A JOB IN THE HAND
By: Donalyn Spisak
Most of us have heard the old hunter's tale which talks about how a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. This story was talking about a bird shot for dinner, not employment. For many years I have heard countless candidates tell me they have decided to take the offer they have rather than to wait or continue to interview for the position they really want. This is because they have an offer now and if they wait the offer which is currently on the table may disappear. This is a very real chance to take. When an offer is extended, most companies do not wish to wait for an answer for more than a few days. They want to hire the person who feels genuinely grateful to have received the offer and who is excited about the prospect of working for their company. When a candidate puts them off, they know they are not the top priority for that particular individual. The consensus is normally that the candidate is putting them
off waiting for an offer from the company they really wish to work for. This is a terrible position to be put in, but we all should be interviewing for more than one position if, for no other reason than we may not receive an offer from both and therefore we need to have a possibility of an employment offer.
When an offer is extended and the candidate is unsure if the position is right for them, it probably isn't. Of course if you are a person who has a terrible time making a decision this would not be true for you. You need to learn to trust your first gut instinct. If you receive an offer and are not excited about it, don't take it. If you are interviewing for several positions simultaneously, treat each one as though they are the most important position. Once you have an offer, you may at that point become
picky. Until you have the offer, you really don't have a decision to make. If the position isn't paying enough for you to pay your bills, don't interview for it. If you take a position which does not pay enough for you to survive without tremendous stress, you are de-valuing yourself. No matter what happens while you are employed with this company, you will not feel you are being treated fairly even if the company doesn't pay anyone the amount you feel your services are worth. Accepting less than what you
feel you're worth is a very, very dangerous thing to do.
It's a dangerous thing as it plays a critical role in your self-esteem. Working at a position which you feel is not at your level will make you feel less worthy than working at a position where you feel valued and valuable.
Let's look at the criteria you have set for yourself in your next career. Perhaps list your likes and dislikes. In sales, for example:
1. This position must be full time.
2. This position must pay a base salary.
3. There must be an incentive for me to sell. Does the company
pay commission or bonus?
4. What type of training program does this prospective employer utilize?
5. Is the company willing to pay auto expenses or do they provide a
6. There can be no relocation.
7. I must be able to make a potential of $____________per year.
8. The product must be a product I believe in.
Make a list of criteria for yourself when you start that new job search and stick with it. Where do you see yourself in a year? If this new job offer does not allow you room to achieve your goals, interview elsewhere. You may be saying, yes, that sounds good, but I need to make money today. I have to take a position, any position to pay the bills. Well, if that is your situation, then take a position with a company where they have a lot of turnover and expect it.
Let's talk about integrity, honesty and the way you view yourself. If you accept a position now with a company knowing you will not stay longer than a few months, aren't you essentially stealing from that company? Isn't that company investing in you by training you, by providing you with the proper tools to get you up and running within that 6 month period? If you agree to accept a certain salary from a company where you know you will not be staying, you have agreed your value is that which they have
specified. If you then have a problem after accepting that position, you have created the problem. If the end result is you leaving during that short period of time, you have done the company and yourself a disservice. The company has lost a person they have paid to train and you have placed yourself in a position where your credentials show you have used that company to get through that rough time.
When the next company interviews you and you tell them you accepted this position because you needed to work while you were looking for a real job, they will be afraid to hire you out of fear you are doing the same thing again or worse yet, they may feel you have no idea what you really want and you are just flitting about until you happen to find it.
Be careful when you make that decision to accept a position. Make certain it is a positive move. Don't be afraid to take a menial position to put bread on the table and pay the bills until you receive an offer from the right company and keep your self respect. Be honorable and honest and you will always be a success.
Donalyn Leskosek Spisak
Author: "How to Write Your Professional Portfolio"
Owner of three websites and president of Recruitshop located at
Contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org.