04/26/2023 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

When to Make Moves on Your Job Offer

Congratulations! You’ve been offered a position at an independent school — your hard work has paid off.

A man standing in front of a yellow wall with illustrations of three job offers

You are likely beginning to think about signing the contract, potentially moving to a new location, and on-boarding at your new school.

But what if there’s another position for which you are a finalist — or, even, one that’s earlier in the process, but which you find very intriguing? When should you make moves on the offer you have in hand?

1. Talk to the Other School

This is a great opportunity to gauge the interest of the other school. As soon as you receive your offer, check in with the other school that interests you and let them know. Tell them you have an offer and give them the timeline during which you need to make your decision, but be sure to stress that you remain interested in their opening. They may be able to match your timeline. If they tell you good luck in your new position, it’s likely it would not have been a fit anyway.

2. Talk to the Offering School

Be upfront with the school that made the offer. Let them know that you have been interviewing at other schools that are not as advanced in the process. Ask how much time you have to make your decision — they may be able to extend your contract deadline.

3. Consider the Time of Year

Early in the season — as in, early-to-mid-March — you might have some more wiggle room regarding your offers. As the spring progresses, though, you’ll want to make decisions more quickly. If you haven’t progressed far enough with another school to be confident that an offer is coming or possible, you should consider the value of having a solid offer. As the weeks go by, those offers will be fewer and further between.

4. Consider What You Want

Why are you clinging to the idea of this other potential job? If you’ve visited both campuses, you may have a clear understanding of why you prefer one job over another. But if you’re holding out hope for a school to which you’ve only just sent a cover letter, or only had a phone interview, make sure to assess what you really want — and whether you’re likely to get it in this other environment. If a school’s reputation or website is particularly appealing to you, that’s great — but it can’t beat a feeling you get on-campus and from interacting with the people at the institution. If you felt great at the school that’s made an offer to you, don’t take that lightly.

5. Discuss Things With Your Placement Associate

Our Placement Associates are always willing to help discuss strategy when it comes to accepting or waiting on offers. They may be able to provide more insight on where the “other” school is in the search, whether they have finalists besides you, and candid advice for what might make the most sense regarding a personal fit. Your Placement Associate is a resource — use them as such!

Have more questions about job searching this time of year? Tweet to us @carneysandoe.

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