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Can A Job Offer Be Put on Hold?

October 19th, 2012

You received a formal offer for your dream job earlier this week and you’ve been in celebration mode for the last two days. You announced the news to your family and all of your friends, you tossed the last few copies of your resume in the recycle bin, and you’ve been gearing up to hit the ground running and start your new job off on the right foot. You even bought a new outfit for your first day and you can’t wait to put it on.

But just yesterday a minor scandal was exposed at the top of the company and stock prices are expected to take a hit. Should you be worried?

Job Offers Aren’t Binding Agreements

If your new company is on rough footing financially, or you’re about to step into a department that provides services that are fast becoming obsolete, tread lightly. Don’t panic, but at the same time, it may be a good idea to put off major purchases for a little while. And don’t make important life decisions that depend on the assumption of stable, long term employment.

It may seem cruel or unfair for a company to make a commitment to an employee that it can’t keep, but bear in mind that most employment contracts in the information economy are “at-will” agreements, which means both sides have a right to terminate the agreement at any time, for any reason. As long as your termination or suspended offer doesn’t represent an act of discrimination, the company can let you go at any time, even days or weeks before your first day.

If recent events are shaking your confidence in an employer’s ability to support you, have a little faith. But be practical, and remember that no binding promises have been made or accepted on either side of your relationship. Don’t become angry or reactionary, and don’t preemptively reject the offer if you really do like the company and want to work there. But don’t throw your resume into the trash bin just yet. Recognize that the modern job market and business landscape are shaped by the winds of sudden change. Stay flexible.

Need help navigating the uncertain currents of today’s job market? The Connecticut staffing experts at Merritt Recruitment Agency are standing by with guidance, industry connections, and job search resources you can rely on.

 

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