A recent study at UBC demonstrated the importance of a job contract’s starting salary. The cumulative effects of the offer through the course of a career are huge. (I’ll try to find this study and link it, if I do.)
So what do you do if you get a job offer?
Karen Kelsky (former professor and dept. head and now an academic coach) blogs at The Professor Is In and has some great advice. Here’s a snippet:
Do not, under any circumstances, accept the offer the same day they make it. When they call or email, answer pleasantly and politely, ‘Oh thank you. That is good news. I’m so pleased.’ And then say, ‘I’d like to know more about the offer. When can we discuss the details, and when can I expect a written contract?’ If the Department Head tries to push you for a commitment, simply repeat, “I am very happy for the offer, but I will need to discuss the terms and see the contract before I can make a final commitment. I very much look forward to discussing this further. I hope we can begin soon.'”