Take It or Leave It? – What to Do With a Job Offer
“Be careful what you wish for”. How many times have you heard this expression? Or how about “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”? Or one of my favorites, “Take it or leave it”? These expressions can, and typically are, applicable in numerous situations and the hope is that we will avoid many of life’s pitfalls if we incorporate these sayings into our daily decisions. How, then, can use these warning signs or wake-up calls to guide us through our oferty pracy?
How many times during your search have you said to yourself – and anyone else who would listen – “If only I had a job offer, that would make everything better. Those people who have job offers have it easy. I wish I had the luxury of considering what to do with an offer!”
Over the past 60 days, I have received a number of calls from individuals who have “gotten what they wished for”, but somehow, “the grass isn’t greener on the other side”. In other words, they have received an offer from a legitimate business – not someone offering to pay them a 100% commission if they will peddle the latest and greatest product or service – but the offer is far from ideal. Either the pay is 25% – 50% lower than what they made in their last position; it is a long-term consulting engagement without any benefits, rather than a full-time position; or perhaps the position would require them to do the same work they did 15 years ago; or, the job is 50 miles away and the company doesn’t offer flex hours.
On the surface, this is exactly what the individual was asking for – a chance to consider an offer. It feels great to have secured an offer after working so hard over the past 7 months to find a job. Before receiving the offer, she was envisioning herself sliding back into the routine of getting up early, putting on professional clothes, heading to Starbucks for the morning dose of caffeine and driving to an office where a real desk and chair await her! She can finally get back to the work she has been missing! And most importantly, she can stop the endless chain of networking, attending events, updating LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook every 3 hours and searching endlessly for that perfect online job posting (*Note: it probably doesn’t exist).