How Do I Distribute My Eggs Among My Job Application Baskets?
July 14, 2009 3:39 PM   Subscribe

I have an interview for a great job I think I am good for, but the interview is in two weeks. Do I keep applying for jobs in the meantime?

I just graduated from college in May with a Bachelor's degree. After some temporary summer employment, I am now looking for a more permanent job. I have an interview in two weeks for a job that I feel I am qualified for, meets all my employment needs, and is basically the same thing I was doing earlier this summer, so I have direct experience. The job would start four weeks from now.

My classmates who graduated at the same time as me have been having a hard time getting the even the most basic jobs (restaurants/retail etc.) and I have collected some applications for local restaurants and coffee shops, because I need a job, any job at all.

Should I go ahead and send these applications in? If I don't, and I don't get this great job, that will be two weeks not spent job hunting with rent and utilities piling up. But how can I apply for these okay jobs not knowing if I will actually be available for them if I get this other great job?

I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket, but I don't know how exactly to go about getting eggs in other baskets. What's the best way to set up a safety net if I don't get this great job?
posted by moonroof to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes. There's no shame in having to turn down employment offers. Employers accept that as part of what they have to deal with.

What makes these retail/restaurant jobs special? You wouldn't apply for only one career position in your field of interest, would you?
posted by spitefulcrow at 3:47 PM on July 14, 2009

To paraphrase Yogi Berra: you haven't got a job until you've got a job. Keep sending applications until you do have a job confirmed.
posted by aroberge at 3:50 PM on July 14, 2009

Duh. There's a LOT of competition out there. No one is guaranteeing you a job, are they? So have a Plan B.
posted by musofire at 3:52 PM on July 14, 2009

Yes. Keep applying for jobs. You don't know whether or not some job will turn out being better. Furthemore, extra interviewing experience is always good.
posted by jeather at 3:53 PM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Absolutely, you continue applying for other jobs. If for no other reason than your judgment that the two-weeks-hence-interview job is great and these other jobs aren't great may (for whatever reason) prove to be incorrect.

Since you do not currently have a job or an offer with an established starting date, you are on perfectly sound footing to apply for these other jobs. Basically, you keep seeking a job until such time as you definitely have a job (or a signed offer).

Good luck!
posted by DrGail at 3:55 PM on July 14, 2009

Absolutely yes. Keep it going. For the reasons above, and because the most successful interview of my life took place after receiving an offer from another place, pre-interview. Not only was the second interview almost fun, as I was so relaxed, but I also was able to use the second offer to negotiate for my salary at the first place. Job hunting, when you're very, very lucky is a two-way street. No need to feel bad. Best of luck!
posted by LolaCola at 4:00 PM on July 14, 2009

Response by poster: You wouldn't apply for only one career position in your field of interest, would you?

Ah. To clarify: I have a degree in theatre arts. The job I am applying for is a permanent acting job with a major health company, performing children's theatre on health awareness on a regular basis. Permanent jobs with benefits in my field, outside of a high school/university setting, are few and far between. My skill set is very small and very specific, hence, my other options being limited.
posted by moonroof at 4:03 PM on July 14, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, wow, thanks everyone! I don't know why I was so worried about turning other job offers down. Full speed ahead!
posted by moonroof at 4:05 PM on July 14, 2009

Sounds like you've already got your answer, but if I may chime in late... when I interview a job applicant, I automatically assume that he or she has applied with other companies.

I actually WANT to see this... someone who is actively looking, who has gone all-out with their job search. It shows that they are serious and have committed themselves to taking this next step in their professional future.

When I ask applicants, "How is your job search going? Where else have you applied, what other opportunities are you pursing?" I am *not* hoping to hear "Nowhere, I only applied here." To me, that sounds like someone who hasn't done very much to get themselves a job.

Finally, if I make someone a job offer and it turns out that they've applied elsewhere, or even decided to take a different job-- it's no big deal to me at all. That's how it goes.

Good luck!!!
posted by GuffProof at 5:11 PM on July 14, 2009

Keep applying right up until the moment you sign an employment contract - getting to the fourth stage of a five stage recruitment process or being on the final shortlist still doesn't mean the job is yours. If you get a job while you have applications in progress, please notify those employers you're withdrawing your application so they can give someone who may otherwise have missed out an opportunity to progress in the recruitment stages - it's brutal out there right now.
posted by Lolie at 7:35 PM on July 14, 2009

Heck, keep applying! I would even suggest taking a job that's good enough even if you're waiting on a better job offer. Better to have SOMETHING that you can drop if/when the better job comes through than to have nothing at all.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 7:54 PM on July 14, 2009

You can be sure that employers will keep interviewing, even after extending an offer, because that candidate might not accept, or they might find somebody better. Especially in this economy, keep looking.
posted by theora55 at 8:32 PM on July 14, 2009

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