Not sure what to do when you have a job offer, but are waiting for another one? We can help.
Q: How do I juggle one job offer while waiting to hear back from my No. 1 company?
I received a job offer, but I'm also waiting to hear back from a preferred employer. What now? — Nicole K.
What a great problem to have — congrats! While many would envy your current situation during the job search, having to juggle multiple job offers can certainly be stressful.
Here's what you can do to juggle each job offer with professionalism. Reach out to the company who's already offered you a position — let's call them Company A — and ask for more time to think things over and discuss the opportunity with your family. This can usually buy you a few days' time to get in touch with your preferred employer and gauge your chances of receiving an offer from them.
I'm always on the fence about telling the employer that you're in talks with another company during this late stage of the game because no one wants to feel like someone else's backup plan. Ideally, you should have told each prospective employer early on in the interview process that you were actively applying and interviewing for other positions, so it should come as no surprise that your talents may be in demand with other employers.
If you've already completed a few interview rounds with your first choice employed — let's call them Company B — and believe they'll offer you the position, there's nothing wrong with letting them know about your offer from another company. Reach out to your main point of contact at the company — usually the hiring manager or the internal recruiter responsible for filling the position — and explain that you have another offer on the table, but if the folks at Company B and you can come to an agreement, you'd really prefer to join their team. If Company B is interested in hiring you, this should motivate them to get you a firm job offer — in writing — soon.
If Company B is hemming and hawing and can't give you a definite answer before Company A's deadline expires, take it as a sign that the company may not be as into you as you initially thought. However, if Company B has made you a verbal job offer, but the holdup with the paperwork is simply a formality, I recommend trying to stall Company A by a day or so.
The worst-case scenario is that you accept Company A's offer and back out of the deal before your established start date to accept the other job offer from Company B. This is not ideal by any means, so try to avoid this outcome at all costs. No employer wants to be jerked around by a candidate, and this interaction could come back to haunt you at a later point in your career. However, at some point, you have to look out for yourself. If you were genuinely interested in working for Company A, no one can fault you for backing out of the agreement if an amazing opportunity with an unparalleled compensation package comes along.
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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on our sister site, TopResume.