Multiple offers are more curse than blessing

JULIE CHASE | OCTOBER 13, 2021

Job search trends have evolved significantly over the past decade. What worked for most people in the past (like submitting applications online), is no longer effective. So it makes sense that job search strategies and best practices have changed.

While your gut reaction may be to dismiss this belief — it’s one I feel strongly about: it’s more of a curse than a blessing to have more than one job offer.

The old way of thinking that I need two or more offers to be in a stronger position to negotiate the best terms — leveraging one to get a higher title or base salary or I need multiple options to ensure I’m picking the best one is not very helpful.

Here’s how these strategies work against you.

You’re diluting your efforts.

After working with hundreds of clients, I’ve seen a direct correlation between interview activity and offers received. The more interviews they do in a concentrated amount of time (like 1-3 weeks), the less offers they receive.

For example, one of our clients Ken wanted to have at least 3 interviews at the same time to have options to choose from. He had 3 interview loops in two weeks at high growth tech companies — all of which were intense and exhausting (as they usually are).

Even though he felt like he performed well, he didn’t get any offers. After reflection, he admitted that he lost steam and probably didn’t show up as his best self.

In this highly competitive market, you have to bring your A+ game to every interview. And we have a limited amount of brain power and energy. So it helps if you can give yourself enough time and space in between interviews to reset and recharge and make it all about that one opportunity. In other words you’re in it to win it. Not in them to win them.

You can’t control the process.

One of our clients Vanessa had a few companies pursuing her. The problem was that they all moved at a very different pace. One of the big tech companies told her it was at least a 3 month process; another one told her it’d be 3 weeks.

She tried to get one to move faster and tried to delay the other ones, but didn’t have any luck. Even worse, she got more and more frustrated — to the point where she started to sour on the entire hiring process. It was a challenge for her to get excited about each opportunity and she only got one offer, the one she was least interested in.

The truth is most recruiters are overwhelmed with hundreds of applications and dozens of candidates for multiple positions. And the company’s hiring practice is their practice — it’s beyond our control.

None of them may be right for you.

There are so many essential steps to landing a dream job, but one of the most critical ones is setting your benchmark from the start. This is creating your career vision, intentional goals and criteria for your ideal job and company.

Even when we think we have a good idea of our career and what we’re looking for, but haven’t deeply thought about it, it is hard to focus on what we want. And if you compare 2 offers and/or your current job, you may accept a job that you don’t actually want.

When you proactively create a benchmark, you’ll have an objective framework to assess opportunities and increase the likelihood of getting a role that aligns with your core values and goals.

You don’t need any other job to negotiate the best terms.

Good companies value their talent and pay at the top of the market. Once you get to the offer stage, they want you to be excited to join and will create a competitive package for you.

They also expect you to make a counteroffer — and are prepared to offer more. When you negotiate from a place of gratitude and excitement, you will get the best terms and they’ll be even more thrilled to have you join.

Looking across our portfolio of hundreds of clients, I see the ones that have the biggest increases in salaries and titles are ones who don’t have another offer. Our clients have made counteroffers with significant increases and the companies have met or exceeded their expectations. And the best part is that both parties felt really good about the process and outcome.

On the flip side, it can get a little tricky when you bring in another company — it certainly doesn’t feel as good. Every company wants to feel like they’re your first choice. You’re unnecessarily putting the company in a position of comparison and causing friction.

Once you set your benchmark, you’ll be able to assess each opportunity as they come. You’ll be able to confidently let go of the ones that aren’t aligned with what’s most important to you and welcome the opportunities that are — one by one.

Are you ready to uplevel your career? And land a job where you’ll feel fulfilled, realize your potential and get the compensation you deserve?

If so, then watch our video and book a session with one of our job strategists. We’re excited to talk about your career goals!