Take this job offer?
September 30, 2014 10:48 PM   Subscribe

I turned down a job offer. I regretted it, and then I got laid off. Then I asked them again and interviewed with a bunch of other companies. I got the offer again, but there is another company I really like. Should I just take it since it's a "bird in hand" and it's the second time, or should I ask for more time and consider all my options?

I asked a few months ago about whether I should reconsider a job offer I turned down. I regretted it for a few reasons, one of which my company started going into flames promptly after I turned it down.

I was then laid off. I asked them again, and of course I also started interviewing at other companies to keep my options open and be proactive.

They just gave it to me a second time, which I am excited about and feel very grateful by --- BUT. I have some concerns (listed below):

--I get a sense that the culture is a little sexist from some of the people at the company. It's not outright sexism but more "we want to get beers with the bros after work" and that's not my thing and I may feel left out and weird. I wonder if it's an Australian thing (it's based out of Sydney) since I have heard other Aussies saying similar things. I expressed concerns the first time around and I talked to some women and they assured me that it is not the case which somewhat alleviated them.
--I interviewed with this new guy who is the new VP for my group and joined since the first offer. I wasn't sure if I liked him a lot. Maybe it's a cultural thing since he is French, but I am concerned since I care about getting along with and having chemistry with leadership. It was only for a about a half a hour.
--I've barely talked to the person who would be my manager. He hasn't reached out since I have indicated interest in the company. He knows I am talking again.
--They are doubling the size of the company in the following year, in order to IPO in a few years. This makes me nervous since that is a big move and after IPO'ing, there are layoffs.

But there are positive things:

--Great company and culture. Overall, a lot of the people there are nice
--I am excited by the prospect of Sydney
--I am working on a new product which is going to be very interesting
--They went out of their way to offer me it again within a week. That was really nice of them!
--Good comp and all that

I started talking to this company and I unexpectedly really like their culture and the role. I didn't expect to even be a candidate for this "stretch role." It's early on in the process but I have been doing really well (i.e. recruiting saying to my friend that I am a top candidate and that I should be recruited) and there is a good possibility of an offer from them. I am still in the early stages and will be doing final round soon.

--It would be a high intensity role and I would have to learn a lot
--There is a chance I wouldn't even get it since I am not totally qualified
--Really cool industry and product
--I *really* clicked with the senior leadership. We had a lot of chemistry and I felt inspired after every conversation.

There are some negative thoughts on the work life balance over there.

My question is whether I should just stop this process with the other company and just eliminate the search process and accept this role at this great company?

OR if it's acceptable for me to consider my options...and in the crazy event I actually have another offer...decline a second time??

I don't want to be ungrateful, and I have a tendency to think the grass is greener and not just take what I have and not get distracted by shiny objects (this happened the first time, and the other company didn't work out, and I realize now that it was cool and shiny at the time but would not have been the right place for me). So I am trying to not make the same mistake that I made the first time.

Also, I'm exhausted by interviewing and kind of tempted to avoid the whole possibility of turning down a second time since that's messy. And I feel awful for even thinking this option.

Sorry for the length, but there are a lot of factors. Happy to add more if I need to.
posted by pando11 to Work & Money (9 answers total)
Never feel bad about inconveniencing a corporate entity. (a) They have no feelings, they're a company (b) They'd fire you in a heartbeart if it would save them a buck. Why not just keep both options open and see what happens?
posted by dontjumplarry at 11:28 PM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Don't be embarrassed to quit a couple of days after starting a job if a better offer comes along. It's totally within your rights.
posted by moorooka at 11:52 PM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would contact the company that you are still interviewing at and tell them you havae received an offer from someone but you really like them. Tell them the date you have to respond to the offer and that if they make a competitive counter offer you will bé very predoised to take it. Then see. If they dont make an offer by the date, take the offer you have in hand.
posted by zia at 12:24 AM on October 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

You will likely spend more waking hours with your coworkers than with anyone else. IMO, it's always worth it for your long-run happiness and sanity to choose company culture and compatible coworkers and bosses over almost any other variable when deciding between jobs. Things like job intensity, learning curves of stretch roles, work/life balance, etc. can be changed over time but unless you end up with significant hiring/firing authority you're pretty much stuck with the people you get. So you should do whatever you need to do to get the job with the best people. It sounds like this company might be it?

But if you're still not sure, IMO it's fine to continue to keep all your options open as long as possible unless you think a second decline would somehow hurt your professional reputation.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:38 AM on October 1, 2014

Sorry I think my question may have been phrased in a confusing way and it was misread. The SECOND company I am talking to is intense wih great bosses.

I feel some pressure since the first is asking me to start within two weeks since there is a big conference they need help with. Not sure if I even have luxury of buying time.
posted by pando11 at 12:55 AM on October 1, 2014

So the scenario is this:

1. You currently do not have a job.

2. You need a job.

3. You have a job offer for a company that you were interested enough in working for that you made a special effort to be hired there.

4. twice!

5. You do not currently have any other job offers.

6. The other company you're interested in working for would be a "stretch" for you.

7. You're still in the early stages of the hiring process with that company.

I would 100% take the job offer you already have over the one you don't have. If the other job was a sure thing or you were just waiting a few days for the official offer to come through, I'd consider asking for more time to consider the job you already have. But yeah, a bird in the hand and all.

Another thing to consider is the overall size and level of connection of your field. You don't want to be that person who just can't accept a job offer and is a total diva and requests special treatment all the time, just to ultimately flake in the end. If the job you take is going to be your career for decades, and you never find yourself needing to network with other people in your field, by all means, sure, burn this bridge. But not wanting to come off as unprofessional would definitely be a tick on the "take the job" column, for me.
posted by Sara C. at 2:32 AM on October 1, 2014 [17 favorites]

Your "cons" about this company are based on speculation and personal preference rather than the facts of the job/company (which you report as all positives).

You might not like your VP because he's French/different? That's an opportunity to learn not to prejudge (personal growth) and to cooperate effectively with people from other cultures (professional growth).

Going out for beers after work is not sexist. The women who work there have confirmed there is not a sexist culture there. Don't look for trouble - and be careful that your own preconceived ideas about groups and behaviors aren't sexist either.

The grass isn't greener anywhere else. A different shade maybe, but all grass has weeds and bare patches and random dog poop.
posted by headnsouth at 4:55 AM on October 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

I would take the job on offer. It's within your current skill set with an opportunity to grow and move. Also, it's been offered to you.

As headnsouth states, all jobs will piss you off some days, there are no perfect places. Also, that team you clicked with so well? What if none of them will be your manager, or they move, or leave the company?

As for going out after work, it's a single person's thing to do. I did it when I was single, but when it started getting old, I stopped. It's not sexist, it's just...of an age. If it's not your thing, don't fret about it. Go or don't as you're moved.

Starting a new job is stressful enough, do you really want to do it if it's a 'stretch'? Also, don't discount work/life balance.

Also after IPOing, there areren't always layoffs, sometimes there are stock options and people get rich. Also, companies who don't go public lay people off all the time. So that's not even worth fretting about.

So my vote, take the job, they clearly want you and that's freaking awesome!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:20 AM on October 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Absolutely take the job on offer especially if you like the company. The universe isn't compelling you to work with the first company.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 11:47 PM on October 1, 2014

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