Don't Settle For a Second Rate Job
You've just received an offer! You've been on the market for a few short weeks, and you've been sifting through open positions and submitting your polished, professional resume to potential employers. You've been called in for a few interviews, and voila: An offer just landed in your lap. But now that you're taking a closer look, a few aspects of this job are giving you second thoughts.
Yes, it would be nice to end your search and get off the job market quickly. And yes, a paycheck of any size is better than no paycheck at all. But if the offer falls below the bottom end of your preferred salary range, or the commute is a bit longer than you'd like, or the company culture seems a little depressing, you're under absolutely no obligation to say yes. In this case, it might be smart to hesitate. Keep these considerations in mind.
You Can (and You Will) Find Something Better
If you've been on the market for less than eight months, your job search still falls within normal parameters for length (believe it or not). A quick offer isn't usually a fluke; it means your skills are valuable and your resume sends a strong message. You're on the right track. If you found this job, you can find another. Just have courage and don't settle for less than you're worth. On the other hand, if you've been searching for longer than eight months, you can accept this job…for now. But keep searching. There's a better match out there. Patience and persistence will help you find it.
Hesitating Can Strengthen Your Position
A perfect offer for a perfect job is hard to resist. If this position aligned with your long term career plans and paid the salary you need, you would have said yes right away. But since this job just isn't perfect, there's nothing wrong with a little hesitation. Ask for some time to think it over. Thank your employers for the offer and request at least 24 or 48 hours to consider your response. Use this time to develop a counter offer that sweetens the deal. If your counter offer is accepted, you might be a little more excited to schedule your start date.
Hesitating Can Reveal What Lies Below (or Ahead)
Hesitation and counter offers provide another excellent benefit: They help you understand the kind of employers you're about to sign on with. Keep in mind that you'll be working with and for these people—side by side—for the foreseeable future. If you ask for 24 hours to consider your offer and they say no to this perfectly standard and reasonable request, that's a bright red flag. If you make a counter offer and they become agitated or angry, run– don't walk–away from this job. If they respond to your hesitation or counter offer by withdrawing the original offer, then you dodged a bullet. Get back to your search and be glad that you saved yourself from considerable misery down the road.
For more on how to find the right job (and avoid the wrong one) explore the job search and resume creation tools available on MyPerfectResume.