Don’t let the long story keep you from reading. This is a job offer story I think many of us can relate to. What should you do if you turn down a job, but then change your mind?
I need some guidance, and I’m hoping you can help.
A while back I applied for a position at a hospital, the posting said full-time, but I spoke to HR and explained to them that I was in school two nights a week and had clinicals twice a week (for the position I was applying for). They were receptive to that, and offered me a job, and said it would be weekends only until I was done with clinicals and school, then could go full time. I accepted the offer and went to the orientation.
When I spoke with the department manager, he said the hours were NOT full-time. I thought about it, decided it wasn’t for me, and explained to them in a professional email that I had to rescind my acceptance due to my needing a full-time position, and that my current employer (also a hospital) was going to assist me with getting a job in their department.
Two months later, nothing is moving with my employer and my current position isn’t paying the bills. Hospital A is now hiring for a full-time position, at a different facility. I sent an email apologizing for my mistake and would like to be reconsidered for the position.
My question to you, is how can I efficiently explain my situation without making it look like I’d jump ship as soon as I can? Because I wouldn’t. I’m afraid that’s the impression that they’ve gotten from me. When the real issue is whether or not I’d be guaranteed hours, because I’ve got bills to pay. Thanks!
There could be more to the story, but I think dealing with job offer remorse is a real issue. To help us understand what a candidate could do, I asked Chris Fields to share his expertise. He’san expert resume writer and human resources consultant who assists job seekers with their resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and job search over at ResumeCrusade.com. Chris has shared his expertise before with us. This post about which job title to use on your resume is one of my faves.
Chris, before we get to the reader’s question, let’s talk about a couple of other things. First, what advice do you give to someone who is weighing a job offer (so they make the right decision)?
[Fields] This is always a tough one. Obviously, you want to weigh the pros and cons of the company and the position, but my biggest suggestion is to not let fear drive the decision. What I mean by that is don’t chose the safe choice or the comfortable choice – push yourself. Don’t be afraid of a challenge.
I’m sure this person was surprised to hear that the position wasn’t full-time (after they accepted the job). When a new hire is told something contrary to their job offer, how should they proceed?
Be strategic in your next move. Instead of quitting immediately and going back to your old job, take your time, use sick days, paid-time-off (PTO), and whatever other options you have while you search for a better situation.
This note also talks about promises from their current employer (in terms of helping them get a new position). When should someone “give up” on their current job and start looking for a new one?
[Fields] Give your current employer a deadline to make it right. If they show no remorse and have no plan, then start looking.
What’s the best way to reach out to a company that you’ve previously turned down – phone or email – and why?
[Fields] You want to be sincere as possible. So, if you have a point of contact name and phone number, call them and explain the situation. Companies choose the wrong person all the time and end up calling other candidates once they have realized the error, so why can’t you? Just tell them honestly, “It seems I made a mistake, and I am wondering if there is still an opportunity with your company.”
When a candidate turns down a job offer, does it make sense to ask the recruiter if they can stay in touch – maybe on LinkedIn? Or is that sending a mixed message?
[Fields] Yes, it does make sense. Many of the recruiters I know say they don’t mind it at all.
Finally, how can a candidate get across the need for “guaranteed hours” without sounding like they’re going to “jump ship”?
[Fields] During the initial conversation, make it clear why a flexible schedule is what you are looking for and be sure to let them know that one of the main reasons why you are accepting the position is because of the hours. But as employers do, at some point someone may try to change things, this is where you hunker down and hold your position.
Hopefully, no one ever has to deal with a company not providing all the information necessary to make a good career decision. But if it happens, you have options. I love Chris’ advice about being strategic and thinking through your decision. Perspective can be a very valuable thing.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Wynwood Wall Art District in Miami, FL15