Managing Offers with Accelerated Timelines

If an employer has made you an employment offer with an accelerated timeline, you may not know you have options. The CDO is here to help you.

Read on for our guidance on managing this situation, and schedule an advising session to discuss your particular circumstances with a career advisor.

What is an accelerated timeline offer?
In this competitive job market, employers are increasingly calling the shots and, in some cases, shifting long-established campus recruiting practices. In particular, we are seeing some employers shorten the amount of time for considering offers, outside of the agreed upon timelines stated in our Recruiting Policies. As an advocate for you, we have set these timelines so our Employers give you enough time to gather pertinent information to make thoughtful and informed decisions about employment offers.

What can I do if my offer has an accelerated timeline?
You don’t have to navigate this situation on your own! We encourage you to schedule an advising session for personalized guidance on your unique situation, including advice for how to ask for more time in a manner that preserves the interests of both parties. Our student-centered Recruiting Policies ensure that any employer not honoring the offer acceptance deadlines assumes the risk that a student may reconsider their decision, and that any student who accepts an offer under these circumstances will continue to be eligible to receive all benefits and resources of the CDO. However, we hope that you will process this significant career decision with the help of a CDO coach.

What’s my next step if I have an offer with an accelerated timeline?
While you may feel some pressure to accept, it’s always a good idea to process the offer with a career advisor. The employer might eagerly pursue you for an answer; but we want you to feel confident that the opportunity you accept is the right one for you. Changing your mind about an offer once you’ve accepted can damage professional relationships you’ve worked hard to build.

It helps to know what your options are for handling these situations before you get too deeply into them. Speak with your advisor as soon as possible, to avoid straining or damaging a relationship with an employer. Decision deadlines are often flexible; and a CDO advisor can help you prepare to negotiate your decision deadline with the employer.

Does my advisor need to know about other potential offers I’m considering?
Yes. It’s important to be fully transparent with your advisor. Remember, they are your advocate in these situations. With experience coaching hundreds of individuals through offer timeline negotiations, they understand the pressures and concerns you have. You often have more options than you know, as a candidate. The more you share about your process and interactions, the better they will be able to advise you on how to manage your decision-making timeline.

What’s the impact if I end up changing my mind about an offer I’ve accepted?
Accepting a job opportunity is a big decision. It’s easy to feel like you are the only one truly impacted by your decision. Company representatives are often under pressure to secure candidates, and sometimes really ‘go to bat’ for candidates by lining up additional resources. It is a huge disappointment when a candidate backs out of an agreement. The impact can damage relationships with the team members who worked hard to bring that candidate on board; and can also strain the relationship between the school and the company. While our Recruiting Policies are clear that employers who don’t honor our offer acceptance deadlines assume the risk that a student may reconsider their decision, it’s important to consider the impact on all parties.

Anything else?
Once you have accepted an offer, please complete the Employment Survey in Career Central. Employment outcomes are a valuable source of information for our office and for your fellow Sloanies. It helps us track employment trends for the MIT Sloan community. Note: We never share your individual data – only aggregate data is released in the Employment Report.

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