Etiquette When You Receive Another Job Offer

Express your appreciation for professional opportunities.
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Getting offered a better job can be an exciting prospect. Maintain your professionalism in how you handle yourself post-offer with the potential employer, your current employer and your coworkers. Your conduct during this period says a lot about your business sense and, overall, will help you maintain good relationships with colleagues.

Getting It in Writing

    If you’re considering a new job offer, get the proposal in writing to ensure that the position is yours if you want it. This will help you avoid the professional nightmare of giving your notice to your current employer only to find out that the new job offer has fallen through, leaving you with no occupation. Thank the potential employer for the consideration and ask for time -- not more than a week or two -- to consider the offer before giving a final decision.

Meeting With Your Current Boss

    Set up a private meeting and let your boss know that you've been extended a job offer. You can professionally announce your resignation on the spot, or use the job offer as a way to try and negotiate a better deal from your current employer. Keep in mind a magic number or promotion opportunity that would make you turn down the other offer and stay.

Accepting the Job

    So, you've decided to take the new job. Let the new employer know you’re happy to accept the offer, and that you'll need to give at least two weeks’ notice to your current boss in order to finish projects and make the transition easier on the staff. As soon as possible and in person, give your old employer written notice of your intent to leave. Thank your boss for the opportunity and devise an exit strategy that allows you to wrap up or transfer projects professionally.

Talking to Colleagues

    Be professional in how you discuss your new job transition with your coworkers. Don’t brag about how much better the new job is or talk poorly about your former boss. Keep the details about the terms of the offer to yourself and focus on finalizing your responsibilities in a smooth and professional manner. Exchange contact information with colleagues so you can maintain business and personal connections.

Declining the Offer

    If you decide to decline the new offer, do so quickly and politely. Thank the other employer for making the consideration. Decline the offer via phone and follow up with a written thank-you letter that expresses your appreciation for the offer. This professional move will keep the door open should you decide to pursue other employment opportunities with the company in the future.

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