Career Advice Tuesday – “The Bird In The Bush”

April 19, 2011

Dear Infosecleaders:

Currently I am an unemployed information security professional and I have been actively interviewing for two opportunities.   Both of the opportunities are better than being unemployed but one is clearly better than the other.

The lesser of the two opportunities was brought to my attention by a fellow information security professional who endorsed me to their supervisor.  That interview process has been completed and they have told me that they want to offer me a position.

The better of the two opportunities has completed their interview process, have provided me with positive feedback, but has yet to make me an offer of employment.  This is the opportunity that I really want however it may be an additional week before I have a firm commitment.

My predicament is that I do not want to be unemployed, but I also do not want to accept the “lesser” opportunity and then go back on my word, leaving my friend who did me a favor in a bad spot.  However, although it looks promising there is no guarantee that the “greater” opportunity will come to fruition and I will be offered the job.

Is there any advice you can give me to manage this situation.


“The Bird In The Bush”

Dear  “Tweety”:

I am a firm believer that the people that you answer too are first yourself and then the ones that love you and count on you.   So, the first thing that I can tell you is that you have to make your decision based on what you can live with.   The next thing I will tell you is that you have to have a handle on your financial and personal responsibilities, and factor that into your equation.

All of that being said, the best advice that I can give you is to speak to your friend who introduced the “lesser” opportunity to you, and let him know what you are thinking.  Honesty being the best policy, this should at least clear your conscious and at best, provide you with some advice on how to deal with this new potential manager through this process.

Simultaneously, I would contact either the hiring manager, the human resources person, or your recruiter – and make them aware of your situation and ask if it is possible to expedite their decision making process.    You should make it clear to them that the opportunity at their company is preferred and that if offered (and provided fair compensation) you would accept it.  You can also share with them that ethically you are torn, and you do not want to accept the other opportunity out of need, only to go back on your word.    This may provide them with an insight and more validation on what type of person that they are getting if they hire you.

I would appeal to their personal sense, and tell them if they are not interested, that is fine, but to please be candid with you so that you can move forward with the other opportunity.

Really, let’s hope that the “better” opportunity gets back to you soon – so that you can move forward and avoid this type of decision.

Let us know how this turns out.

Hope this helps,

Lee and Mike


Posted by lee | Filed Under Advice, Career Advice Tuesday, Interviewing, Position Selection, Recruiting, Uncategorized 


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