From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

March 2011
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Job offer dilemma. Coaching for positive outcomes.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Job Offer (Situations)
Posted by: site admin @ 12:55 pm

When we are faced with challenging decisions, who do we
turn to?  Do you have mentors or people you can ask and
rely on for reliable, confidential, and rapid response?  You
should have such people in your network.


Recently, a colleague sent a note:

“…I am not sure whether we discussed it during our class,
and I don’t remember…A lab mate of mine, he is an
undergraduate and is looking for summer internships.  In
short, what happened is he was offered a position for
which he applied.  As things would happen, a very attractive
opportunity has come up with another company for which
he has an interview on March 8.  It seems very attractive,
however if he doesn’t get this position he still wishes to be
able to work for the first company that has accepted him.

The question is:  how to nicely get an extension of a
couple of weeks to figure out the best outcome.”


“…Let me suggest that this situation is more common that
you initially expect.  I feel the worst way to deal with the
‘problem’ is by not communicating.  E., have you contacted
Ti Co. at all yet [name and company held back]?

If you have not, it is better for you to indicate to them
that you are very interested in the summer intern position. 
Then, ask the hiring supervisor when he needs a positive
response.  If it is before the interview, ask if you might be
granted an extension, till, say, a week later.

Be enthusiastic and encouraging in your conversation with
the supervisor and do your best to speak to her in person.
Pursue direct contact, rather than leaving a recorded message
or sending an email.  Show enthusiasm in your voice.. 
Mean it.

When you interview with the attractive new possibility,
certainly one of the questions you will ask is “what is the
timeline for their decision?”  Make sure to send thank you
notes to all with whom you interview [thus, ask for business
cards from each person].  Be professional, dress professionally.
If their timeline does not meet your other commitments,
and there seems to be a positive feeling that you might have
the position, you will need to negotiate with both– speed
up the second offer process and delay accepting/rejecting
the first offer.

A fall back strategy might be for you to ask for a hard copy letter
from the first offer.  Then, accept the offer.  If the second
company offers their position, let the first supervisor know
their offer and what it means to you– pay, experience, career
ambitions, term of summer internship, benefits, etc.  Then, ask
her what she would recommend.  This may encourage the
first company to “up” their offer in a positive fashion.

Does this help?”


“Dear [Dan],

Thank you so much for your advice.  I will try to do precisely
what you suggested as soon as possible.  You’ve been very

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