I’ve Got A Job Offer, Do I Shout it From the Rooftops

Posted by Nancy Gober

SuccessYou’ve landed your new position – you have an offer in hand! You want to tell absolutely everybody. But should you?

Chances are, if you have been looking for a job in today’s still tough employment market, you have been working really hard at your cleared job search. When you found a lead that turned into a real potential opportunity, you were optimistic. And, when that lead turned into a bona-fide offer, you were excited. You’ve succeeded!

And, now you want to race out and tell everyone! You want to celebrate, and want to share the good news with everyone who has helped along the way so they can share in your success. But, should you? I suggest another course of action. Instead of calling everyone you know and e-mailing your entire address book, wait a while!

Hard as it may be to keep your great news private a little longer, a better tack to take is to calm down, share your good news confidentially with only a select few trusted confidants and supporters, and wait a while.

All this is particularly true when you receive a contingent offer. In the cleared community we sometimes see another wrinkle too, which is a delay in the security clearance transfer process. It’s in your best interest to keep your job search active, and your communication of your success to a minimum.

So what are you waiting for?

That first paycheck from your new company or organization.

A Phenomenon of Landing a Job

In the many years during which I have coached job seekers, I have seen a phenomenon occur. And, I’ve seen it time and time again. It goes like this:

  1. Job seekers received the long-awaited, coveted offer, and they believe they are all set.
  2. Believing they are all set and ready to go to their new job, or new role, they call and e-mail their entire network, family, and friends and share the good news.
  3. And then the unthinkable. The job falls through!
  4. Now, they’re stuck, again, without a job. What do you do?

The Phenomenon: Why Do Job Offers Go Away?

It’s one of the mysteries of the job-seeking-world: Job offers appear and then – poof – disappear! The firm, or organization, that extended the offer rescinds it. They are “very sorry,” and “wish you the best of luck,” but that doesn’t solve your problem, does it? You don’t have a job, again.

Why does this phenomena occur? In almost all cases, employers make the offer with good intentions of bringing you on board as an employee. But then, things happen in the hiring companies that affect the open position. Here are some reasons that jobs go away:

  • Companies, and organizations, change their minds. Due to any number of reasons, including reassessment of staffing costs, a change in priorities and therefore the skills needed by the firm, contract loss, or internal reorganizations, they decide to eliminate the job. And, along with it, you – the collateral damage of their staffing decision.
  • Their departing employee changes their mind. The departing employee, who had previously filled the position, decides to stay. Viewing this change in events from the company’s viewpoint, it is more cost-effective to let them return to their role than taking on a new employee who will need time, and possibly training, to become as productive in performing the job as the departing employee already is.
  • Job combining occurs. The employer reassesses how this particular function you’re being hired for is done. They decide that it can be done by in-house staff, if they divvy up the job duties and assign one or two duties to a few staff members, saving costs and without the downtime involved in bringing a new employee up to speed.
  • The need goes away. An anticipated contract is not won; a predicted product/service expansion doesn’t occur; a hiring freeze occurs; the firm is bought; the service you were hired to do is outsourced; the firm changes its mind and decides against opening up the new location in which you would have worked. The result: The need for your services goes away. There’s no job for you to do!

NOTE: I personally experienced this one myself . Painfully. I was happily working for a defense contractor, but knew I wanted to relocate to another state and larger urban area. I used my vacation days to make several trips to the desired location, networking and meeting with employers. I received an offer from a highly desired firm.

I then tendered my resignation to my employer. Well, after the word was out, going-away parties thrown, lease broken, moving arrangements made, heck I even advised my employer on what to look for in my replacement. I got a call. They were “sorry.” They were “very sorry – very, very sorry,” but they could not go forward with the hiring. My job was gone, eliminated by a hiring freeze. Turns out while the largest division of this high tech firm was making plans to expand, corporate headquarters was making plans to reduce costs. Revenues were down and cost cutting was beginning. A company-wide lay-off soon followed.

The end of the story: I decided that the geographic area was where I wanted to be for long-term career growth, and so relocated anyway. Having been exceedingly active in my professional association, I networked like crazy within the association’s chapter in my new locale. I found a short-term 10-month full-time temporary position that allowed me to eat, while I also continued to search. I wound up with a new position that turned out to be a great fit at a defense firm at which I worked for many years!

  • The Chairman’s daughter graduates! The Chairman’s, or CEO’s, or a popular manager’s, or a valuable employee’s family member transitions out of the military or graduates from college and needs a job. Sorry, they win out over you! Yes, Virginia, nepotism does exist!

And, there are probably dozens more reasons for a job’s sudden disappearance. However, what is important to this discussion is to recognize that jobs do go away. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen.

Almost as important is to recognize that it is not personal to you. If you can, it can be helpful to step back and take a philosophical stance, first recognizing that it happens, and next understanding how to best manage your actions during this interim time period between when an offer is made to you and when you actually report to work.

How to Handle the Potentially-Disappearing-Offer

Upon receiving a job offer, or even a promise of an offer, your first inclination is to tell everyone. Your second inclination is to shut down your search. Don’t do either one. Here’s why, and some strategies to use during this interim time period:

STRATEGY 1: Don’t tell the people in your network about your offer, just yet.

Why? They will stop helping you.

Leads to new positions, introductions and referrals to members of their network will cease. Why? Because in their eyes, you’re now okay: You have a job! However, as the previous discussion has shown, that may or may not be the case.

Action to take while you wait:

I know you’ve got to tell someone. You want to share the good news!

  • So, select two or three confidantes or trusted advisors who you know have only your best interest at heart and share the news with them. Also share the need, during the short-term, to keep the information confidential and why.
  • Use this interim time period to prepare your Thank You e-mails and plan your calls to the members of your network. When the time is right to announce your new job, you’ll be ready to do so!

STRATEGY 2: Don’t shut down your search.

Why? The answer is pretty obvious! If your offer goes away, you will need to re-start your search.

Recall the effort it took to begin your search. Don’t put yourself back in that boat of having to begin a new search, compounded by the fact now you have to do the work of re-contacting everyone you informed of your new job, tell them it fell through, and request their help once again. It’s an undesirable position to be in, and one you don’t have to be in with exercising a little prudence.

Action to take while you wait:

Keep your search going.

  • Especially true if the offer you received is from your second choice company. It so frequently happens that when a job seeker hones in on their two top-choice positions, they often receive an offer from their second choice employer before their first choice. It’s another phenomenon of job searching! So, continue to interact with your first choice firm during this interim time period.
  • Although you may not want to pursue new jobs with the intensity you did prior to receiving your offer, still continue to seek out and apply for interesting opportunities.
  • Continue to network.
  • Continue to attend your professional association meetings and your Job Search Work Team meetings.
  • Keep an eye on on-line listings and apply for interesting ones.

STRATEGY 3: Don’t announce your new role as you begin your new job.

Why? Give yourself time to begin the new job, gain familiarity with your new role and environment, and assess its fit for you.

Work in the job a couple of weeks and see how it fits! It may be perfect for you and all you imagined. On the other hand, it may not. Yes, employers make mistakes, but candidates for jobs do too.

I recall a colleague and former client who accepted a position. While happy with the job offer, something did not feel quite right. Upon reporting to work, she found the firm in disarray, beginning with the announcement of her boss that he was leaving. Suffice it to say, she made it a short stay.

Action to take while you wait:

  • Announce your new job to your network after you receive your first paycheck. Not only will you be safer in delaying announcing your job, but waiting a couple weeks will give you a little more information to share about your new role.
  • If you have doubts, delay a bit longer, until your second paycheck. Give yourself time to assess how you feel about the job, and to decide if it is a good career move or a mistake.

Now, Shout it from the Rooftops!

To sum it up, don’t move too hastily in announcing that you have found a new job and that your job search is over. Instead, give yourself the luxury of a little more time. Use your time wisely as discussed in this article, including preparing your success announcement for distribution to your network when the time is right. And then, shout it from the rooftops! Congratulations on your success!

Nancy GoberNancy Gober is a career strategist who has helped thousands of job seekers find employment. She’s also been a popular resume reviewer at our Cleared Job Fairs. You may reach Nancy via email at [email protected]. Follow Nancy on Twitter @AfterJobClub.


  • Nancy Gober

    Nancy Gober is a career strategist who has helped thousands of job seekers find employment, and the author of “Jobs Are Not Found Sitting at the Computer.” You may reach Nancy via email at [email protected].

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 3:13 pm

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