Job Offer

Take The Job Offer Or Wait For Something Better?


You’ve been dreaming of the moment when you hear those sweet words, “We want to extend you an offer!” But that moment of career bliss can quickly turn to deep anxiety if the job offer comes from your number two or number three choice.

Related: Understanding The Job Offer Letter And Package

Should you accept the sure thing, or should you risk it all for a potentially better opportunity by declining?

The Eternal Debate: Take Job Offer Or Wait For Something Better?

It might be tempting to accept an offer with the intention of backing out later if you hear back from a better company. But it’s a small world; you never know when you’ll need to cross that burned bridge.

We’ve rounded up the best advice from top career experts to help relieve some of your anxiety when you’re balancing multiple job offers.

1. Ask For More Time

You have more power than you think, says career expert Hannah Morgan, also known as Career Sherpa. Every reasonable employer expects the candidate to take some time to think about the offer. This is a huge decision – and no one expects you to jump at the opportunity.

Laura Jacobs, internship coordinator and career liaison at University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, would agree with Morgan suggests asking for more time. “Can you reasonably delay the decision until the other interviews have taken place and offers are made on those?” Jacobs suggests. Of course, this would be an ideal situation. If timing doesn’t seem to be on your side then…

2. Go For Your No. 1 Choice

You’ll never know until you try. And taking the first offer (if it’s not your number one choice) means living with that decision for the rest of your career.

“If timing isn’t in your favor and one of the upcoming interviews is with an organization you REALLY want to work for, then you have to make the risky choice to decline the first offer and hope for the best on the upcoming interview,” Jacobs says.

While you’re faced with this tough decision, remember that the offers on the table are not the end all, be all. If you feel confident about interviewing with your number one company, then you should go all in, especially if you’re a young professional.

You’ve likely got your family as a safety net and the fewest responsibilities you’ll ever have in your life. Work hard and take the plunge.

3. Always Keep Your Word

Jacobs along with several other career experts agree that rescinding an acceptance is extremely flighty, unprofessional and just a bad idea.

They have likely “turned other candidates loose by that point, as well as invested time and money in preparing for your arrival, so reneging on your acceptance would burn that bridge to a crisp,” Alison Green, career and management advice columnist for Ask a Manager, said in an article for U.S. News and World Report’s On Careers.

So, keep your word. Above all, don’t risk tarnishing your reputation.

Related Posts

How To Decline A Job Offer
10 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting The Job Offer
You Only Have 3 Seconds To Get The Job Offer? Yikes!


Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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  1. I had been unemployed since April. I had a few positions that I was waiting to hear back from and did just that, where I put a company off for a period of time to see if those other opportunities would come in. Unfortunately, I did not get an offer from either company and ended up taking the other job. It was not the ideal job, but I needed to take a job so we didn’t get further behind on our bills. I am still looking for another job but have been with this company since October. My question is, is it better to live this job off my resume, as I have only been there for about 5 months, or add it to my resume? The reason I asked is I have had many job changes due to positions being eliminated or companies being acquired. The position is not really related to my previous experience and I am afraid it will just look my resume look worse. Which looks worse to be unemployed for almost a year or another position for 6 months?

    Thank you,


    • Kathy,

      It’s good to know you’re thinking carefully about what to include on your resume. There are a few different ways our career experts can lend you a hand.

      1.) You could ask your question in our new Career Advice Forum, where we have 9 experts (including J.T.) doling out advice for anyone seeking it.

      2.) Our FREE live Q&A web show on Tuesdays at 1PM Eastern Standard Time would be a great place to get your question answered. The show will be held on the CAREEREALISM homepage. You will be able to post your questions in the chat section for a chance to get them answered live by J.T.

      You can submit your questions early here.

      3.) For career assistance, please check out our sister site, CareerHMO, and learn more about our Job Search Accelerator Program (JSAP). You have the chance to get one-on-one coaching, group career coaching, and access to hundreds of hours of video and articles aimed at getting you the job you deserve.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to let me know. I am here to help!

  2. The people who offered it to you first are usually the ones who are the most decisive and who want you more. Go with those who want you!

  3. In my experiences I can say that most of the job interviewers are not at their best. They are simply smart looking and just follow what the book tells them what to do.

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