First off, there are a couple of reasons why a company might rescind a job offer. Number one, if the person gets an offer and over negotiates or handles the negotiation improperly, it may rub people the wrong way and could lead to the company rescinding the offer. More commonly, the reason why job offers are rescinded is due to budget cuts or hiring freezes. These things can occur after the interview process is complete and right before the person starts. It’s not common, but it does happen from time to time.
So, if you find yourself in a situation where you accepted a job but get that fateful call or notification that the offer is being rescinded, here are the things I recommend you do immediately.
- First and foremost… GET OVER IT. You really need to dust yourself off as quickly as possible and resist the urge to dwell on it. Don’t waste time contacting everyone you know, complaining about the company, wallowing in your self-pity, and feeling sorry for yourself. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in the game!
- Revisit the opportunities and companies you most recently interviewed with. Be transparent and let them know exactly what happened. “I accepted another offer; it was rescinded due to budgetary reasons and now I’m back on the market”. Explain that you’re very interested in the opportunity to be reconsidered. Absolutely look for sympathy votes. Many people will understand how unfortunate your situation is, will feel bad and look for ways to help you.
- Reach out to your network. Shout it from the rooftops and let everyone know that you are back on the market looking for opportunities. Be specific about what you are looking for and utilize your contacts.
- Restart your search over. As difficult as it may be, seek new opportunities to consider and apply. I realize the last thing you may want to do after having just gone through this process is to do it all over again. However, new opportunities have likely emerged since you last looked. Be diligent and resist the urge to get desperate and apply to just anything that comes your way. Try not to settle. Stay true to what it is that you are looking for and where you want to take your career.
- Use best practices for your job search. Before applying for a position, see if you know anybody at the company. Utilize your network to get a foot in the door through a friend or a colleague. That’s always the best way to start. If you don’t know anybody at the company, apply directly but be tactful. Be careful not to over-apply to several positions at the same company or put yourself in an awkward situation that can sabotage your search.
Recovering from a job offer that was rescinded, for any reason is very difficult. I understand the disappointment, frustration and fear that comes with it. The MOST important thing to do is get back on the positive side of the equation. Take massive action each day and be consistent in your actions. Resist the urge to dwell on it, get down on yourself or be discouraged. Do NOT let that setback derail your future. Just remember, you were successful in landing that last position and getting the job offer. Use that momentum to get things going again and set yourself up for landing that next job. Good luck!