How Long Can I Wait to Accept A Job Offer?

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Woman preparing to sign a job offer letter.

Right after you receive a job offer, you’re likely experiencing many emotions. Excitement, caution, nervousness, happiness, and many more. You may be tempted to accept the job offer right away. However, you should make sure it’s not just a reactionary response. It’s wise to wait until you have time to seriously process the offer. This allows you to examine financials and decide if it’s truly what you want. You’re probably wondering just how long you have to evaluate that opportunity. In today’s blog we’ll explain what is considered an acceptable amount of time to evaluate a job offer.

Why Most Job Offers Are ‘Urgent’

Before we explain the generally accepted timeline for job offers, it’s important to understand why there is a sense of urgency. Most companies expect a quick turnaround, but not without good reason. Realize that every day that position stays open, is a day that company is without the skills and value that person offers to the team. If they are an important piece of the overall company, their absence could be inhibiting profits. The sooner they are able to fill that position, the sooner they can integrate the new hire and reap the benefits.

Delaying accepting the job offer can be bad for both sides. Most companies are fearful of candidates asking for a lot of extra time to consider an offer. This usually indicates that they are shopping offers, and may accept another position. From the candidate side, if you delay too long, they may hire someone else outright who is less hesitant. For these reasons, it’s understandable that both parties would want to come to a speedy resolution.

How Long You Can Wait

The reasons mentioned above are why some companies will give you 24 hours to evaluate the offer. Typically companies that expect a quick response have been burned before, and hope to prevent it from happening again. However, the norm is typically 1-3 days. If an offer is extended to you on Monday or Tuesday, you should respond by the end of the week. For an offer made on Thursday or Friday, you should let them know by Monday. At the end of the day, companies want someone who is sincere in their desire to work for them. Accepting sooner rather than later will convey that message.

Lastly, if you’re wondering how to utilize that time, we do have some suggestions. Consider factors like the commute, the salary, and the job fit. Is it a positive along your career path? You could also put together a budget based on your new salary taking into account the commute, cost of living, etc. Whatever you need to do to thoroughly evaluate the offer. If you do have any questions, make sure you ask them early on so you can have enough time to get answers and factor them into your decision. Just make sure you initially acknowledge the offer with excitement, and then consider it before accepting. Ignoring it outright could motivate them to rescind it and extend it to someone else. Accepting a job offer is a huge decision, so we hope this information helps you make the right choice!

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