“How should I respond to a Job Offer being placed ‘on hold?’”

Question: Hi, Alan. I have a question for you. Recently I received a Job Offer Letter from an organization. The Offer Letter said that it must be accepted within seven days. I asked the Human Resources representative if I could have one extra week to consider the Job Offer, because it required that I relocate, and I am unsure how this might affect my family.

The next day the Human Resources representative sent me an email note in which I was told the Job Offer was now “on hold.”

Can you please tell me how I should respond in this situation. It is a really good organization, and since I am unemployed I don’t want to lose this job opportunity.

         Shiva K. P.
         Bangalore, India

Answer: Hello, Shiva, and thank you for writing in. Let us see what we can do.

First, we must bear in mind that we don’t know why the organization placed the Job Offer “on hold.” It could have something to do with your request for one more week to consider – maybe they need someone to start absolutely immediately – or it could be for some unrelated reason – such as a reconsideration if there is enough money in the budget. Maybe even the person who has the job now, and who was leaving, has decided to stay. So let us not focus on things we don’t know.

Second, I suggest that you decide – either yes, or no – whether you are now prepared to accept the job. If you are not ready to say “Yes” or “No” to the Job Offer, then there really is nothing you should do at this time – accept try to make a final decision. 

Third, once you are certain you want to accept the position, and relocate for it as is required, I strongly suggest you promptly send an email to the Human Resources representative formally accepting the position, if it is still available. Then, and only then, do you have a right to ask the questions on your mind: (1) whether the position is still available, (2) when can you be told if the job is yours, and (3) when you should begin preparing to move. Of course, your email note to Human Resources should always be polite and professional.

In my almost 30 years of working with people in your situation, I have never once heard of a Job Offer being withdrawn just because the job candidate asked for an extra week to consider it. Accepting a job is a serious matter, and even more so when it involves relocating. If you are the person with the skills for the job, you are surely worth another seven days of waiting. When you decide, if it is to accept the position, then by all means let them know, with enthusiasm, and without delay.

Hope this is helpful. Thanks for contacting us from all the way around the globe. It is exciting to know that we have friends in Bangalore!!

          Best, Al Sklover  

P.S.: If you would like to speak with me directly about this or other subjects, I am available for 30-minute, 60-minute, or 120-minute telephone consultations, just [click here.] 

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© 2010 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.