Dear Matt: I've been interviewing for jobs and recently received an offer for a job I would like to accept. However, I have another interview lined up for a job I would rather have, but that is a week away. The company that offered me a position needs an answer before I interview for the other one (which they do not know about). What should I do?
Matt: In short, take the job that has been offered to you because:
There is no guarantee you will be offered the second job.
There is no guarantee you would accept the second job if offered - even if you think you would like it.
As you stated, you have to make a decision before interview #2 even starts. What if you say no to #1 and then don't get job #2?
The simple solution is to accept the first job and then still interview for the second job. However, Arlene Vernon (arlenevernon.com), a Twin Cities human resources consultant, says if you do this, proceed with caution.
"No matter what community you reside in, it's a small world," says Vernon. "If you're interviewing in the same industry, the managers from company #1 and #2 could know each other. If you quit company #1 after a couple of weeks to take job #2, you never know how your reputation could be affected."
My recommendation is to still follow through with interview #2. You have made it this far, you have to see if this opportunity is really what you thought it would be. While I'm all for loyalty to the company you work for - and are hired to work for - job seekers have to do what is best for their individual situation. You can accept job #1 and still explore job #2. Interviewing can at least give you a feel for the job, company and corporate culture. It can help justify if you made the right decision by accepting job #1, or it can help you see if job #2 could be the better option - if offered.
The best thing to do is to work hard at the job you were hired for. Get off to a good start and make a good impression. Make this your priority. But if interviewing for job #2 is too good to pass up, explore it and learn more.
You owe it to yourself and your career to consider every opportunity that may benefit your long-term career goals.
Do you have an employment related or job search question for Matt? E-mail him today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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