In this market, a job offer is valuable
Dear Dave: My current job is ending soon. I've gotten an offer at a company where I'm not sure I will fit in. I've also got an interview at a company I really like, but they will not make a decision for several weeks. Money is tight, so I'm leaning towards going with the sure thing. I know I could accept the one job and then move to the other job if I get it, but I am uncomfortable with that. What would you suggest? — B
My answer: Take the sure thing and accept the offer! Listen, the job market is tough and I would not mess around.
Now, here is where I will get into trouble with some readers, who may become ex-readers. I also advise you to interview for the other job — quietly and carefully — and, if you get an offer, and, if you like the job and the company better, take it!
However, some may say that I am an "unethical rodent" and believe that if you accepted a job and you're still looking, it's only polite and right to let whomever you are working for know that you're completing scheduled interviews. Just writing this sends a chill up my spine.
My logic (open to debate)
Augsburg College MBA student Clint Rasschaert tells me, "I see each individual as the CEO of their own company and should make strategic decisions about their 'business' (career) with the best information possible. Thus, apply the ’bird-in-hand’ theory, then trade up if and when possible."
You need to take care of you. I don’t know how this whole disloyalty mess got started, but the general work climate and "loyalty belief structure" is that many companies are not loyal to their employees, so why should employees be loyal to the company?
Let me say that I am not telling you or anyone else to be a blatant, job-hopping, opportunistic cretin. You may start the job and decide it is great, and you love working there — hooray!
The "off-with-the-heads," short-term, myopic, and often idiotic mentality displayed by ineffective companies and leaders has created a justified fearful and protectionist stance by many employees, who have either suffered the wrath of the pink slip or are close to someone who has.
Further — and I am on a roll here — if employees who work their tails off for their company are given reason to hang on and weather the storm by upper-level executives who cared about the vision of the company and the well-being of their people, we would not have this disloyalty mess.
The worker does not come to a company expecting horrible things to happen to them — they just want a good job, managers that do not beat on them, good co-workers and ample compensation for the work they do.
Also, they want job security and a belief their company leaders are making wise, strategic and visionary decisions that will move the company along as much of a sustainable path as possible.
Finally, people want to work where they enjoy the way people treat and talk to each other, and where — as you say — they "fit in."
If you and your experience and skills are in demand, then you need to maximize your ability to earn and be happy. Timing always seems to be wrong in these employment situations, so you need to assess your employment potential and go with what will serve you best.