How “Jumping the Gun” with Your Job Offer Can Backfire

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

Excitement during a job search is great. Being proactive during that same job search is even better. However, there is such a thing as being too excited and perhaps just a bit too eager.

The result can have negative consequences for your career . . . if you’re not careful to take the right steps and approach the situation correctly. Which is exactly what this blog post is all about.

As most of you are well aware, I’ve witnessed many things happen in the employment marketplace during my more than 21 years as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter. This is one of many reasons why I’m uniquely qualified to provide career advice and assistance to professionals. I’ve seen just about everything that can be done wrong.

A five-pack of cardinal sins

And what I want to address right now is that space of time that exists between the moment a professional verbally accepts an offer of employment and when they officially sign an offer letter (or start actually working for the organization). That time can vary, of course, depending upon the situation and the employer involved. However, no matter the length of time, there are certain things that you should NOT do.

Doing these things can be classified as “jumping the gun,” and they can jeopardize your imminent new employment. With that in mind, below is a five-pack of cardinals sins that signifies you’ve “jumped the gun” with your job offer.

#1—Verbally telling everyone that you just got a new job

Sure, you’re excited. Yes, you want to tell people. However, you don’t want to tell everyone. If you simply must tell people (or you’re going to burst), try to stick to your family and your closest confidants. If you tell people outside of that circle, you run the risk of the information “spreading like wildfire.” You want to manage this information carefully, not lose control of it.

#2—Announcing on Facebook that you just got a new job

This is another way to lose control of the flow of information. This might be worse than verbally telling everyone that you just got a new job. That’s because verbally telling everyone takes quite a bit of energy and is time consuming. But a Facebook post? It’s as easy as a snap of the fingers. And that’s the problem. All it takes is a few keystrokes for you to “jump the gun” on your job offer.

#3—Changing or updating your LinkedIn profile

You might think that LinkedIn is safer than Facebook in this situation, but you would be wrong. In fact, thinking that it’s safer is part of what makes it more dangerous. In addition, you might think that you have some sort of obligation to update your LinkedIn profile immediately, since it’s the professional networking social media site. You do not. Update it when it makes sense, and at this early stage, it definitely does not make sense.

#4—Telling other prospective employers that you’ve found another job.

Perhaps you’ve been involved in the hiring process of more than one organization. Maybe you’ve been considering multiple opportunities. If you tell other prospective employers that you’ve found another job (before you’ve 100% found another job), then you’re essentially closing off those options. Keep them open until you know for sure that you will not need to continue pursuing them.

#5—Telling recruiters that you’ve found a job.

This is similar to #4 on our list. If you’re a top candidate, you might be working with at least one Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter. (Or perhaps more accurately, more than one recruiter may have contacted you regarding an employment opportunity.) If this is the case, then you could be tempted to contact them and say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” While that IS the professional thing to do, the smart thing to do is wait until you know, once again, that you’ve found the opportunity that you’ve been seeking.

Left hanging in ‘no man’s land’

So—how could all of this backfire on you? Numerous ways, actually, all of which end with you not starting employment with the organization. Specifically, you don’t start employment because the organization rescinds the offer. Why would it do that? For the following reasons, among others:

  • Company officials decide to hire from within instead.
  • They decide they want to continue considering other candidates.
  • They decide to postpone filling the position.
  • They decide to combine the position with another one.
  • They decide to eliminate the position altogether.

All of these scenarios would leave you in “no man’s land” (or “no woman’s land”) if you committed any of the five infractions outlined above. As an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter for more than 21 years, I’ve seen all of these things happen. In fact, I’ve seen more than these things happen. Nothing is stranger—and crueler—than real life. In fact I just recently saw it happen when two companies merged and put a position on hold after someone was offered a position.

That’s why it’s important to be prepared at every stage of your job search. This includes even after you’ve received an offer of employment and you accept that offer. This is also why it’s important to discuss such matters with your recruiter, if you’re working with one to grow your career. An experienced recruiter working in your industry can provide you with advice and suggestions every step of the way, including after you’ve accepted an offer of employment.

Your recruiter can provide you with advice on what to say and when to say it. Their duties extend beyond just securing a job offer for you. They should also assist in helping you to onboard successfully with your new employer, and what you do in the days and weeks leading up to your first day of work is part of the onboarding process.

So resist the temptation to “jump the gun” with your job offer. Be optimistic, but be cautious. That will allow you to keep your other options open . . . right up until the point where you no longer need those options.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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