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Accepting job offers

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So they've offered you the job - well done! Now, do you take it?

In order to make that decision, you need to understand a bit about the offer they've sent you.

Firstly, the offer is likely to be subject to a few requirements. This could be satisfactory references, a health check, a criminal records or security check, or something more major like a relocation. If you have any doubts about your ability to meet these requirements, you need to get those sorted out or you may lose the offer.

Secondly, you don't need to rush into accepting an offer if you've got reservations about the job. It is far better to take the time to consider everything, ask any questions, and put your mind at ease before you accept.

Don't rush into accepting an offer if you've got reservations about the job.

While you are reading through your contract, pay special attention to the following areas:

  • Start date. This is often negotiable if you have some other things to sort out before you begin.
  • The package. If you do not feel that it is fair, say something. The worst they can say is no.
  • Hours. You should be clear on the hours you will be expected to work from the start. This will help you manage your expectations about the role, and help you decide if it is right for you. Make sure you keep an eye out for any 'opt out' clause which may have you opting out of the right to work less than 48 hours in the average week.
  • Be aware of anything offered to you upfront that you may have to repay in full should you leave before the agreed period of time. These enticements may seem great at first, but if the job is not what you want they may have you in a bind if you try to leave early.

If you have any questions, ask your employer for clarification. And if you are not sure if you are getting a fair deal, your local careers service or university careers service should be able to offer you advice. They have been doing this for many years and know what is reasonable and what is not.

GCHQ