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What if They Offer Me the Job?

It's been so long since I've had a full-time job that, if I do get an offer soon, how will I know if I should accept it? What if I get two offers? What if the moon is made of green cheese?

Lately I’ve received more calls than usual for job interviews. I’m very happy about this; but after one particularly promising interview today, I’m surprised that I’m also feeling a little unsettled.   

I think this employer may be on the verge of making me a job offer.

You know how they say, “Be careful what you wish for?”  I’ve been looking for a new job for almost three years now. So what’s my problem? Maybe thoughts of a daily commute and working in an office again are making me anxious.

No, it's not that. What’s really making me feel a bit on edge is the possibility of making a bad decision.

Starting a new job is one of those big life events. It affects not only your life, but the people and even the pets in your life too.

What if I accept a job and then a better one comes along tomorrow or next week or next month – a job that pays more or has a shorter commute or lets me write more or offers richer benefits? This job isn’t “perfect” – should I wait for one that is? Is there even such a thing? I don’t believe there is, but the thought can torment you if you think you chose the wrong job.

During my lengthy unemployment, as much as I’ve wanted it to end, I’ve created an interesting and fulfilling life. My daily routines and activities have become habits after all this time. It’s nice to do part-time freelance writing at home and not have to dress up and commute every day. I’ve gotten used to my life the way it is. Working full-time outside the house would require a big adjustment, a big change. I just want to make sure that it’s a positive change.

Believe me, I realize how fortunate I am to be able to even consider the possibility of not taking a job because I don’t think it’s right for me. Is it foolish to think this way? If I receive an offer after 34 jobless months, shouldn't I just grab it? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, isn’t it?

Something that’s affecting my thinking about this is the very fact I have had a promising run of interviews recently. There are things about a couple of the other jobs in the pipeline that I like better. Still, nothing’s really “promising” until it’s a concrete offer.

The only time I’ve ever had two job offers at once was when I first graduated college (more than a few years ago). I took the one that paid more and that choice undoubtedly set the course for my career.

Of course, I’m not 22 and just starting out anymore. On the other hand, because I’m not 22 anymore, I want to find a job with as many features I like as possible.  I suspect that things I dislike – such as a lengthy commute or work I don’t enjoy – could adversely affect my physical and mental health more now than they would have 30-something years ago.  

I’m looking for a job whose positives far outweigh its negatives at this stage of my life and my career. The employer, the work and I should be a great fit. I don’t want to just “settle” for the first job offer that comes along. Yet I don’t know for sure if I can afford to be so picky. What if another offer never comes along?

While I’ve been writing this, I’ve received an email inviting me to interview for another job. This is great!

It’s great, but it adds to my worry, my concern about the consequences of making the wrong choice. But what am I worrying about? Right now, I have zero job offers!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Fran Hopkins November 14, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Lisa, I don't believe that's true. I'd be happy to return to full-time employment; I just want to make a well-thought-out decision. If I do that, then I won't second-guess myself later.
Alex Freund November 14, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Fran, I love your writing style. Fran, your hesitation is justified. The human decision process has two major components. (1) the logical part and (2) the emotional side. This subject is way more complex than that. My question to you is how motivated are you to get back to work? How important is it for you to regain your confidence and stature in the family, community, friends etc. How important is it for you to bring a paycheck? You see what I am saying? It gets more and more psychologically involved. Some people make decisions very slowly. Occasionally I go to restaurants with members of my family. Once I get the menu I make a decision within 15 seconds. Others I am dining with take an inordinate and unreasonable amount of time to make a selection from the same menu I used. Fran, I am often facing the dilemma you are facing when trying to help my clients with these sort of decisions. My guidance to them is to sit down and make a list of positives and negatives based on logic. Once completed they are to sort and prioritize each side. Then do precisely the same but not reviewing it logically but emotionally. At the end of the process the whole picture will crystallize and the decision making is going much, much easier. Thinking of it, a few years ago I put together a document I am sharing with my clients called How to Evaluate a Job Offer. If you write to me I would not mind sending it to you. Good luck with your decision – whatever it is. Alex
Joshua November 15, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Fran - great thoughts- I believe many are in your position and struggle with the same feelings and emotions you've expressed after being unemployed for a lengthy period of time - adapting to a new unconventional lifestyle for a period of not months but years - has made them happy again with new hobbies and habits after losing or ending a career path. I guess you have to think about a career all over again and not just work at a couple of jobs to support a happy lifestyle you've built for yourself during very difficult employment times. I think because the job market is beginning to open up again after a very long dry spell - people are now becoming more forward thinking about having a future rather than just surviving and this should be a hopeful feeling - a good feeling - rather it's become a confusing one. One the one hand you're content with what you have and on the other you can have more - That there can and will be a future versus a fatalists view just to get by and pay the next rent check and not stress over every bill. I also believe age and region plays a roll. A person in their late twenties, thirties living in Colorado has a much different view about lifestyle and career than a person in the Northeast. My opinion - life is too short - do what makes you happy - try not to live with a lot of drama.
Fran Hopkins November 15, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Thank you, Alex! "Some people make decisions very slowly." That is me. The process you describe is similar to what I go through; I feel that I must leave no stone unturned in pondering my decision and examining the pros and cons. Then, once I've made the decision, I don't second-guess myself or regret that I overlooked something. Yes, please, I'd like to see your "How to Evaluate a Job Offer" information. How can you send it to me? Maybe you could send it to the Patch editor, Jack Durschlag, at jack.durschlag@patch.com? Thanks again, Alex.
Fran Hopkins November 17, 2012 at 05:13 AM
"...life is too short -- do what makes you happy...". Joshua, I agree with this completely! I also like what you said about believing in the future and looking ahead. We may have to be more persistent for a longer period of time, but I think we should never let go of our dreams.

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