You have been anxiously waiting for that email notification. You open it and there it is. The offer for the anesthesia job! But, they’ve also given you a deadline to accept the job and the clock is ticking. The problem is you need more time.
You are excited about the offer but there could be several reasons why you might not be ready to say “Yes.” You might have other job interviews lined up or maybe you are still waiting to hear back from another group. It could be as simple as you having doubts.
You need to buy yourself more time.
So how do you make your play for that extra time?
First thing. Reply to the email. Confirm you received the Offer Letter and thank them for the offer. That’s it. This lets them know you have seen the offer and you were grateful to receive it. It also gives you a couple of days of good faith before you come back with a request for an extension.
Is this job really right for me?
Up to this point you were all in on this job, but now there might be doubt creeping into that secretive space in your brain where it likes to reside. Don’t worry. You’re not the only one this has happened to before. This is a big decision. The best way to alleviate those concerns is to ask more questions.
There are two ways to approach this, by phone or email. I suggest that you pick up the phone and call the person who can answer your questions and is in the best position to advocate on your behalf for an extension. A call is more personal and the inflections in your tone can pose a question in a way that sometimes might come across negatively in an email. Once your questions are answered and you still feel you need more time to decide, it’s perfectly OK to ask to push back the deadline to process this new information and make an informed decision.
Waiting for another offer
Having options is awesome! You are in a position of strength to make things work in your favor. If you are waiting on another job offer then you have two phones calls to make. The first is to the anesthesia group you are still waiting to hear from about their offer. Explain that you have received a job offer with a deadline to sign and were curious when you can expect a response from their group. You might receive an answer right there or it will motivate them to move quicker.
Your second call is to the anesthesia company that sent you the first offer. Don’t play games. Just let them know you are expecting another offer in the next few days and you would like some extra time so you can review both of them. Make sure to express your interest in their job and gratitude for the opportunity to work with them.
But I still have another interview lined up
It is not uncommon to have an offer in hand while still waiting to attend an interview you already have on the books. Again, the best way to handle this is with a phone call. Thank them again for the offer. Be honest and tell them you have another interview on “X” date that was already set up. Explain genuine interest in their job but that you need to follow through on your commitment to the other interview. Ask if you can give them an answer a few days after that interview. Most good anesthesia groups will say “Yes, and we hope we will be your number one choice after the other interview.”
You shouldn’t be nervous to ask for more time. Even though there is a countdown, you have a chance to extend it before the anesthesia job offer explodes and goes “poof” leaving you with nothing.