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February 11, 2009


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I have never been in the position personally, but a very good friend has. He went to one of his old bosses to see what she recommended, and she said that it happens all the time and to take the job he was really going for.

I left a comment on that article, and I'll reiterate it here...but I think the person should do what's best for them. For reasons you mentioned above, you'll always be wondering "What if?" In my opinion, on a personal level, the pros far outweigh the cons. Typically you'll be happier, less stressed, may be better off financially, if you take the dream job.

Yeah, I was in a similar situation. It was right out of college and had two interviews close together. I got a job offer to work as a tech support for an ISP and was waiting to hear from a company about a programming job. Started work for the ISP company and about 1 month into the job I got offered the programming job. I talked to my boss at the ISP explaining the situation and they seemed understanding of the situation.

Something like this happened in my recent search. Company A was about to make me an offer, but for odd reasons didn't want to put their numbers on the table. Company B really liked me, but was unclear whether they wanted to hire me contract or perm. I wanted perm, and told them to table their best offer ASAP. They did so and I've worked there ever since.

It turned out that Company A was trying to low-ball me and "pay" with mostly stock instead of cash. Their headhunter found out that I had another offer that involved non-low pay, so they got stuck trying to figure out how much they wanted to pay.

Wow, FMF... I was involved in a very very similiar case, but I took the different route.

About a year ago...During my last semester of college, I had 3 interviews (lets call it A,B, and C) ... C rejected. A and B gave me an offer. Both of the 2 that gave me an offer were in the same industry. I ended up taking the one which was to me a nicer company and seemed to have more prospects. A was larger and offered more money but it also had a nicer more warm working environment too. B was smaller, offered less but had more prospects of paid overtime work. I ended up with company A. They were easy to work with and eveyrthing. I decided to take 2 months off and then start work after school.

During that 2 months. A company (call it company D) emailed me and asked me for interview. During my job search process and along with limited knowledge of the industry, this was my "dream job" I had interviewed for this place for an internship a year back and didnt get it. So they were willing to fly me out hotel car and everything. So i thought it couldn't hurt to see 'what im worth' if anything thing this is good practice and I probably don't have the credentials of getting the job. Lo and behold... about 7 days later... they gave me an offer...Unforunately I would have to relocate not too far and they were willing to pay for that as well. Including relocation... it would be about almost 20% more than job A. It was a tough choice because I was about to start company A in less than 2 weeks!

I asked around for peoples advice, specifically an elder at my church. He told me his opinion and said it is a tough choice. Company D is a really big repubutable company. But he also told me I already know whats the right thing to do. I did too. It would be wrong to go back on my word for company A. Even the job advisor at my school told me to stick with my word.

I began to really seek for God to give me some insight for about a week. I came across this passage. Proverbs 10:9 - "The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out."

I guess for me it was different. I sought after another job after I made a commitment to company A. I didn't even give them a chance. I had already put off employment for a mini 2 month break also. It was too close to the start date to do so.

I ended up turning down company D. However, I still wonder what if... I am not that happy at company A. But there are no guarentees I would have been happy with company D either. I would have to relocate to a new place and be alone. I would have to find a new group of friends / fellowship and such. Away from family and friends.

So I guess I would agree with US News.

Oh, btw company D was a completely different industry of work as well. Same broad field I guess but different type of company / industry.

Think long, think wrong. If B doesn't get back to you - don't wait. You'll be the fool who lost both jobs.

I always say I need 72 hours - 3 days (to buy time) to discuss this with my husband and get back to you. if the other job does not call, I will accept it

@Moneymonk: You are right on. I ask for 24 hours to consider an offer (even if I know right then I will accept). If the company balks, there is something wrong.

As for accepting a job offer while waiting on another, to be very trite "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

If the job you are waiting on is more desirable, contact them and tell them you have an offer from another company and need one from them in 24 hours. Either they will do it or they won't. If they don't, there probably not a worthwhile offer involved.

There are all kinds of reasons companies string job candidates along. However, if a decision-maker is involved, they will make it happen quickly.

I happen to have an offer from company A and know that a board at company B who I have gone through extensive interviews with, will be making a decision on my application in 7 days and not a day earlier because they're a pretty large and rigid company where a hiring panel meets once a week. What is the best way to get exactly 7 days from employer A?

Bill --

Have you tried the suggestion above (asking for time to make a decision)?

I'm in this situation right now.
I have an offer from 'A' that I need to respond to by this afternoon, and the offer will be 3 days old. 'B' will not respond to me until Monday afternoon. I truly want to work for 'B' as it's a higher level both in responsibility and in pay, and is only 10 miles from my home compared to 40 miles at 'A'.
I'm going to accept offer from 'A' and just see what happens with 'B'. If 'B' offers me the position, I'll have to deal with the decision at that point. I don't want to hurt company 'A', as I know many of the people there, but 'B' is best for me, my family, and my career.

ok here is my story,, company A is where I work now and I hate it, company B is my dream job and company C is a good job I think? Company B has already interviewed my twice once on the phone and once inperson had to fly there on their dime and interview with 4 different people, background check completed, this happens over the course of three months, then I dont hear anything for a month so I apply for job C and go on the interview . I then hear from company b they are flying in to town next month and would like to meet for a thrid interview and tour of the stores I would be running I agree and then company C calls and offers me a job and says I can start when ever I want since it is the holidays and would be unfair to leave company A this close to christmas without a leader. I really want the job with company B, but if they dont hire me I am stuck at the job i hate what should I do, company B will not be in town for another month for a job I dont even know if there are other candiates for. I dont want to put pressure on them by asking them to make a dicission before they get here.

confused --

My advice would be to call company B, tell them the situation, then see what they advise. If they agree to hire you now, you're set. If not, you're in a tight spot and will need to make a tough decision. I know how rough this can be. As you read above I was in exactly the same position.

Good luck.

Does it make a difference if you were offered a job with conditions? Company A I offered a job but for the first 90 days they want to hire me as only a consultant and only after they try me out ( and i try them out) they will hire me. It is a lowball offer and not a great package so i would be accepting the offee to gain some experience but dont expect to be there forever. I conectacted my companyB and have an interview with my company B and exppect a decision in the next two weeks. should i agree to the consulting starting in 2 weeks to give the process some time but still not lose the offer?

Not my first time --

Why not? You don't yet have the second job, it could take some time even if you do get it, and if Company B offers a better job, you can accept it and negotiate completing your consulting agreement with Company A.

What would you do if you're just a student looking for an internship?

Company A is small, extremely nice, and located 40 minutes away, but the work is dull. Company B is huge, with a "tough love" vibe, and is the first step into my dream field - which I hear (and have experienced) is hard to get into, especially when my degree does not directly relate. Company B is international, and I could see myself working there and traveling (wonderful!) for a very long time. The particular job is out of state, which I don't mind.

I don't know yet if I will get offers from either, but I want to be prepared. I get the vibe that Company A will contact me sooner, because they had a sense of urgency in their job posting, but I do not know directly from them when they plan to inform me. Company B says they'll have contacted me by the end of 7 days.

What should I do if company A says yes before B's response? Since they're urgent, I don't want to have A wait and lose the internship, come to find that company B rejects me. Then I'll have nothing.

Raphael --

The internships are only for a summer, correct?

That is correct.

Raphael --

I think the stakes aren't as great for a part-time internship as the are for a job. Even if the work is dull, it's only for three months, right? How bad could it be?

And you're right -- you don't want to miss out on one opportunity waiting for another. Otherwise you may get nothing for the summer.

Personally, I'd be honest with the second one and tell them of the time crunch. If they didn't make a quick move, I'd take the other one and go from there.

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