When you’re in between jobs, you probably want to get back to work as soon as possible. However, taking the first job offer you can get might not necessarily be a good strategy.
Photo by US Department of Agriculture.
As advice site The Muse points out, there are a few pitfalls to automatically accepting the first job offer that comes your way. For starters, it can make it very easy to take advantage of you. If you never compare one company’s offer with another, you’ll never know how much you’re really worth. You could also end up in a job you hate just because it was available at the time:
I learned very early in my career that saying “at least I’m getting a paycheck” is an excellent sign that you should start looking for a new job. And yet, even though I was in a position I didn’t enjoy, I stayed for a few years. Why? Because I had moved out of my house to pursue a career I didn’t love, and suddenly I had bills to pay. And because schlepping all my things back to my parents’ house wasn’t an option, those responsibilities weren’t going away.
Obviously most companies will want an answer as soon as possible, but if you have time to consider an offer, take it. Once you have that job offer on the table, that means they want you. Ask them if you can have a few days to think over the specifics and take that time to compare your other options. Even if a job offer seems good in the moment, there’s nothing wrong with a patient, thoughtful response.