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7/20/2001

With Job Offers Come Choices

Kate Traynor

The national pharmacist shortage means that pharmacists fresh out of school may be in the enviable position of having to choose from more than one job offer at a time. But what happens when you receive a firm offer from one employer before you finish interviewing for a different—and, you think, better—job?

It may be possible to ask for an extension on your deadline for responding to the job offer, and then hope that the preferred employer offers you a position before the new deadline arrives. But if the original deadline is reasonable, the prospective employer who made the first offer may question your seriousness about taking the job. This could be a problem if the second offer never materializes.

Nick Corcodilos, of Ask The Headhunter, advises job seekers to evaluate only firm, written job offers and leave "what could be" situations out of the picture. So the appropriate question to ask is, would you take the job if no other employer offered you a position?

Sometimes, a job seeker will accept one position and later receive an offer from another employer. If the second offer is attractive enough to make a big, positive difference in your career or life, Corcodilos says it may be ethical to rescind your acceptance of the first offer. Rescinding a job acceptance isn’t nice, he says, and it may affect your reputation, but only you can decide if rescinding is right for you.