressing.” Reflect on what you’d like to improve and the changes that will be necessary to make that happen.
Is it just a gut feeling or have there been real changes causing you to second-guess the role? Take a few minutes to whip together a list of concerns. Any reason at all that comes to mind when questioning the role. It could be as simple as, “I’m not sure I’m going to get enough time off,” to “I can’t tell if I’ll get along with my new manager” to “I’m nervous about learning a new product.”
Once you have the list, review it with your recruiter. There’s a lot to digest about a new company during the interview process. Your recruiter can help deep dive into what the first week will look like or connect you with future colleagues to learn and ask questions from the team you’ll be working with.
After getting past the unknown and addressing all concerns, chances are you’ll discover that enthusiasm you’ve been longing for.
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
- Stephen Covey
Maybe you were switching roles because you wanted a higher salary. Your current employer hears you’re leaving and decides to offer you a higher salary if you’ll stay. Why not take it? You get what you want without the stress of having to start over in a new company.
The statistics vary widely but the one most commonly circulated is that “80% of candidates who accept a counter-offer from their current employer end up leaving within 6 months.”
What we’ve witnessed here at Talent Solvers is that, while we believe there’s always a chance of things working out, more often than not, our experiences align with those statistics. This is because:
Employers who are only willing to promote employees when threatened with losing them often have other serious issues. The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future.
Knowing that you were entertaining another company while working for them has forever impacted your relationship. They’ll always wonder if you’re really going to that doctor’s appointment or feeling sick that day. Trust is incredibly difficult to repair.
What we see most often are employers who counter offer just to keep that employee long enough to find their replacement. They don’t want to run the risk of having a vacant position for months. So, they’ll pay you what it takes to keep you while they hunt to fill your role.
Ultimately, only you can decide what’s best. Do some soul-searching to understand what matters most to you and what you’re willing to risk to get there.
If you’ve made it through everything above and are still considering turning down a job offer, know that at the end of the day you have to do what’s right for you. It won’t be the most comfortable conversation with your recruiter – and you may burn a bridge or two with the new company in the process – but it’s far worse to accept an offer only to jump ship a few weeks into new hire training.
Either way, continue leaning on your recruiting partner as your guide. If this new role isn’t your dream job, there’s bound to be one in the future!