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Should I accept my first offer after just starting my job search?

I just started my search and received an offer but, I’m curious about what else is out there. I mean it’s my first offer. What should I do?

Have you ever watched the show shark tank? I think I’ve seen every episode (It’s one of my favorite shows). Time and time again, I see entrepreneurs come on the show with a specific ask, let’s say $500,000 for 10% of their business.

One of the "sharks" makes an offer at full-ask and, the entrepreneur says, “thank you so much for the offer, mind if I hear if the other sharks have offers?”. What! The shark is giving you exactly what you asked for!

Here's how this typically plays out, the shark ends up going out and, the entrepreneur comes to find out that none of the other sharks are interested in making an offer.

Now the entrepreneur goes home empty-handed, kicking themselves for not accepting a sure thing at full-ask.

My advice is similar to those attorneys who just started their search but received an offer and are not sure if they should accept.

If the offer doesn't meet the criteria you’re looking for, such as not the right practice area, scope-of-work is not what you had in mind, compensation is way off, culture is not a fit, then, of course, do not accept the offer.

But, if the position checks most of these boxes, you have to ask yourself:

  • What am I expecting to get with another firm that this offer doesn’t have if I held out?
  • Are those expectations realistic based on the current market?
  • Why was I looking in the first place?
  • How does this offer compare to my current situation?
  • Does this offer meet most of my criteria
  • If I pass on this offer, how will I feel if stuck at my current firm for months and months on end without another comparable offer?

My point is, if you’re getting more or less what you’re asking for right away, you should probably take it! You don’t know whether or not there are other comparable opportunities soon, let alone whether or not you'll be accepted for an interview and whether or not you’ll receive an offer. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, especially if that’s the kind of bird you wanted.

A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, especially if that’s the kind of bird you wanted.

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