Agency Season, Part Two

  • Posted by: Chaloner

This week’s blog is written by Chaloner’s Christine Santeusanio. Christine is in her tenth year with Chaloner, in the Boston office. She has led various searches for both PR and integrated agencies as well as corporate communications positions. Christine is involved with the PRSA, Young Women in Digital, Boston Women Communicators and the Boston Irish Business Association.

Last week I discussed the process of interviewing for multiple agencies in an economic climate where you may be in high demand. With that advice, you should have been able to gracefully juggle several interview processes while staying focused. This week I’d like to discuss the next stop in the process, when you’re dealing with multiple offers.

Negotiating Multiple Offers
The biggest mistake I see with junior candidates is choosing a job at an agency based on one factor, such as the agency’s clients, the workspace, or the office location. I understand that working for a PR agency who represents restaurants, sports teams, or sneaker brands in a downtown Boston loft space is more glamorous than pitching a semiconductor or cloud computing product in the suburbs, but ask yourself: is the whole package going to make you happy? It’s the same thing with many candidates who tell me they want event planning as a major component of their role, but haven’t thought about the administrative element and that many nights and weekends will be involved with that. Be thoughtful and honest with yourself about what parts of the job will actually satisfy or bother you. And a final note on a commute: unless the commute is not sustainable, don’t make that a main consideration. Most employers offer travel benefits or work from home days in bad weather.

Rejecting An Offer
If you do reject an offer, remember to be gracious and send thank you notes. Connect with all the decision makers as soon as possible. You never want to burn a bridge! The PR community can be small, and chances are you will run into someone you interviewed with later in your career at another employer, in an association, or even in a social setting.

Beware of the Counteroffer
If you’re presented with a counteroffer, it may feel like a fork in the road. How do you know whether or not to take it? Ultimately, you need to ask yourself why you’re leaving in the first place and how much money had to do with it. For many people, the reasons for wanting to leave eclipse compensation, and thus the counteroffer should be rejected. Remember if you do take a counteroffer, it may change the dynamic between you and your current employer. I recently interviewed someone who had taken a counteroffer, but then felt like she was being watched closely because her employer knew she had one foot at the door. It became such a stressful situation that she ultimately left without having another job. For more information on counter-offers, read our post about them!

With these tools in your belt, you should be equipped to negotiate multiple offers and end up at a company you love in a job you’re excited to do! Look at our some our past posts about how to make that transition.