Juggling Multiple Job Offers
Dear Career Coach: I have been applying for jobs and I have
recently been on several interviews. I think (actually, I am pretty sure) that
I will be receiving an offer from one clinic. The job sounded good and I think
I would be happy there but I am not sure I want to accept the offer before I
know the results of my other interviews. I don't want to tell them yes and then
get a second offer and then change my mind. What should I do?
Dear Reader: I know it seems stressful but it's actually a great
problem to have! It's also not unusual. Most job seekers have multiple
applications in process when they are looking for a new job. And that's OK, as long
as you handle it properly. And how you handle multiple offers really just comes
down to basic manners.
First and foremost, it is
critical that you DO respond. It's really bad form to leave an offer hanging
out there without some sort of answer. That doesn't mean you have to give the
employer a definite "yes" or "no", you just have to tell them something. How much you tell them is up
So if the call comes, start by
thanking them for the offer.
Next, you can simply tell them
you need some time to consider the offer. There is nothing wrong with asking
for time as long as you are specific about how MUCH time. In general it is
reasonable to ask for up to a week to decide, any longer than that is probably
pushing it a bit far.
How much you decide to tell them
about WHY you need some time is up to you. If you want to share that you are
still interviewing or waiting on another offer that's fine. Employers won't be
surprised that you might have applied to more than one job and it's not
necessarily a bad thing for them to know you have some options. However, you
need not feel obliged to them anything more than that you need a few days to
think it over.
You can also buy some time by asking
for the offer in writing. An offer really isn't an offer until the official
paperwork shows up! You wouldn't want to turn down another job, or worse yet,
QUIT a job until you have the new job offer in writing. This gives you a chance
to fully digest the offer and should you be fortunate enough to receive that
second job offer, you can then compare the two offers.