Does this sound familiar? You have made a decision to make a career move and do all the necessary things to get the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. The process can seem to take forever, however, you make it through the hiring process and receive an offer. Your career future is laid out in the offer document – your potential earning power, benefits, responsibilities, and so on. You want to carefully consider how to negotiate the offer, but wait, did I mention, this offer is NOT from your first choice company? That offer has not yet come through.
Rarely do multiple offers come in at the same time. If you are fairly confident that more offers are in the pipeline, what do you do while waiting for the coveted job to be offered to you?
SECRET: It’s okay to call the company that made you the offer to acknowledge receipt of the offer and express your interest in the position. Let them know you would like a little time to consider this offer and simply inquire when they need to hear back from you. Most employers will give you a few days to a week to consider the offer. After all, you may truly have more questions about the offer, salary, benefits, and such, and need to get more details from the hiring manager (which can stretch the time out a bit longer).
SECRET: It’s okay to contact the other company/companies that you were expecting an offer from because time is of the essence. Contact the recruiter or hiring manager immediately to explain that you have an offer from another company. Let them know their company is your first choice and see if there is anything they can do to move the hiring process along. If you are a strong contender, they may be able and willing to accelerate things.
Don’t count on your ideal company making an offer in light of your circumstances, as there are so many other factors that come into play (perhaps funding is not available for several months, decision makers are out of town, etc.).
So it comes down to how confident you are that you will receive an offer from this company or others that interest you? And, if the offer is presented, will it be timely, at the right amount of money….containing all the elements that are important to you and your career future? Are you willing to turn down the offer from the first company in the hopes that another offer will be better?
All good questions to carefully consider. Your financial situation also plays a large part in this decision, as it can support you while you wait for a better offer. If finances are tight, you may need to act quickly to remain solvent – waiting for an offer that may not come in, may not be an option.
What I don’t recommend is accepting the first offer with the thought that you can accept the job from your ideal company should they offer you the position in the near future. Put yourself in that position — think how you would feel if an employee did this to you as the company executive. You will have invested time and money to hire this individual only to be slapped in the face, so to speak, when they leave in the early stages of the working relationship to pursue what they consider a better position. Burning bridges in a person’s career is very risky because you never know who knows who, or how this can damage your reputation.
I know I’ve mentioned this in the past, however, I feel it is worth mentioning again. In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book “The Four Agreements” he states: “Always be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, never assume, and always do your best.” Those four statements can help you keep a clear head when considering multiple job offers.