It is OKAY to ask for an extension on your job offer

Today's blog post is written by Claire Z.  Claire is a senior Marketing and Finance student at DePaul University. She spent the past two summers interning in Corporate America in the financial services industry. In her free time, she plays guitar and is currently learning how to play the drums. 





It’s senior year, nearing the end of first semester - many of your friends have already accepted full-time offers and are now coasting through the remainder of their undergrad career. This creates a lot of pressure for you to follow suit. If a job offer rolls around, there is no shame in asking for an extension to make the best decision for you. 

Here’s why:

You are not the only one to ask for an extension

Something I have learned through talking to multiple young employees who also struggled with questioning the next steps in their offer decision process, is that many people ask for an extension. In some cases, the recruiter almost expects you to, and they definitely understand why. I used to think that making the company wait for my decision was disrespectful and unappreciative, but there is a reason why so many people do it – to make the best decision for both themselves and the company. 

It is your career

This statement seems obvious, but it is that simple: it is YOUR career. No one else can or will make this decision for you. Accepting an offer right away while being unsure of your decision can ultimately result in your unhappiness down the road, which will likely impact your motivation, productivity, and performance. Being able to explore other options allows you to be more confident in your final decision. 

It is in the company’s best interest for you to wait and be 100% certain of your decision

Just like it is in your best interest to take your time in your decision, it is equally important for the company to wait for your certainty. If you start working in a role that is personally unfulfilling and uninteresting, it will negatively impact the quality of your work. Companies have the potential to hire a myriad of desirable candidates. By accepting the offer and consequently performing poorly in your role, you have taken the place of another candidate who would potentially drive more value to company. From the company’s perspective, obtaining an extension also lowers the risk of people reneging their acceptances. In these circumstances, it may be very hard to find a replacement depending on how far down the timeline it occurs.

Things to keep in mind:

Your recruiter’s timeline

Be cognizant of your recruiter’s timeline. Remember that they have to make other decisions if you decide to accept the offer or not. Ask for your extension as soon as possible so you can give them ample time to plan. If you end up making up your mind to reject the offer in your extended decision time, let them know as soon as possible in respect of their time. Do not wait until the deadline to break the news. 

Be honest

Being completely candid with the recruiter is extremely important. It is no secret that people ask for extensions to evaluate what is best for them, whether that be by interviewing with other companies or making pros and cons lists. Letting them know your thoughts and hesitations will allow them to fully understand your situation rather than being left in the dark. By doing this, you are showing them that you genuinely care for, respect, and appreciate the offer. Not being honest could result in unnecessary stress for yourself due to hiding your genuine thoughts. On the recruiter’s side, it gives them less of a reason to give you an extension, as well as the ability to assume things about your situation. 

What do I do if they do not give me an extension?

Be honest with yourself – can you comfortably accept the offer or are you still unsure? If you are confident in your decision, congratulations, absolutely accept the offer. If you are unsure, move on and keep looking for jobs. If your biggest worry is that you will turn down the offer and not find another job, you are most likely wrong. You received an offer from this company – you are obviously seen as a valuable team member and have proved that you are qualified. Chances are, other companies will see you in the same way. 

Ultimately, when asking for an extension, the worst they can say is “no.” By simply asking, you have nothing to lose.