I am currently a summer intern at a large, local company. I am in the United States. I am returning to university later this month, and am expected to graduate in May 2018.

I was offered a full-time position with this same company following my graduation, with a decision deadline in December 2017. I have not accepted this job offer. This company would not be my first choice of employment, but given the locality and the salary, it is a good fallback to have. I feel that December 2017 is too early for me to decide (I plan on starting my applications to other companies in November and December) and am having difficulties navigating this professionally.

(It is my understanding that applying in November-December for availability in May the next year is acceptable / common practice, especially for college graduates, but I realize I might be wrong about this.)

I want to request this deadline to be extended. Is it unprofessional to request a deadline decision of six months, into May 2018?

(I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before. I searched, but I was unable to find this.)

  • 2
    Very related: Should I keep looking after accepting a job offer? – David K Aug 2 '17 at 19:38
  • 1
    Protip: they put the decision there so you can't look anywhere else. They'd only do that if they feel you will receive other offers that might tempt you. – corsiKa Aug 2 '17 at 19:54
  • Or just take the offer and keep on looking. Never turn down potential opportunities. – Michael Aug 2 '17 at 19:58
  • I had not thought of that, corsiKa. Is this a common practice, or a red flag? – lynn Aug 2 '17 at 21:11

You can ask but it probably won't be received well.

You have 5 months.

They need to plan budget and recruiting so they want to get a count.

  • Thank you for this. To clarify, when you say it won't be received well, do you mean that it may be detrimental to me to ask, or that I am simply likely to have my request rejected? – lynn Aug 2 '17 at 21:04
  • You ask a girl to the prom and she says let me decide in week. Would that make you feel good? It says you are not confident in your commitment to this company. – paparazzo Aug 2 '17 at 21:30

Why cant you do both? Accept the offer from them, but if another offer comes in from another company, just set your start date a little after you start the job with the first one. Like month or so. It will be worth the experience and who knows .. maybe you learn enough about it that you will actually want to stay. The point is, you are barely starting your career. I recommend bouncing around as much as possible for a year or two.

[EDIT] I know this sounds like terrible advice and would expect many down votes, but hear me out. At the start of your career you will not only be looked down on for lack of experience, but will reasonably be taken advantage of. My philosophy is to turn this around and take advantage of the system.

I started out in a call center. The worst job ever, but it was a stepping stone. Used that job to impress someone at a local sign shop who hired me because of the job I had, not for how long I was there (key point here). Few months later, I ditched that job by using it to impress someone else to get a related job and that person was all too happy to poach an already trained person from a competitor. In less than a year, I was back at the call center job, knowing I would not stay there so I was a little bolder and assertive in my work. Surprise .. they made me a manger there. Added that to my resume. At my next interview less than a year later, I aced it. Again they didn't care how long I was at the call center. I had demonstrable experience that was key. I was hired.

Also note this: each time I would make a point to tell the interviewer not to contact my current employer for references, understandably, because they would find out I am looking for another job. Everyone respected that reasonable request. Less than 3 years later my next gig got me a $7K upgrade. I had that job less than a year, but used that time to make some professional, niche contacts with clients and I used those contacts to start my own business. As a result my income went up to $90K for the next 3 years and I had found my niche.

The market changed and my business went South and I applied for a job with no recent references (because I had been a business owner for the past 3 years and would never have a prospective employer contact my clients for any reason ~ but that's just me). Instead I showed my website, client contracts and deposit slips to prove I had a legit business. I got the job. In less than 2 years I traded up from that $70K job to a $95K job. Around that time I was playing various offers against each other to my advantage. Was it irritating to the prospective employers that I was playing them against each other? I didn't care. I declined one job offer during this period 3 times (each time they came back with a higher offer). After just 4 months at the $95K job, I re-contacted the person whose job offer I turned down 3 times only to finally accept an offer with them for $100K.

This is capitalism .. every job is just a stepping stone to a better one. Once you find your niche your references will become less important. References can be jerks. After all what does a reference want from you now that you left? What obligation do they have to you? None whatsoever. A business contact is different. Although they have no obligation to you, there is a special kind of relationship that exists there. And when they do contact you, they wont care how long you have your current job or what your references are. Also, your skills and experience that you can demonstrate should be able to stand on their own regardless of references.

  • 3
    Stiffing a company like that is not a way to build references. – paparazzo Aug 2 '17 at 20:00
  • 1
    On a side note, some may argue that a lot of job changes in a short while look bad on a resume. Well, first off .. why put all that on a resume then? Secondly, if I was interviewing such a person and they explained that they have "been around" and now finally know what they want to do for sure, which is why they are applying with me ... I would be more convinced than vs. say ... this is your first job and you're trying to convince me this is really what you want to do ... really? how would you know since you haven't really been around? – Mister Mister Aug 2 '17 at 20:01
  • 1
    @Paparazzi. I never said it was. I indicated its about building experience. References come later when you are no longer wet behind the ears. P.S. when companies lay off people without 2 weeks notice .. isn't that like stiffing them? Yet they do it all the time and still get applications. Why? Supply and demand. If your skills are in demand you can get hired without great references. – Mister Mister Aug 2 '17 at 20:02
  • As others have said, I wouldn't want to burn away any good references by accepting an offer and then denying it. Further, can you expand on the benefits of bouncing around? – lynn Aug 2 '17 at 21:23
  • I know, I know. It sounds like terrible advice. Frankly I would expect more down votes. I will add more info to my answer to explain. – Mister Mister Aug 8 '17 at 17:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.