The market is turning. For some, this means that not only are there opportunities – there are multiple opportunities. Managing the interview process, keeping on top of where you are in the process and ultimately, receiving multiple offers is a stressful tie in your career. The way you handle yourself during this juggling process will have a far reaching impact on your reputation in the future. Here is some guidance to help you navigate this dilemma.
Identify your objectives
It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘shopping’ process when you are getting a lot interest in your resume. Make sure you’ve clearly outlined the role you are looking for (including company culture, industry, scope of responsibilities, salary, benefits) before you begin your search. When that position presents itself, be prepared to accept an offer instead of waiting for something better.
Be up front with the Recruiter or HR Contact
If you are being courted by more than one company, a little bit of transparency will go a long way. Be up front with the recruiter or HR person you’re working with and let them know that you are active in the process with another company. You don’t have to give details, but be courteous and let them know what timing looks like and when you expect the other company to make a decision. This could help move the process forward in your favor.
Do not make it a bidding war
This is not an auction – this is your career. It’s simply rude to bid one offer against another. If you genuinely want to make a counteroffer then do it – only once. Make sure you are prepared to walk away or accept based on the outcome. If you ask for more, then you are obliged to accept if the company comes back with what you’ve requested. Anything less will damage your reputation.
Be respectful of your references
Your references are golden. Please don’t expect your references to accept more than two phone calls per search. These are busy people and are happy to help you out – unless it becomes a burden on their time.
Evaluate each opportunity on its own merit
This goes back to knowing what you are looking for (see tip #1). The best way to evaluate opportunities is to make a spreadsheet of your criteria and then grade each position independently. This can be very revealing, especially when you are being courted heavily by one or two companies. Make sure you are being true to your career objectives and not getting caught up in the emotion of being wanted. Making a decision with your hear instead of your head when it comes to your career is a really bad idea.
Finally, don’t get a big head. We’ve been through a really bad recession and many of you have been unemployed recently. It will happen again. So remember to stay real and balance your enthusiasm. Yes, you are good at what you do, but you have to keep developing yourself as a professional – your career is a journey not a destination – and you haven’t arrived yet.
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