Verbal Offer - Waiting on Contracts
September 15, 2020 3:35 PM   Subscribe

I received a verbal offer from a firm, and was told the contracts would be emailed. Cue the crickets. Now what do I do?

Background: Both DM and KW are with the same firm. I'm a professional with a master's degree. I sent out my information cold to the firm and here's what transpired...

8/25-Phone interview with DM, says he's very interested and will be in touch
9/3-Email from KW, wants to speak on the phone
9/4-Phone interview with KW. Not exactly an interview, as she was asking more about how soon can you start and how she's looking forward to working with me. We talk software and specifics about what I'll be doing. Gives me a verbal offer and tells me that she'll be sending over a contract.
9/11-I send out a "hey did you need anything from me & hope to hear from you soon" type email.
9/15 morning-I call and leave KW a message saying I wanted to check on the status of everything and could she please call me back.

It's now 9/15 after hours, and I'm at a loss. Do I contact her again? Should I contact DM? How long should I go before the next contact? If they're still going to send over a contract, why haven't they sent a quick email saying they're working on it? I'd like some closure, but don't want to be too pushy in case this could still go through.

TIA for your thoughts.
posted by TauLepton to Work & Money (3 answers total)
They are either disinterested in you now and are sufficiently unprofessional not to say so, or else they are going through bureaucracy hell to get you a contract. In the former case, there's no reason to contact them. In the latter case, it's a yellow flag because that bureaucracy hell shouldn't exist, nor should they go through that hell without telling you. At this point, the ball is very firmly in their court; if they don't respond and give you good justification for the delay, then you should take their incompetence as a red flag not to work there. As in the previous case, there's no reason to contact them.

As a minor detail, I know a number of people who are no longer able to receive calls or voice mails due to working from home and having no access to work phone systems. They are able to make calls from their personal phones, but not receive calls. Of course, like above, they should say so before hand so this isn't a surprise.
posted by saeculorum at 3:45 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]

I had two weeks of radio silence before all my paperwork materialized. It was because the CEO of my company signs off on all job offers and he hadn't been able to get to his office because of Reasons. It turned out just fine. Wait a little longer.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 6:15 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]

Depends on the industry - I've found that, as an IT contractor, two weeks of radio silence while paperwork and such are done isn't unusual (it's a terribly unprofessional industry, sadly...). Your industry may/will vary, but as others have said, this isn't that unusual.

I do think your fear of being too pushy is a reasonable one though - I don't know that I'd want to poke them further just yet. That having been said, my general policy ends up being one of "I'm not hired until I'm hired", and continue looking for other opportunities. If it comes through, great, if something else comes through in the meantime, well, maybe they shouldn't have taken their time... it sounds like you're reasonably professionally desirable, so if you find something else in the meantime, well, that's their loss and your gain. Business and Business, and you don't owe them waiting around for them to get their act together.
posted by jaymzjulian at 7:57 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]

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