What Should I Do If…(Part 2)

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In the first installment of this informal series, we looked at the issue of how to deal with a situation in which you believe you may have “blown” the answer to a question in an interview.  Today we have a second conundrum that might need addressing in the course of a typical job search.

My Second Choice Employer Just Made Me an Offer With a Tight Deadline to Respond.
What should you do? Well, the good news is that you’ve just gotten a job offer. The bad news is that there’s another company you’d rather work for, but you haven’t gotten an offer from that company yet.   The offer from your second choice came with a fairly tight time frame in which to respond.  There are a few ways to respond to this type of situation.

  1. If you’ve already had an interview with your first-choice employer but are still waiting to hear from them, you should email or call and tell them the exact scenario. Ask directly for an update on your candidacy and make clear that you’d rather work for them, but don’t want to pass on the other opportunity without knowing your status.
  2. If you haven’t had an interview with the company that is first on your list, you’ve got a different predicament. You can always try to contact them and tell them what’s going on. It’s a long shot, but you have nothing to lose. Some might counsel you to take the job offered, but keep pursuing the other, seemingly more desirable, one. I’m not a fan of that approach. Hiring is a tough road. Once a company makes a decision to offer you a job, they are betting that they’re done with the process for that position and they can turn their attention to other matters. If you turn around and leave three weeks later, it’s a real blow to them. Not to mention that it could come back to haunt you later on, especially if you are in a small city or a field with very few companies.
  3. Another way to handle this scenario is to ask the offering company for a bit more time. While you may rightfully worry that this could demonstrate a lack of full commitment, if the initial deadline is really tight, it’s a fair request. You are entitled to some time to think things through. If they are really pressuring you, think about what that might say about the work environment at that company. If they grant you extra time, then you might be able to push things along with your first choice. Even if that’s not a possibility, the granting of extra time speaks volumes about the company as a good potential employer.

Yes, it’s nerve-racking, but it’s really a high-class problem. You’ve gotten a job offer! Of course, if you are currently employed in a job that doesn’t make you miserable, then you first need to compare your current job and the one being offered. Assuming the one offered is definitely better, then you should go through the process set forth above, in the same way you would if you were either unemployed or under-/unhappily employed.

It’s helpful to have an objective third-party to help you through this thought process. A trusted advisor or mentor is likely to know you and be able to give solid advice. If no one you know fits that bill, let us know, we’ve seen this one before!  Give us a call at 301-520-9511 or email me at bob@epi.coach.

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