DEAR READERS: I recently heard about a young job seeker who interviewed for jobs with two different companies. He hadn’t heard back about the job that was his No. 1 choice but was offered and accepted the second position. As he was starting the onboarding process, he received an offer — and a much better one — from the first company. Any advice for someone in a similar situation, especially if they know they really want the second job they were offered?
It was a split decision on this question! Experts who weighed in had different ideas about how to tackle the situation.
Helen Godfrey, a certified career counselor in Houston who has been working in career services for almost 20 years, admits it’s a “tricky situation” but says the applicant should stick with company No. 2.
“If this individual was my client, I would have coached him to communicate with his dream company and ask them when they were hoping to make a decision,” Godfrey says. “I would have him let the employer know that he is really interested in the job and that he has another offer which he has to respond to by such and such a date. Potentially, he could have negotiated a higher salary with his dream company because he already had an offer.”
Because that didn’t happen, “He should plan on spending a minimum of one year at the job.” That advice, she says, is based on the assumption that both jobs are in a similar field. “It is a small world … which means he will run into people from the company where he accepted and then declined the offer in professional networking groups,” Godfrey says. “Whenever possible, I recommend maintaining positive relationships and a positive personal brand. If people in your professional field have heard of you, do everything possible to make sure that is a compliment.”
Gaynete Jones, a millennial mentor and founder of G.A.M.E. Changing Industries, has a different take on the topic. She calls this situation “a complicated blessing,” and believes taking the better offer with company No. 1 is the way to go, with one caveat.
How you handle the situation can make all the difference.
“Making the wrong move could result in him being black-balled in the industry should things not work out with company No. 1. Handling it the right way could leave the door open with company No. 2 at a later date,” Jones stresses.
Sharing the news as soon as possible is a must, and doing so in person, if possible, is the best option. If not, a phone call is the next best approach.
“As terrifying as it can be doing this in person or over the phone, sharing that he must now step back due to a better-fitted offer on the table shows responsibility and that he’s a hot commodity in the industry,” Jones says. “If he sends an email to back out of the contract phase, however, it does just the opposite — it positions him as a coward and doesn’t give the employer a chance to ask questions, to see where they fell short, or to wish him well in his future endeavors.
Bob Prather, general manager of the accounting and finance recruiting practice for Lucas Group, (recently named one of the top 10 recruiting firms in the nation by Forbes), agrees with Jones.
“I’d love to say that this never happens and that every candidate who accepts a position they have been offered actually starts at that position and has a long, prosperous, mutually-rewarding career with the offering company. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case,” Prather says. “When a candidate accepts an offer, I believe that they should enter into that business relationship with the full intent of giving their all. If you aren’t able to give 100 percent to your new employer, you need to make them aware before you proceed. Your career and life are your responsibility and another offer is not likely to follow soon. So, if you aren’t able to give 100 percent because of ‘buyer’s remorse’ for the (second) position, you should not go forward with it.”
Article Published By: Kathleen Furore, Careers Now, “What To Do When You Get A More Desirable Job Offer After Accepting Another Position”