||Deadly Job-Hunting Assumption #2:
The job offer fallacy
By Nick Corcodilos
Job hunting produces more stress than almost any
other experience. Thats why theres nothing like the immense relief you feel
when the job offer has arrived. Finally, youre done! Or, are you caught in The
Job Offer Fallacy? It goes like this:
I just got the job offer I
want, so Ill cancel my other interviews. I dont need them.
You are in fact quite likely to need them. Never,
ever cancel an interview or terminate your job search just because:
- You had a great interview and it was suggested
youd get an offer; or,
- A company made you an offer in writing; or,
- You started the new job today.
A great interview isnt
After a positive interview experience, its natural to let your enthusiasm get the
better of your common sense. It seems logical to put job search activities on hold until
the employer makes that offer. After all, youre so busy at work whos
got time to go on other interviews or to continue contacting more employers? Why not just
see what happens with this one first?
Any headhunter will tell you that most good
interviews fail to produce job offers. Thats why headhunters (who are responsible to
their employer clients) always keep other candidates on deck. Its why you should
keep other potential jobs on deck. Never assume an offer is on the way. Continue
full-steam-ahead on your job search.
A written offer can be
Its a guarantee of a job, right? Well, not necessarily, depending on how its
worded. Regardless, companies dont always worry about whats legal. If the
company suddenly re-organizes, or its finance department runs the numbers and realizes
money is tight, or if the company hears something about you that it doesnt like, the
offer could be rescinded. Even if the offer is legally binding, youre in for a
battle if you fight the companys change of heart. If you dont have a fall-back
position, youre without a paycheck.
|From the Ask The Headhunter case
A job candidate fudged
his past salary on the application form. The employer made an offer, then demanded to see
a pay stub from the candidates last job. When the numbers didnt match, the
offer was withdrawn. The candidate had already resigned his old job, and hed
cancelled other pending interviews because he knew he was going to accept the offer. He
capped off a lie with a deadly incorrect assumption.
Day #1 can be
your last day, too.
Ive seen it happen more than once. A new employee finds the job
doesnt really match what she was told it would be, or in a quick re-shuffling
shes reporting to someone other than the manager who hired her, or her new
co-workers are a miserable bunch. Whatever the problem, the new hire decides she made a
bad mistake and this isnt the place to be. She is ready to resign before she has
|From the Ask The Headhunter case
After taking a job and
closing the door on other opportunities, the new hire went through two weeks of training
only to be told his department was being eliminated. He was given two choices: leave, or
switch to another department and another job for $20,000 less in salary. He decided (quite
correctly) to sue. Three months later, his lawsuit was barely off the ground and he was
still without a job.
It aint over
till its over.
There is no security inherent in a job offer. If you believe there is, youve bought
into a fallacy. So, what is a smart job hunter to do?
Until the dust settles dont regard an
interview, a job offer, or a job itself as the end of your job search. Hedge your bets.
Keep your options open until you can take a look around and decide the ground beneath you
really is firm. Dont cancel other interviews. Dont discourage other offers.
The disasters I described dont happen often. But if such a disaster befalls you just
once and youre without a safety net, it will seem like the end of the world.
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