When a person gets and accepts a job offer, congratulatory messages begin to come around. Whether it’s from friends, family, colleagues, or your bosses, you’ll receive messages congratulating you on accepting a job offer.
The big question is how one should respond to such messages.
Congratulations on your new job via email or messenger apps should be brief and to the point; more detailed in a face-to-face conversation. Likewise, a short thank you is enough with colleagues and bosses, while you are welcome to thank friends or family in more detail.
The Type of Communication
With respect to the type of communication, you may be responding to an online message or a physical conversation.
Responding to an Online Message
When it comes to an online conversation, you have to be considerate of how you respond because you can’t see the person you’re talking to. Even though you’re aware of who the person is, you can’t tell how their physical environment is.
For example, if you’re chatting on social media, all you can see are the chats. According to a 2020 ResearchGate article, you can’t easily tell the emotions of the person. 
It’s prudent to be simple and tone down the extent of your conversation. It’s best to stick to the subject without changing the topic. The person could be working and the only intent of chatting with you is to congratulate you.
So, avoid creating a broadened space for conversation. For instance, you can respond to the congratulatory message in this way:
“Thank you so much. Am pleased to receive your congratulations.”
Being simple and short is a courteous way of responding to an online message. The bottom line is that you should show gratefulness for the message in your response.
Response to a Physical Conversation
The other type of communication is physical. Upon receiving and accepting a job offer, you may meet someone you know who offers a congratulatory message to you. How do you respond in such a case?
The first thing to do is to appear warm and welcoming. You don’t want to appear closed and unfriendly in such a case. Unlike the online means of communication, this one connects you with the person more. You can read their emotions and mood.
The good thing about a physical conversation is that you can know what to say and what not to say, depending on the environment. Also, you may or may not initiate a further conversation after the congratulatory message, depending on the person you’re speaking to and the circumstances around you.
Unlike the online type of communication, you can make your conversation longer.
A good example of how you can respond when in physical communication is:
“Thank you, sir. Am glad to have gotten this chance and receiving a congratulations message from you is an honor.”
As you can see, the response is longer here because you can read the emotions of the person. You can tell whether one would like to have a longer conversation or not. The important thing is to remain warm and show gratitude.
Apart from the type of communication, you should also consider the person receiving your response to congratulations on accepting a job offer. The person can be a friend, colleague, or boss. The three categories call for different responses to a congratulatory message.
Friends and Family
For friends and family, the best way to respond is in a casual way. After landing your dream job, you have to receive congratulations from your family and friends. These are the people who are always there to celebrate with you when things are going your way.
So, when you receive a message of congratulations from your family and friends, your response should be warm and casual. These are persons you don’t relate with at a professional level. Therefore, being less formal in your response will be a great way of showing gratitude to them.
For example, you can say something like:
“Thanks, guys for your congratulatory messages. I really appreciate you. We can now celebrate getting the dream job we have been praying for.”
“Thanks, Mom. The interview process was tricky, and I gambled a bit, but now I am happy with the starting salary.”
“Thanks for your congratulations email. I just had to accept the position; the first thing will be telling me all the details when we meet next time.”
As you’ve noted, the statement is casual, yet it offers the intended communication to the recipient.
If you’re talking to your colleagues, this is a bit different. These are people you work with or are at the same professional level as you.
For colleagues, you should respond in a nice formal way, but don’t be too formal.
If you’re too formal, you may not capture their feelings well. Also, if you’re too casual, you may not offer the best response, depending on your relationship.
In this situation, it is wise to measure the level of casualness or seriousness between you and the person you’re responding to. Once you’re clear on that, you’ll be in a good position to know how to respond.
An example of how you can respond to a colleague after congratulating you on accepting a job offer is:
“Thank you for your congratulatory message. Am delighted to have gotten the offer and for receiving your message.”
“Thanks, Kate. I was so nervous during the whole hiring process. The start date will be May 5th, and I am so excited.”
The statement is nice and welcoming without being too formal.
If you’re responding to your bosses, you have to be formal as you communicate with them. It’s obvious that you have to be respectful when talking to your boss.
Though you’re responding to a congratulatory message from your boss, you can’t afford to be casual or include jokes in your communication. The response has to be clear and short.
According to a 2020 article by Harvard Business School, in formal communication, avoid making long conversations. This will show your level of respect for your boss or senior colleague. You can say something like:
“Thank you for the opportunity. I will do my best to fulfill my responsibilities and be of value to the company.”
“Dear Ms. Smith, thank you very much. It was a quick decision from my side, and I am looking forward to the start date of my career challenge.”
Remember to be humble and appreciative in your verbal and non-verbal communication.
Katie Holmes is a senior author at everyday-courtesy.com with over 15 years of experience in marketing and psychology. As a freelance consultant, she also supports companies and executives in overcoming communication challenges. Katie is a passionate digital nomad working on her first book on the art of communication.