One Thing I Wish I Knew Before … Accepting the Offer


These days, there is plenty of talk in the nonprofit sector about mentorship, personal advisory boards, and professional development. But at Idealist Careers, we understand that not everyone has access to a cracker jack team of career cheerleaders and sadly, many of us have to navigate our professional path without our own social-impact Yoda.

So without further ado, let’s tackle our next topic in our “One Thing I Wish I Knew Before …” series:

One thing I wish I knew before accepting the offer

We asked our community of nonprofit professionals to share one thing they wish they knew before saying “yes” to a job offer. Here’s what three Idealists had to say:

If you’re given a salary range, negotiate!” Anonymous Idealist

“If it doesn’t feel right, then that means it isn’t. Never settle for anything less than what feels right for you.

“Shortly after leaving my last job at a nonprofit, I took a job at a private company (that shall remain nameless!) and I knew right after my interview that it wasn’t a good fit; it had nothing to do with what I was interested in. I took it because I wanted to keep working while I hunted around for the right job.

“Long story short, I had my first day and last day all in the same week. I could just feel it in my bones from the first day that it wasn’t right for me. So I let the manager know it wasn’t going to work out and she didn’t give me much trouble, but she did say I was making a mistake. But here I am now at a great nonprofit in a role I’m happy in after that slight detour because I ultimately decided to follow my gut.” Anonymous Idealist

“When I got the call, I was so excited that I said ‘yes’ practically before the hiring manager finished their sentence (clearly a rookie reaction!). While I wouldn’t want to have been emotionless, I do wish I had rehearsed what I wanted to say before I got the call so that I could have expressed my excitement and enthusiasm, but not given a ‘yes’ immediately. Why? Because I think I could have negotiated a bit more on salary. But once the hiring manager knew I was already in the door, that didn’t leave me much leverage to work with.” ~ Anonymous Idealist

What’s one thing you wish you knew before you accepted the offer? Share in the comments below!


Is there a “One Thing I Wish I Knew Before…” nugget of knowledge you’re itching to know? Tell us what we should ask our community of social-impact professionals, job seekers, leaders, and nonprofit superstars. Post in the comments or email us at


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As a seasoned communications professional with 15 years of nonprofit experience and 6 years of experience creating engaging content and copy, I love the idea that a thoughtfully crafted piece of content can spark social change. Here at Idealist Careers, I'm eager to offer job seekers, game changers, and do-gooders actionable tips, career resources, and "social-impact lifestyle" advice.
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