Job Offers: Take or Wait?

It can be hard to figure out what you should do when job offers come in, especially when they don’t meet your standards or expectations.
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Sarah Si
Sarah Si
Editor, gradsingapore
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The stage was set when you graduated. The global pandemic served as the dreary backdrop, and student loans hung over the proceedings like a pall. But hey, at least your job hunt was a success! You applied to the relevant dream roles, and you’ve received some job offers.

Except none of those offers live up to your expectations. Perhaps some aspects of the job are not part of The Right Job you have for yourself in mind, such as a requirement to work on some weekends, or a smaller remuneration package.

But on the other hand, the economic woes of the pandemic also mean that you might not get another offer as good as the one(s) you’re considering passing up. Not to mention you’ll be throwing away the time and energy you’ve invested in your long, and sometimes agonising, hunt.

And then there’s the fact that you’ve put so much time and money into your education to think about. You’re the new and very proud owner of your shiny degree – and you want to put it to good use in a role worth its value.

Which leads us to the million-dollar question. Do you take up the role you were offered, though it’s less-than-perfect for you and your degree? Or do you hold out for The Right Job?

Unfortunately, we don’t have the right answers for you. But what we can do is put up some factors you might want to consider, and that might help you come to a decision.

Take: You’ll get the experience you need

There are times that you’ll get an offer for a job that’s close to what your dream job is, barring a few aspects that don’t appeal to you. But here’s the thing. It’ll definitely get you the experience you need to work towards your dream job. If that’s the case, the role could be worth taking!

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Wait: You have a solid plan leading to your dream job

If you’ve done up a comprehensive job search plan with a solid timeline, and found out that you have a very high chance of landing your dream job within the time given, consider doing so!

However, keep in mind that there are many factors to this job search plan. You need to crunch the numbers and figure out a budget for yourself to see you through the duration of your job search, for starters. And you need to find out what job search resources are available to you as well, like your university job search portal, other platforms (e.g. gradsingapore), or even industry magazines. You’ll also need to create a resume and cover letter, and have your campus career coach look over, and approve, them.

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Take: Finances are tight

As harsh as this truth is, financial needs sometimes force your hand and cause you to take an offer you’re not too enthusiastic about. But even if you’re not too financially strapped yet and you still have some wiggle room, taking a job can help you keep your finances buoyed and put you in a better place for when you start your job search again in the future.

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Wait: You know what aspects of a job will make you miserable

If you’re going to turn down a job offer and continue waiting for The Right Job, it’s important that you have a very clear idea of which offer you’ll accept. After all, if you have no idea what you’re waiting for, you could end up waiting forever for that mysterious offer to come!

Having a solid understanding of the factors that should be must-haves in your dream job will be a great help in deciding this.

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Take: You don’t have a clear idea of what your dream job is

If you have only a vague idea of what your dream job is, consider being adventurous and try out jobs that may not initially pass off as your dream job. Take up the offer that best suits your present likes and dislikes in a role. This will give you a sense of what your dream job is, and may even give you the time and experience needed to refine your career goals.

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Wait: There’s no value in the job for you

Your job should always add value to you in a meaningful and purposeful way. In that vein, you wouldn’t apply to a role that you know would make you miserable (remember the point above?). Instead, you would gun for a role that wouldn’t leave you feeling so down based on the job description given, right?

Except, when you went for the interview, you found out that the job scope was completely different! If you feel that you can still build skills and experience, though there’ll be less meaning and purpose for you, give it a try. But be sure to explain that to your prospective employer, as well as that you may not hold the position for long. However, if you think that the job scope will give you no meaning and purpose, and that there’s no reason to take it on, it would be better to hold out.

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