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Graduate Fears Settling on Job Offer

Dear Harlan: I’m a senior in college interviewing for jobs. I have an offer from a company that is on the bottom of my list. The company I’m most interested in won’t make their hiring decisions for several more weeks. I want to make sure I have a job when I graduate, but I don’t want to take the first offer. I’m afraid if I wait too long, I’ll lose this offer and get stuck with no job. I’ve considered telling the people who offered me the job that I’m waiting for other offers, but didn’t know how to explain this without looking like I didn’t want the job. I don’t want to settle.

— Unsettled

Dear Unsettled:  It’s kind of like dating and relationships. You know when something doesn’t feel right, but the idea of being alone can make you second-guess yourself. If you have already gotten a job offer, you will get more offers. If you aren’t sure about this company, talk to people who work there. Discover what it’s like. Talk to new hires in your position and ask them about their job search and working at this company. When it comes to responding to the people who offered you the job, be grateful and honest. Share that you are exploring a variety of opportunities and need more time to make a decision. Suggest a time frame to get back to them. In the meantime, make sure you are continuing to meet with people in the places doing the things you want to do. And if you decide not to take this job, the time you invest in this process will be well worth it.

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