Of all of the scenarios Mark had envisioned while searching for a job, declining an offer wasn’t one of them. And yet, after weeks of interviewing with several technology firms, he found himself at that exact crossroads-one company had made him an offer, but he still hadn’t heard back from his top choice, and he didn’t know how to proceed.
It’s a situation that happens “really frequently to people,” says Julie Jansen, career coach and author of I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This. It’s proven even more common these last few years, when unemployment has been low and employers have had to scramble to fill open positions, all of which has put job seekers in the driver’s seat. In fact, one in four people admit to having backed out after accepting an offer in order to pursue a more preferable option, according to consulting firm Robert Half.