Q. How do I buy time with an agency that wants a quick acceptance of a job offer, while I know I’m in the final stages of a probable job offer with another agency where I’m pretty sure I’d prefer to work? –AC
A. You are one of the lucky few who face such a dilemma. Being forthcoming with the agency that extended the offer isn’t necessarily the best policy in this scenario. In order to remain honest yet not go too far, you can simply tell the first agency that you’ll need a few days to assess the opportunity. Then, contact HR folks at the other agency to let them know you have an offer and try to determine if they wish to speed up the process at their end. If they can’t expedite their decision, you’ll need to accept the other job or risk losing both.
Unless you have specialized experience that’s in demand, you cannot expect an agency to wait for more than a few days for your decision. Prolonged decision making on your part potentially raises concerns about your interest and commitment.
And once you commit, don’t change your mind if the second agency comes through with an offer after you’ve accepted or begun your new job. The PR world is too small to create ill will, and negative word of mouth can affect your long-term reputation.