One if by land, Two if by sea
Paul Revere originated this phrase during his historic ride from Boston to Concord on the verge of the American Revolutionary War. The signal alerted patriots about the route the British troops chose to advance to Concord.
Now… it’s YOUR turn to choose your route and advance to your new job, BECAUSE…
Holy cow, Baby boomer, you just got more than 1 job offer! Wow. You’ve been out of work for a while, and then BOOM! I’m so thrilled for you. Now the pressure is on the choose the right one. What ever shall you do? If you choose wrong, you’ll be miserable and you’ll continue to second guess your decision. If you choose right… then all can be right with the world.
I will be giving you some considerations you should think to help you choose the best one. But. And this is a BIG BUT! It is still not a guarantee you’ll make the perfect choice. You know that, right? It can be a crap shoot – but at least you can try to improve your chances to score a win.
Let’s discuss a way to make a difficult situation easier and talk about how to choose the best option for YOU. But first…
My un-epic story
My long story, short. A few years ago, I received 3 job offers all on the same day. 3 great ones! Talk about exhilarating. I was on a high. I asked questions to narrow my options, I negotiated salary, and I further fine tuned my research. My decision was reached. Cool, right? Yes it was. I loved the managers, the culture, and the work. The district was amazing…
Then I relocated – different state, same company. A job I loved turned into a freaking nightmare. The managers sucked, the district sucked and the atmosphere and work ethic was TOTALLY wrong. BLEAH! I was turned off and eventually laid off due to restructuring, and I wasn’t sad. Ironically I didn’t choose one of my previous offers because of the culture and ethics of the district manager I had interviewed with. He felt a little “slim-shady” to me. Then it happened… the “slim-shady” thing happened with the company I chose. Just saying… you never know.
I tell this story not to discourage you, but rather to shed light on “the real world” and bring you back down to earth. I love all of the articles out there that make choosing the right job seem so easy. There is no easy fix, and sometimes there are no easy answers. I’d rely on your gut instinct over much else. But sometimes even your gut needs some guidance. 🙂
Your days of pounding the pavement is over!
You’ve been pounding the internet pavement. You’ve been over 50 and unemployed for a while. You’re battered, bruised, and living in a state of perpetual wonderment. Wondering if you were impressive enough, wondering if they approve of your skillset, wondering if you looked young enough. Heck! Wondering if you like them (as if that matters, because you need a job)! But most of all… you’re wondering “when is that job offer finally going to come through”?
Even though you think it’s unlikely you’ll get more than one offer – you should have a plan just in case it happens. Because…Boom, baby. It will come out of nowhere and hit all at once. Figures, doesn’t it? Be prepared.
AND… whatever you do, don’t panic. That doesn’t work – I’ve tried it. Don’t take the first offer that called you either. Stay calm, and take a breath.
DISCLAIMER: I’m the not “be all – hear all”. I’m just me, with an opinion. If you’re looking for an expert – that ain’t me… but if you’re looking for someone whose “been there, don’t that”, I’m your girl. I’ve been through this in the past and just want to share some insight. Remember? I LOVE SHARING! 🙂
Part 1 – What do YOU need? When it’s NOT just about the money.
This is important. It’s not just about what the company needs from you… what do YOU need from the company? Go over these few tidbits and make notes, right now.
- What about your financial future? You’re still building your financial nest egg for retirement. How does their 401(k) stack up. What is the company’s matched contributions? Some companies don’t match your 401(k) and it’s all on you. How long before you’re considered “vested”? You should be diversifying your investments, but a solid 401(k) is still a great way to sock away a few bucks. It’s free money!
- Is work/life balance important to you? Of course it is. This is a biggie. Do you want 40 hours per week, but the ‘unspoken’ expectation is more like 50, or 60? Think about that. Sometimes the lucrative offer of more money means more expectations on the amount of hours you put in. Taking a smaller salary offer might be appealing if it balances with your work/life choice. Surely in your interview you asked the key questions…”what does a typical day look like?” “What are the hourly expectations of this position?” “Is this a 24/7 on call requirement”? You get the picture. Me? These days I’m all about work/life balance. I have nothing to prove by working 60 and 70 hours a week anymore. Think about where you want to invest your time. At home? Or at work?
- What about moving up in the company – or training and educational possibilities? Are you interesting in training and learning more? Are you interested in moving up within the company? Cool. I am too. Here’s a little secret… it doesn’t matter how old you are, or where you are in your career – companies want to hear that you’re interested in growing and promoting within their company structure. Why do you think they ask where you want to be in 3 to 5 years? Just saying. So… make sure you have asked and researched their career possibilities
- And… do you like the person who would be your boss? You’ll know once the interview starts (Sometimes. There have been those “Jekyll and Hyde interviewers). You’ve gotten good at reading people over the decades – and this is an advantage for you. You can read between the lines – but DON’T assume anything. Hopefully you’ve made your conversations count while in the interview. What’s the company culture and value structure? What about ethics? You’ll be working with these people a good portion of your “daily life”, so this little gem of insight is key. Also, ask yourself… If you’re almost 60, can you work with that boss who is 20 or 30 something. You better had said yes! Shame on you if you said no. You might need to reboot your thinking and get with the program. Those younger bosses can offer you invaluable benefits and insights.
