Should one take the first potential job offer right off the bat?
October 18, 2015 8:48 PM   Subscribe

I interviewed for a job position at this university health clinic a month ago, and received promising news.

HR contacted me via email a week ago and asked me to go to the central office for a background check. There were 2 steps involved: getting the background check done and 5 professional references to complete a survey that rates my skillsets within the workplace. I got the background check done ASAP, and all my references completed the survey within a one-week span. It was a matter of playing the waiting game and hoping to get the best of news. Being a potential state employee through the university, I was told by a couple colleagues familiar with the employee onboarding system that it could take awhile for HR to process everything starting from the background check to calling/checking my references.

The following week after getting the background check done for job #1, my former supervisor from my previous job called me and left a voicemail that he has a potential opening in his dept. He works within the same university health system, but a different location. I spoke to him, and we spoke a little bit about what the job entails. He mentioned during the conversation that we could just skip through the interview process since he already worked with me for a year and a half. He also mentioned that I just have to go through the background check and “go from there”. I informed him that I recently had a background check already, and he would email me once the job was posted on the website. He emailed me this past Friday, and I immediately sent my application for job #2. My former supervisor brought in my former co-worker who told me that it took 2 weeks to process, as she only went through the background check via HR. She did not have to submit references, as the manager took care of everything else. While nothing is guaranteed, it seems that I have a better chance of getting job#2 in comparison to job#1 since my former supervisor knows that my previous work experience is relevant and helpful to his current dept. I am playing another waiting game with job#2.

Last week, I had 2 job interviews. Job#3 took place at a hospital, and Job#4 took place at another university health clinic. Job#3 & 4 are close to my house, as the driving distance is between 4-6 miles one way. Job #1 & 2 are 15-20 miles one way respectively. The interviews went well in my opinion for Job #3 & 4, and the driving distance is much more favorable in regards to time and less wear and tear on my 15 year old car. However, beggars can’t be choosers especially when they’re currently working for a crappy company (see my previous post) that has no official HR dept. and upper management has a thing for belittling/embarrassing/micromanaging grunts like myself. Due to having 2 interviews this past week alone, there were murmurs around my department that I've been looking for a new job & my co-worker who is the closest to me mentioned that someone made a comment that "I should get out of the kitchen If I can't handle the heat". Apparently, people have been asking him if I've been looking around, and he told them to ask me directly since it is not his place to state my personal business. At this point, I don't even care anymore what the others think. I already have a per diem job on the weekends lined up in case I decide to leave/quit/ or get fired. I'm just looking for another full-time job, as the weekend gig is only meant for supplemental income.

In the EVENT that my former supervisor offers Job #2 to me officially, should I take it with no hesitation? I have to take the freeway and go through LA traffic to get there. My main preference is Job #4 which is much closer to home. Job #3 is also closer to home & only part-time, but the position comes with benefits + better pay per hour than the university positions. However, Job #3 has an extensive interview process that involves a final round if I even make it that far. Job #1 is my second choice, as the drive is going against LA traffic & I feel like I’m knocking on the door & it is slowing opening for my foot to step in. However, Job #2 that involves my former supervisor feels much more promising in terms of getting the gig. He did tell me to keep him posted about what happens with Job # 1, and it may take awhile. I don’t want to play the waiting game with Job #2, as my former supervisor may go with someone else. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
posted by tnar23 to Work & Money (3 answers total)
This appears to be your only question intermingled among your excessive text:

In the EVENT that my former supervisor offers Job #2 to me officially, should I take it with no hesitation?

Of course not. The moment you are offered Job #2, you should be informing Job #1, Job #3, Job #4, and any possible other jobs that you have received a job offer. This will trigger them to "put up or shut up" and you will either end up with another job offer that you might prefer (or with which you can parlay into a better Job #2 offer) or no other job offers at all (in which case you know Job #2 is the best for you).

Any employer worth working for is capable of making exceedingly fast hiring decisions when they are faced with losing a promising candidate. If they don't move fast, then either they do not view you as a great candidate or they are entrenched with impenetrable bureaucracy.
posted by saeculorum at 8:55 PM on October 18, 2015 [6 favorites]

This is really confusing. Any chance you can make a Google spreadsheet with your variables across the top and fill in the commute time and stuff?
posted by k8t at 9:10 PM on October 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

according to something i read somewhere on the internet some time, the general heuristic people use when choosing things (vegetables in the supermarket, life partners, jobs) is to find one you think is ok, and then take the next one that is better.

apparently this is both simple and efficient (which is why humans have evolved to work that way, they claim) - you have a fairly high probability of ending up with something you like, and a fairly low probability of ending up with nothing.
posted by andrewcooke at 4:50 AM on October 19, 2015

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