accepting an offer while waiting for another
Let me layout my situation/problem first:
I have gotten an offer from company B today. They have given me a deadline to inform them about my decision by Monday.
I have gone through the interview process with company A, and I am expecting their decision in about 10 days. I would prefer to work with company A. However, I do not know if they will give me an offer.
What to do? Accept the offer from company B, and back out if/when company A comes up with an offer?
Thank you for all your help!
You're in an ethical conundrum. You can't withdraw after accepting, that's seen as sleazy. You will have to think this through, and either ask company B for an extension, or accept them knowing that you are walking away from the other company. Lastly, you could call your contact at Company A and tell him/her that you need to accept another job next week, and if they have any way to move more quickly, etc. Try not to make it seem like you are playing one company against the other (don't talk about the other company by name, don't mention the salary offer, etc -- that's all inappropriate.)
Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum
Dave is exactly correct. In some cases, knowing that they are likely to lose a prime candidate will motivate a company to move. I would also suggest that you explain to Company A that you would very much like to work with them, but that you have another offer (as Dave says, say nothing more) and you would like to know where you stand with Company A, as your career advancement requires that you proceed with one of the two companies.
I have personally seen this work. My daughter (in health care, not in the sciences) wanted to work for one hospital, and had positive feedback from them. She then received an offer, with a time limit, from a second hospital. She communicated with the first hospital, telling them that they were her first choice but she had to make a decision. Lo and behold, she was their first choice as well, and they moved heaven and earth to get an offer to her before her other deadline.
It also does not hurt to ask for a delay from company B. I had a similar situation with my first position. I was pretty sure that I wanted to work with the first company that I interviewed with, and they had essentially offered me a position at the interview, but I had 2 more interviews scheduled over the following week. I called the hiring manager at the first company and basically said "I like your company, and I'm pretty sure that this is where I want to work, but I have interviews scheduled at two other companies. I feel that I owe it to myself to go on these interviews to make certain that I am making the right choice going with you." His comment? "Go ahead, we can wait another week. I would rather have a happy and committed employee than someone wondering 'what if'." (Stayed with them, and the company that bought them, for 9 years.) Not exactly the same as your situation, but I'm sure that you can find a way to phrase your request for a delay.
Dick advice is great and it is an approach that you can take. Something I did (and it worked). I got a job offer, which was good but not what I was hoping for. I was waiting to hear from another place(my current job). I emailed HR and the (potentially) direct supervisor of the first company and said that I was interested in the job but I was expecting a different offer and described my expectations. They told me they would talk and let my know about my request. That bought some extra time, enough to get the second offer. The new offer from company one was a bit better but not too much. I told them that I was grateful and I like the company but I have another offer that was better.
I'd like to know if anyone has any new advice or new experiences/strategies for the situation the OP posted on.
I somehow doubt it, but it never hurts to ask.
"Some men see things as they are and say why, I dream things that never were and say why not"
"If you think research is expensive, try disease." - Mary Lasker
I would be interested in any one's experience in industry where they found themselves torn between a job offer that would aid in the goal of becoming financially independent (by staying in an area of comfort and continue leveraging established training/skillsets at a 25-30% higher salary potential) vs an opportunity that could prove a better learning experience (working in new area of science) in the long run at the expense of sacrificing some income and career ladder progression as an industry professional. Some of us that choose a path of post-graduate work make this sacrifice early in our life. However, would you do this again later in your career (let's say 10-20 years into an established career)?
A lot of it depends on what you want and where you'll find happiness both in the short and longer-term, and where you are in age and stage of life.
Yes there is a point where financial ambitions and desired standards of living, life goals, and happiness need interface with reality of career choice, and that's a personal choice.
That said, early in career one always flexibility to choose paths that should not be financially driven, rather should meld with the skills sets, knowledge ambition and experiences one desires to have when looking to the future.
So maybe in your first scenario, regarding compensation increase linked to already leveraging established skills, and knowledge and being a comfort zone may be more the thinking of a more well experience and tenured person who is having more an ambition to maximize compensation as part of a financial goal/life stage that is quickly approaching and jumping into a new job to learn something very new may not make sense (for that person).
In my case, I took a step that where I did trade that 15 to 20 percent earnings for a few years to learning a something new. That also was linked to a lateral move with a bit of a lower title externally but within the company sufficiently good. That experience was perhaps one of the best experiences in my career where the learnings I received was not only valueable to my career, but to my own personal ambitions. And it gave me competitiveness where I was able to re-cap that loss finanally, get the title I was targeted for, get the job i really really wanted, and get some great additional benefits on-top of that as well.
So hope it helps a bit, good to see you're thinking financially - many don't - but don't let that be your ultimate guide early in career. Get the skills, experience you want, then build - don't get entrenched or comfortable to early in career. Bad move. You run the risk of becoming a dinosaur fast, and we all know what happened to them.
I really liked DX's response to this question because he or she has had an experience personally. This is often the way this frequent poster helps others, by describing the decision process that DX went through personally. That kind of response is the heart and soul of this 20+ year old forum discussion.
I would like to add a few comments, as I've counseled others for years about decisions like this. First off, there is a time for both types of decisions, and while some of it may have to do with where you are on the career track (newbie or 20 year vet), more of it depends upon job satisfaction. Think of job satisfaction on a sliding scale. If you're really on the low end of that scale, and satisfaction comes rarely, then maybe it's time to take a hit on the comp for a few years in order to move your skills into a different area. That's when it's time to consider a job offer with great learning potential (and EVERY career level, newbie or vet, can take advantage of that by learning something new and applying previous skills to a new niche). That might lead you to a much higher job satisfaction rating, and you can indeed catch up on the comp side in a few years or less. But if job satisfaction is high on that sliding scale, why mess with it? Take the job offer that increases your comp by 25% -- why not? That's why you became an expert in a given area -- so that companies would compete to hire you!
So, as you can see, there are reasons (and times) for both decisions, depending a good deal upon one's personal job satisfaction.
Dave Jensen, Moderator and Science Careers Discussion Forum Founder
Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum