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Got Laid off, and Interviewing for 2 Jobs, Any Advice?

ElleB11ElleB11 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on my current situation. As I've said in an earlier thread, I graduated in December 2011, and have been applying for jobs ever since. I've been interviewing at least once almost every week. So roughly around 30 interviews this year alone. They are all for entry-level positions, fairly competitive, and a majority of the interviews were for jobs in my field. No offers obviously. :/

I was working for a temp agency since April but was laid off unexpectedly yesterday because my project had ended (no more work for us to do.) Luckily I had 2 interviews the day before that for 2 different positions. Job A is through a recruiter (same one who got me the first temp job). It's a temp position that should last around 6-8 months with a good chance to be hired on permanently. Job B is a permanent, entry-level position, in my field, aimed towards graduates. It's a physically small company, but a huge, crucial company in my field. They are interviewing 6 people and have 2 openings.

Both companies should have made their hiring decisions by Monday or Tuesday next week. The problem is, Job B is obviously my first choice, but Job A has already expressed to my recruiter that they loved me and would absolutely hire me if they have enough openings (they are still deciding how many people they can hire but haven't made any decisions yet). The recruiter told me that if they offer me a position, I will not have the opportunity to think about it. I will need to make a decision immediately. And that the recruiter will get penalized if I accept the offer, and then accept a counter offer (Job B).

This is a very difficult decision for me. Because I know the recruiter personally and don't want to do something that could hurt her job. Say Job A offers me a job first, and I accept. Then Job B offers me a job after. Or Job A offers me a job, and I decline and Job B doesn't offer me a job at all. Or say I call/e-mail Job B and let them know my situation (getting laid off, and recruiter finding me a different position), it might hurt my chances of getting hired at all. But I don't even know if I'll get any offers at all... I have a good feeling about both, but with my luck, who knows. I just want to be prepared for next week.

Any advice???
Post edited by ElleB11 on

Replies to: Got Laid off, and Interviewing for 2 Jobs, Any Advice?

  • turtlerockturtlerock Posts: 1,119Registered User Senior Member
    Because I know the recruiter personally and don't want to do something that could hurt her job.
    If this recruiter cared about you as much as you seem to be looking out for her, then she wouldn't mind taking some heat for you if it meant you could get a job that you would like more, and would fit more with what you're looking to get out of a career. The recruiter does not have to disclose that she knew what you were going to do if you were offered Job B - for all she "knows" you are fully intent on Job A.

    Really, I think this is one of those 'do it for you and only you' situations. Sounds selfish sometimes, but it's absolutely necessary eventually. You can spend you whole life patting people on the back, but if you don't pat yourself on the back once in a while or someone else doesn't pat your back, then where are you headed?

    Personally, I would take Job A if it is offered and drop it the moment Job B comes around, if it does. If Job B is stable, then hopefully you won't have to see/deal with Job A folks again and you certainly wouldn't have to deal with the temp agency your recruiter friend is at - so they can all be upset and mad, but really, they should understand.
  • chriswchrisw Posts: 1,385Registered User Senior Member
    Rule number 1 about handling job offers: If you accept a job, you MUST withdraw from consideration from ALL OTHER JOBS. Accepting and then reneging on an offer is a serious issue, and there are companies out there who would fire you if they found out that you had accepted another offer before accepting theirs. A recruiter is trying to protect you as much as he is trying to protect himself here.

    That said, if Job A is so interested in you, they can wait a few days for you to hear back from Job B, and you can use an offer extended by Job A to put extra pressure on Job B to get back to you sooner.
  • soccerguy315soccerguy315 Posts: 6,721Registered User Senior Member
    Rule number 1 about handling job offers: If you accept a job, you MUST withdraw from consideration from ALL OTHER JOBS.

    if he accepts a temp job you would tell him to withdraw his applications from full time positions?
  • turtlerockturtlerock Posts: 1,119Registered User Senior Member
    chrisw wrote:
    Rule number 1 about handling job offers: If you accept a job, you MUST withdraw from consideration from ALL OTHER JOBS.
    Uh, people can search for new jobs while they are working current jobs, so why would they have to withdraw all other offers? I've never seen this in employment - that sounds more like something a school admissions policy states (i.e. accepting one admissions, so withdrawing all others).

    And, IMO, I don't care who the heck I'm working for, if it's temp, then I will always be actively looking for better temp or permanent work. I would think temp positions know they aren't the best in terms of working stability, and shouldn't expect people to drop much better prospects in favor of them.

    Can some employers take the 'withdraw all other offers' stance? Sure, anything can happen. Would I withdraw the better offers? H, E, double hockey sticks NO.

    OP, Does Job A state anything like this? Does the temp agency?
  • CollectivSynergyCollectivSynergy Posts: 982Registered User Member
    chrisw - that's true for OCR, not so much after college. Mostly because you're reflecting poorly on your school's recruiting office. Afterwards, you can still tarnish your own name (insofar is you might need to go through said recruiter down the line), but at least you're doing it to yourself.
  • Cobra392Cobra392 Posts: 131Registered User Junior Member
    "Rule number 1 about handling job offers: If you accept a job, you MUST withdraw from consideration from ALL OTHER JOBS."

    Wow, I COMPLETELY disagree with this statement. This is TERRIBLE advice. Do not follow this.

    Companies make job offers and then withdraw them. This happened to me last year. A company offered to bring me on, then pushed it back a week, and then a week later told me that they didn't have the funding to bring me on. Obviously I have no idea if this statement was true, but the point is, the company screwed me over, and truly didn't care about it. Both of the owners of this small company were rich. They could have afforded me if they truly wanted to. They decided it wasn't in their best interest to bring me on.

    Last year, a close friend accepted a job offer, but it took several weeks for the security clearance to get through. He got tired of waiting, and he accepted a non-security clearance job at a different company. He then told the first company that he was no longer interested in the position, and he has thrived ever since at the second company. The second company knew that he had accepted the first offer, and they didn't care. .... Companies are self-centered. They care about their own success, they don't care about the feelings or success of competitors.

    As a professional, you need to do what is in your best interest (from a combination of career / financial / personal happiness standpoint). Companies always act in their self-interest (usually profits / performance), so you can't expect that they'll show you loyalty if they don't feel that it is in their interest.

    You can't make a habit of quitting jobs quickly after starting them, cause that will look bad on your resume and employers will be less likely to hire you in the future if they see that you have multiple "short stints". But if it is a one-time job that will be great for you, and you truly believe that you'll be at the new job for a long time, don't hesitate to leave a job, even if you haven't been there long at all.

    ---

    Back to the original poster: take the first job if it is offered, and if you have to leave for the second one, so be it. If the first company truly wants you, they'll make you permanent, or some sort of better offer.

    Also, be clear. You DID NOT get "laid off". You were a contract worker whose project ended. There is an enormous difference. Do not tell yourself / others / companies that you were laid off. Simply say "My contract project ended".

    Finally, regarding the recruiter getting "penalized" .... meh. Recruiters are always looking out for their own interests too. I've had recruiters tell me that they would get me an interview, then find out that the recruiter submitted a better candidate. Stuff like this happens a lot. The recruiter should understand that you're doing what they would be doing if they were in your shoes: trying to best advance your career. ... Furthermore, a big reason that recruiters don't want their temp workers to quit a temp job is because, to a recruiter, YOU ARE INCOME. ..... Recruiting firms charge, for example, $30/hr to a company for every hour that the temp works, and only pay the temp $14/hr. Once they have placed you at a client, a recruiter and the recruiting firm does very little work, yet they still keep profiting that $16/hr for essentially doing nothing. .... My point in all this is just a reminder that the main reason that a recruiter wants you to work a temp job is so that the recruiter can make money. ............ The client will be ****ed at the recruiter if you leave, in the same way that you would be ****ed at a company for firing you. It's a two-way street. There's no need to put the wishes of the recruiter ahead of your own wishes.

    You obviously don't want to **** off too many recruiters, because then none of them will help you get a job, and you might get a bad reputation (recruiters at rival firms do talk to each other). But not every recruiter knows each other, not by a long-shot. I've ****ed off a couple of recruiters before by backing out of jobs, yet I've still had numerous other recruiters call me about jobs. There are TONS of recruiters out there, desperate for qualified candidates.

    Being a temp worker is a tough go. Companies pay more money into state unemployment benefits when they lay off permanent workers, but they don't face this problem with temp workers. So companies have no problem firing temp workers (and this is a huge reason why companies often prefer to hire temp workers).

    The temp world can be rough. I was in my 3rd week as a temp job once, in a new city, when the company instantly decided that I wasn't a good fit. I received no unemployment benefits or severance, and was also stuck with a nonrefundable extended-stay hotel that had been paid for in advance.

    I'm currently an ongoing temp-worker, I have been for five months now, and I'm looking for a permanent offer that really interests me. Like I've said before, it looks bad to accept a permanent job and then leave quickly, so that's why I haven't accepted any permanent offers. For the time being, I'm perfectly happy doing temp jobs until an interesting permanent one comes along.

    My point in sharing that anecdote is to remind you that you MUST look out for your own interest first and foremost. If you're not doing it, no one else will.

    ---

    So, my advice to the original poster: accept job A if that offer comes first, and if you then got an offer for job B and decide that you'd like job B better, take it. Seems like you'd definitely be happier in that one.
  • chriswchrisw Posts: 1,385Registered User Senior Member
    Part of the ethics of job seeking is to avoid reneging on an offer once you accept it; to that end, you are supposed to withdraw your other applications once you accept an offer, regardless of whether it's your first or your fifth job. That said, employers are ethically expected to give you reasonable amounts of time to consider offers, and 24-48 hours does NOT meet the threshold of "reasonable." That doesn't justify accepting and then reneging, but it does explain the decision, especially if you're relatively new to the business world.

    At the end of the day, your decision is your own. Legally, you can do whatever you want, and so can the company. Just know that accepting an offer and then reneging on your acceptance is likely to burn a bridge or two, and I'm not lying when I say SOME - not all, but some - companies out there will fire you if they find out that you accepted another offer prior to accepting theirs (my company included!). No company wants to look like a poacher, after all.

    The big thing here - the thing that I missed (my bad!) - is that we're not talking about apples to apples. You are basically comparing an extended internship with a potential career... the rules are a little different there. Still, I'd try to get that first company to extend their deadline so that you can give it reasonable thought (and figure out whether the other company is going to come through!).
  • Cobra392Cobra392 Posts: 131Registered User Junior Member
    A well-written reply, Chris.

    One thought though ... You said that "No company wants to look like a poacher".

    Perhaps no company wants to look like a poacher, but any smart company should LOVE to be a poacher. If you're a company trying to be successful, you should constantly be on the lookout for the best talent available, and you should constantly be seeking to get the best talent to work for you.

    And I think that this mindset applies to workers as well. You should constantly be on the lookout to work at a great firm. My first company after college was a really highly-regarded firm, and having that on my resume always gets big compliments when I'm interviewing.

    On the flip side, several years ago, my dad stayed on at a struggling post-tech-bubble company for several years because they where the only company in the region, and he didn't want to have to move. I don't blame him for this. He loved the city that we were living in at the time: great friends, great schools, great church, great neighbors. And he liked his coworkers as well. His job made him happy and paid him really well. He was hoping that he could stay at the company until retirement. .... Not surprisingly, after the company doing layoffs for several years, he was rather suddenly let go a couple years ago. After months of job searching, the only job that he could find that was a good fit required a cross-country move for my mom and him. They're reasonably happy with their new location, and feel very blessed that they have a job that will financially help them achieve their retirement goals, but they also still wish that they were in their lifelong home region. Perhaps had my dad been more aggressive while employed about seeking out new options, my parents would still be living in their hometown.

    So again, you gotta always be aware of if you're working at a company that has a good future.
  • ElleB11ElleB11 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    Thank you for all your advice.

    The only reason I called it a lay off was because I told my recruiter that my contract unexpectedly ended and she asked if it was on good terms. I said, I didn't know. They just told another temp and I that there would be no more work for us and that we can leave whatever time we wanted to. And then that's when she said it was a true lay off.

    Well it is now Tuesday night and I have not heard from either Job A or Job B. I am hoping tomorrow will bring me good news. I am thinking about following up with Job B.
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