How to Juggle Multiple Job Offers
So you’ve received a job offer—congratulations! But you’re also waiting for feedback on a recent interview with another charity. What do you do?
Although a nice problem to have, it can be stressful, especially when the two roles are running on different timelines. So how do you make sure you end up with the right job in the end? Here’s how to juggle multiple job offers.
Decide which job you want the most
It’s important to show enthusiasm and gratitude for the job you’ve just been offered, but don’t feel pressured into immediately accepting it. Make sure you have all the information about the package including benefits, flexibility and opportunities for training and development, and ask when they need to know your formal decision.
Next, decide which job you ideally want. Don’t just go for what immediately sounds more exciting, think long term—you don’t want to be applying for jobs again too soon!
Perhaps you already have a gut feeling on which of your multiple job offers is best. If it’s the job you’ve already been offered, then great! Politely withdraw your application from the other role and explain you’ve been offered a job elsewhere.
Alternatively, the prospect of the second job may be so exciting that it makes you realise that your heart isn’t really in the job you’ve been offered. Then you should turn it down, even if you don’t end up getting the second one.
Really not sure either way? Now’s the time to dig deep into what you want from your next role. Decide which factors are most important to you, be it location, career development, flexibility or salary, and rate the importance of each. Think about what you’ve enjoyed about previous jobs, any long-term plans for your career, and what makes you happy at work. Then compare the two roles for each factor, as far as you can.
Try to get both roles on to similar timescales
Think you might prefer the second role, or just want to know if you’ll get a second offer so you can make an informed decision? Try to get both roles on to similar timescales.
There are a couple of ways you can go about this. Firstly, you could see if you can buy some extra time and delay your final decision on the first job. You could ask the charity for more time to discuss with your partner or family, ask to meet the rest of the team or to have another informal chat with the line manager before making your decision. Tread carefully with this though, as you don’t want to seem hesitant or less interested in the role.
Decide how honest to be
Another option is to be honest and tell the recruiters that you’ve received multiple job offers. Then you could ask to delay your decision until you’ve heard back on the other role. This could be a good move, as it could make the first charity see you as being in high demand, but it’s the riskier option. If they feel like your second choice then they might be less excited about you as a candidate.
There is no harm, though, in approaching the second charity to ask if they could speed up their recruitment process. You can explain that you have another offer that you must shortly make a decision on, but you would prefer their role. This may at least give you an idea of whether they are seriously considering you. And even if it makes no difference, it shouldn’t hurt to ask.
Avoid accepting a job then turning it down again
Whichever route you choose, if you reach your deadline without a response from the second charity, then you must make a decision. All you can then do is decide based on the information you have at that time, i.e., you have only been offered one of the jobs.
You must do what’s right for you, and there will always be exceptional circumstances, but try to avoid accepting a job and then turning it down again if you’re offered another. It’s not a good move to waste charity resources when they have spent time preparing for your induction and turning down other candidates.
The sector is relatively small and people move around a lot. Making a bad name for yourself at one charity could come back to bite you elsewhere at some point in the future. So, if you accept a role, it’s best to withdraw from any other active opportunities.
Protect your reputation
Don’t forget that it’s great that you have multiple job offers, or are seriously in the running for more than one role—enjoy the confidence boost! Just make sure you protect your reputation by acting enthusiastically and respectfully at all times.
Now go and celebrate your new role! Or, if neither ended up being the one, get back out there and explore new opportunities.
This post was originally published in 2022 and has been updated to ensure relevance and to reflect the current jobseeker experience.