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Job hunt uncertainties, and how to deal with them

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Ok, so let me explain the situation and ask for your feelings. Help me figure out if I'm being rational about this, or if I'm obsessing about it.

1. Can't stay a present job. Gotta get a new one.
2. Applying to dozens of places, most close to home, a few require relocation.
3. Possibilities:
A: Senior Planner with consulting firm in another state, great job, but requires temporary separation from family (i move first, they follow a few months later). They are not in a hurry to make a decision and I'm competing against lots of other applicants.
B: Only planner for small rural town, requires 1 hour commute each way, pay and benefits not a good as current job, BUT, have been offered position and they are awaiting my decision.
C: Only planner for small suburban town, 15 minute commute, better pay and equal benefits to current job, competing against 4 other applicants, and they won't make a decision for a week or two.

So, right now I'm asking Job B to give me some time to see if Job C will offer me that position. My preference of the jobs are A, C, and B, in that order, but A does not have a schedule for making a decision, and they have many more choices than just me. So, I'm not planning on A working out, it might, but I'm not banking on it.

So, is it OK to ask Job B to wait until I hear from Job C to accept/decline the offer? I've had this happen to me where I offered someone a position and waited for a response as they pursued and then took a better offer. Didn't bother me. Would it bother you if you had to wait on a candidate to pursue a better offer? Would you feel bad about being the candidate's second choice, for them "settling" for you?


maudit anglais
I think you're doing a good job thinking through all the options.

Is it possible to inform C that you've been offered another position, but would like to consider them first? It might help speed up the process if they want you. It might be okay to let B go a week, but IMHO two weeks is a bit much to keep them waiting.

Good luck Joe!


I've been in the same position, but decided it by turning down both offers. I have also accepted a position a position that payed less than the job I was currently in, but it offered the opportunity to be director, which in the long run helped me move ahead.

If you explain the situation to A and C, they may decide that you are no longer available, even if you would prefer to work for them. If you approach B, they may feel that they are your second choice, or they may decide to sweeten their offer. Can you give them a conditional acceptance? Perhaps you may say that you are very interested in accepting, but you want to bring your family over to look at the city before making a final decision. That can buy you some time.


I was once in the same boat...I was offered a great job in Kanasas City and was set to interview in Atlanta a few days later. So I called Atlanta, told them I'd received a very competitive offer, and they moved the interview up by a few days. simple.


i would use the job offer you have as leverage. i did that for my first job and lined up 3 job offers...but turned them all down for a internship with a company i wanted to work for...was probably the best decision i made...