Job Offer & Employer Loyalty: It’s a 2-Way Street

If you accept a job offer, what happens if another–possibly better–offer comes along almost right away? You might think, “Multiple job offers? I’d love to have that problem!”

However, what if the second job offer surfaces after you’ve started your new job?

Job Offer–Your “Loyalty” Dilemma

Recently I read a post on Ask The Headhunter titled “Should I quit Microsoft after a week to join Facebook?” (I obviously can’t quote it all here, but it’s worth clicking the link to read the whole item.)

In his post, Nick Corcodillos makes several key points. These two stood out to me in particular:job offerjob offer 2

  1. You do not owe the first employer a guarantee that you’ll stick around indefinitely. Employers don’t provide such a guarantee to their new hires.
  2. You need to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples before you decide to jump ship and take the second offer.

I love how Corcodillos puts it regarding employer loyalty–or lack thereof:

“Sometimes employers make a new hire walk the plank early or even before they start the job — it’s a business decision.”

In other words, the company that hired you could decide next week to let you go–and as far as I know, you have no recourse in an employment-at-will state. [Caveat: I’m not a lawyer!]

So what should you use as a guide to making a decision?

Ask This Question about ANY Job Offer

You should always ask yourself at least one big question about any job offer you receive, even before you accept it: Does it make good sense for me, not only now but in the long run?

Couple that question with these: What downside might I face if I accept the new offer? Can I live with that risk?

weighing decisions

Then take care not to make the mistake of comparing apples to oranges!

First, avoid assuming that money (i.e., salary, etc.) should dictate your choice. As Corcodillos says, “Your long-term career success and income are more likely to hinge on the people you work with and on other factors including product quality and the company’s prospects.”

Second, investigate key elements of both offers, including the following:

  • What reputation does each company have in its industry and elsewhere?
  • Are the two positions comparable in terms of salary, responsibility, autonomy, and other major factors? If not, what differences can you identify and how significant are they?career growth
  • What long-term prospects for professional growth and advancement can each company offer?

Job Offer Decisions Rest with YOU

You need to take a hard, clearheaded look at the situation and determine what action best fits your goals. Although you can consult others who could provide an informed recommendation, in the end it’s up to you. Briefly, you’re the one who cares most about your ongoing career success, so you need to sit in the driver’s seat!

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