It doesn’t happen to every job seeker – but it happens more often that you think. You’re out there networking and interviewing and suddenly you have two opportunities coming up at the same time. What are you going to do?!?
Maybe you get an offer from a job that is okay, but you really are hoping for a job that would be great. Or maybe you just get that “okay” offer but you’re not sure you really want that job.
There are several conflicting decision points at play here.
1) A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
2) Be true to yourself.
3) How does the pay, benefits, duties and potential compare you your wants and needs?
4) If they liked you enough to offer you a job, so will someone else.
5) If I take the first one and the second one calls – can I quit the first one?
I can’t answer these questions for you – especially without knowing the situation. Here is what I do know. Don’t take a job you don’t want. Even if you’ve been unemployed for a while taking a job you know you’ll hate will not make you happy, nor will it advance your career. Plus it will take time away from your job search. But, I also understand the need to feed your family so when you reach that stage find a job that provides an income and gives you the opportunity to keep looking.
There is a great story about a man who was stranded on his roof during a flood and three times boats came by to pick him up. Each time he send them away saying that God would provide him relief from the flood. When he drowned and met God in heaven he asked God why he didn’t save him. God’s response was “who do you think sent the boats?” The moral here is that if you keep waiting for that perfect job it may not come along.
Do not feel you have to take the first offer you get. If that job is not going to provide the right mix of rewards then keep looking. If you accept a job, then you’ll have to use your own moral compass to decide how long you need to stay with that job before you quit. While your new employer might be disappointed or even angry if you resign after just a few weeks or months, they’ll be okay.
I don’t like games or attempts at manipulation. I don’t like it when a candidate – or an employee – says I need to pay them more because someone else has given them a better offer. I want people to be honest and direct. But … I don’t always get what I want either.
There are no easy answers here. Look inside yourself. Make sure you know both what you want and what you need. If you don’t think a job offer meets most of those things then walk away – there will be more. If you think this looks like good job take it – and throw yourself into the job. If it turns out you were wrong, start looking. I will tell you this – it’s easier to find a job when you have a job.
These are tough decisions to make, but if you have to make them then you are doing the right things and your search is progressing. Keep it up!