How To Ask For More Time To Consider A Job Offer

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Dec. 29 2023, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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Given the competitiveness of the current job market, it’s reasonable for a job seeker to take the time to evaluate a potential role before deciding to accept an offer. To ensure success, we’ve compiled a list of four key steps on how to ask for time to consider a job offer — from inquiring about a deadline to questions about the compensation package.

Lead With An Attitude Of Gratitude

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Begin by expressing gratitude and enthusiasm to the prospective employer for extending the job offer via email or phone. This is a big deal. An offer of employment communicates: “We see your value.” While you may be eager to give an immediate response, pause. Adopt the age-old adage, “sleep on it,” to provide ample time to review the offer in full. 

What to say: “Thank you for the job offer. I appreciate it. I’m excited to explore the role of [role name] at [company name]. Could you give me 48 hours to review the details?”

What not to say: “Cool. I’ll get back to you.”

Inquire About A Deadline

Given that job offers typically come with an expiration date, it’s crucial to clarify the timeframe you have to respond. In particular, this is pertinent in executive roles where compensation packages or equity may be part of the discussion. Independent contractors may also need extra time to review paperwork with legal counsel.

What to say: “Again, thank you for the job offer. Can you please inform me of the deadline to respond to the offer? I want to ensure that I have ample time to review the offer before deciding. 

What not to say: “I’m not sure I need too much time to review the offer. What’s the deadline, again?”

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Ask For Additional Time

According to Monster, employers understand that accepting a job offer is life-changing and requires thoughtful consideration. On the contrary, applying pressure to secure a position can raise red flags and “doesn’t give the best impression.” That said, trust your instincts. If you received a deadline but feel you need more time, communicate this to the employer with logical reasoning. Often, expressing your need for additional time can work in your favor.

What to say: “Thank you for this wonderful opportunity! I am eager to contribute to the growth of your company. May I request a few days to consider the offer?”

What not to say: “Cool. May I have a day or two to think it over?”

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Review The Written Offer In Full

Once you’ve obtained a written offer of employment, you must take the time to review it in full. Then, seek clarity on various aspects, including the proposed work schedule, work mode (remote, hybrid, on-site), benefits, paid time off (PTO), and other pertinent details. If any aspects remain unclear, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. For example, you may have a planned getaway around the corner and need to confirm your start date and time.

What to ask: “Is the salary provided base pay? Does this role offer bonuses or commissions?

What not to ask: “I thought the job would pay more. Is there any wiggle room?”

That said, should the offer not align with your expectations — based on your experience, skill set, and market value — don’t hesitate to voice concerns and have a tough conversation. Experts at CNBC Make It recommend a respectful but stern counter. 

Example of negotiating salary:

“First of all, thank you so much for extending an offer and taking the time to consider me. I admire what your company is doing, and I believe I’m a great fit for this position.

Therefore, this call is difficult because $X is not within my desired salary range of $X to $X. I understand that you might be working with a tight budget. But I know that I can go above and beyond in this role because [X, Y, Z].

I don’t want to waste your time. If you can work with me to get within my range, I’d love to continue this conversation. But, given my extensive experience and my market value being much higher than $X, I can’t accept this offer as is.”

Overall, asking the right questions ensures you know what your new gig entails and whether you can see yourself going the long haul with the employer. Although it may be nerve-racking to ask for time to consider an offer, these steps will help you navigate the task with ease.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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By: Truth Hawkins

Truth Hawkins, a seasoned wordsmith with over a decade of experience spanning entertainment, culture, and lifestyle news, navigates the dynamic landscapes of pop culture, lifestyle, and music. More than a reporter, Truth is a dedicated storyteller, unearthing narratives that deeply resonate with readers and invites them to engage in meaningful conversations.

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