Before you accept the job offer…

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Finally! You hear the magic words, “Congratulations, you’ve got the job” after going through weeks of job searches and interviews. But before saying yes and signing the contract, take time to assess everything carefully. Follow these steps before saying yes (or no) to the job:

Get the details of the offer

After delivering the good news, the employer usually provides an offer letter and/or a contract for you to evaluate. This document will contain your salary, benefits, vacation days and other terms of your employment. Ask for it if they didn’t give you this document. You can say something like “I’m so happy about this news and I can’t wait to know the details of the written offer”. It’s a polite reminder to the HR officer if they forgot to provide it. Having all the details clearly in writing will help you make a good decision.

Read and understand the offer thoroughly before you commit. You may also want to know about Employment Standards in Manitoba (or read What are employment standards?) so you’ll have a clear idea about what you’re entitled to as an employee.

Ask for time to think

It is perfectly acceptable to ask for some time to evaluate the offer. Most employers may give you two days to a week to decide. It is a red flag when they demand an answer the moment the job is offered, even before telling you the terms of your employment. It could be a scam. There might be conditions to your employment that are problematic. Either way, never be bullied into accepting even if you desperately need a job. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in conditions that you don’t want and didn’t expect.

Speak up

Employers will always ask if you have questions about the job offer. Take this opportunity to bring up any detail that is not clear to you. Check your workload, work hours and job expectations as well as the salary and benefits. Asking questions shows that you take the job seriously, so don’t be afraid to do it.

Know when to negotiate

Being a newcomer, you might feel that it is not your place to negotiate the terms of your employment. However, putting yourself down is not a good way to begin your career. Knowing your value makes you a stronger candidate and a respected employee. A good start is researching on your occupation/industry’s standard salary and benefits. Check your Job Profile. Negotiations can also include your starting date, vacation leaves, telecommuting arrangement and other benefits, especially if the employer expressed that they are flexible about these matters. Make a reasonable appeal and convey it respectfully.

Be prompt and gracious

Make a decision after going through these steps. Call the company at the agreed upon date and time to accept the offer graciously or respectfully decline. Starting your career in Canada the right way is the key to more success in the future.
 
Article updated September 16, 2020.

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Community Resources

If you need someone to talk to about a job offer, visit the career advisors at Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centres all over the province.

You can also ask for advice from the career counsellors of Manitoba Start or the specialists from Success Skills Centre.

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