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To take or not to take – that is the question!

You’re out of a job. You’ve been looking and looking, and you receive an offer! You immediately need to accept! THINK AGAIN!

I’ve been recruiting for more years than I care to count, and I’m still constantly amazed at how many candidates feel “pressured” to take a job once its offered.

Whether you find a job through an agency or on your own, when you receive an offer, it then becomes your decision whether to accept the job or not. In this crazy job market, we are finding that many strong candidates often have the nice problem of receiving more than one attractive job offer. It’s the timing of those offers that often causes issues or possibly the feeling of pressure to take a job when what you really want is time to sort out the possible options and opportunities.

You should never feel “pressured” by a recruiter or an HR representative or anyone else to accept a position. If you have multiple opportunities in play, it is only reasonable and professional for you to want to explore all of the options before you make a career decision that could possibly impact the next several years of your professional life.

Now, having said that, I will say that you need to be completely honest and up front when talking with your recruiter and/or direct company about a job offer. You should always thank the manager (or recruiter) for the offer, and let them know graciously that you have other things in play (if you do) and that you plan to make a decision by a certain date. It’s completely acceptable, and in fact, encouraged for you to ask for a few days to think it over or talk it over with family – whether you have other things in the works or not. What you don’t want to do is accept a position because you feel pressured, only to withdraw your acceptance at a later date to take another offer that has come in.

It is equally (if not more) important though that once you commit to a decision date, stick to that date! It is bad form and unprofessional to keep delaying and hoping for other offers to come in. I rarely hear of anyone these days that accepts “on the spot” or without at least some contemplation. Again, if it’s the “perfect” offer and one that you’ve been waiting for, then go for it and grab it, but it’s certainly never expected!

When a recruiter or manager puts pressure on you to take a position, they are truly not thinking about what is best for you and your career – they are only thinking about what is best for them. Accepting a new job is one of life’s major milestones and stressors – it cannot be over emphasized that you take your time, really evaluate your options, and ultimately make the decision that is best for you.

Cindi Feig – Senior Account Manager

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One response to “To take or not to take – that is the question!”

  1. Sam Pro says:

    I agree 100%! It’s nice to see a recruiter advocating for GJP (good job-seeker practices :). I think an important point is that one should be up front, and set the expectations up with the recruiter at the time one agrees to be submitted for a position. Tell the recruiter if you’ve been (or expect to be) submitted elsewhere, and if you have or expect to have other offers. I.e., let the recruiter know if you can immediately accept any offer at the submitted rate, or if you will be considering many offers and have a target date for selection and acceptance.

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