Part 2 – What’s the next step?
First off, let me remind you that verbal offers are NOT offers (verbal offers are old school and mean nothing). Make sure you have solid “written” offers in your hands first! Please!
Now, with that out of the way… Hold on to your britches. You’re excited, aren’t cha?
- First. Ask each employer if you can have 48 hours to think through their offer. This does a couple of different things… first it secures your offer for a few days. This is good. And I think most hiring managers are used to this request. Now that you’ve got those offers on hold, it’s time to think it through! Also, it gives you a moment to back off a let your new offers soak in. Enjoy it.
- Remember those 4 things I talked about above? It’s time to get out that information and remind yourself what’s important to you. Those 4 little nifties are going to be the foundation of your decision. Voila!
- Compare your offers side by side. Use an excel spreadsheet (if you’re anal retentive and love spreadsheets), or just get one index card for each offer and write it out. Write the positives and negatives of all your offers. How does it pan out according to your wants and needs? Which offer has more plusses? Is one closer to home but less money? Is one your dream job, but a long commute or longer hourly expectations? Write it out in as much detail as you can.
- Eat. Pray. Sleep. Eat some more. Not kidding. If you don’t pray… meditate – do what ever works for you. (Don’t forget… this is ALL ABOUT YOU). And really… don’t forget to eat. I prefer creamy ice cream when I think. Get refreshed… Talk is over with your spouse. Call a friend you trust. Talk to your kids. Heck… talk to an old boss or former colleague, they know you pretty well, right? Take all the information you have then systematically make your decision with the help of your best buddy – YOUR GUT INSTINCT!
I know. Your head hurts. That’s okay – the pain will last only for a little while. Now. Take another deep breathe. It’s time to call the employer of your choice. Are you ready? Are you SURE that you’re sure? Even if the “other” offers throw out more money, would you STILL BE SURE?
Good! Your decision is made. Now what?
Oh boy! I’m so excited for you! I’ve got goose bumps and everything. Now it’s time to call “the winner”. P.S. Don’t call the “losers” until the “winner” is secured. Capeesh? You know why. Things can, and do, fall apart. Just be on the side of safety.
Now. Call that hiring manager and accept the position. Say it with a smile and some enthusiasm – cuz you know that smile will come across the phone lines. They want to feel your excitement because they’re excited for you too. Then… ask what your next steps are in the process. If you have a job – then give your two-weeks notice. If you don’t have a job? … well… 🙂
- Thank them for their time
- Explain you’re declining their offer
- Give a short, but meaningful reason, and
- Ask to stay connected (it’s still about networking, baby)
Hello XYZ! Thank you for giving me time to review your offer. I wanted to call and let you know that I’ve decided to decline your offer at this time and have accepted a competing offer that I feel best fits my current professional and personal goals. I want you to know that I’ve enjoyed our conversations together and getting to know you and your company made the decision a hard one. Again, thank you for your time and I hope I’ll be able to keep my information on file with you for future consideration.
I know. Pretty cookie cutter. But it’s the truth, right? But look. Don’t go into a bunch of detail here. It’ll just get awkward. I know this as fact. GULP! 🙂
Be gracious. Be courteous. Show mild regret. This is an absolute a must. And you MUST call these people back and follow up (for Pete’s sake – don’t send an email or text message). That’s pretty tacky. Don’t burn your bridges now – you might need them in the future should things turn sour sometime down the long-distant road. Let them know that you have accepted another offer. THANK THEM for their time and for the interview process and for their generous offer.
Declining a job offer properly is a biggie. How you turn down a job can (and in some instances) will follow you. It’s a small world out there. Ask my friend, Molly. She dumped an offer from a company, quite unceremoniously in my opinion. Later on that year the hiring manager from that company accepted a position with her CURRENT company. Yep. Awkward. She eventually left the company after several months, because the situation became more uncomfortable as time went by. “Unspoken body language” from her “new boss” was her take on it. I personally think she was paranoid (or not, who’s to know for sure). 🙂 I told her, “that’s what you get for being cocky”!
I know I’m suggesting spending quality time with the loser. BUT… even though you didn’t accept the position, you certainly don’t want to burn a potential networking opportunity for the future. Your time and effort will be appreciated. And remember, you are your “brand” and you always want to be true to your brand.
Once again, I’m so happy for you. It’s tough out there, especially for some of us baby boomers. You did your due diligence. You kept your head held high. You impressed the hell out a few companies, and now you can reap the reward and benefits of your catch. Oh. And pay the bills.
Here. Let me be the first to get you started on your “path to decision”. Enjoy this little PayScale calculator I picked up along one of my internet road trips. It’s pretty cool. ENJOY!
Until next time…