I’ve been searching for a new job for a while, and recently there’s been a little wave of job postings that I’m interested in and reasonably qualified for. I submitted my resume and materials and have heard back from two of them. Both are out-of-town positions, so I’d have to move. I’m definitely interested in one more than the other, but I’m now at the point with both of them where they want me to come for an on-site interview. They would pay for my trip. My question: I feel a little guilty about traveling—on the company’s dime—when I’m leaning towards taking another job.
How should I handle this? Turn down the invitation to travel for the less-desirable job? Pay my own way? This is further complicated by the fact that I’m still holding out hope that a third job—for which I’ve sent in materials but haven’t heard from—might still pan out. If that happened, I think that job would be my first choice, in which case I’d have wasted both other companies’ money.
Definitely do not turn down either interview. In this world, having two companies interested enough to bring you in to interview is a good thing. And you’re not doing anything wrong by going to both interviews. I guarantee those companies are considering other candidates and not worrying about it. For reasons that aren’t important, I just rewatched an old DVD of “Sex and the City” episodes, one of which includes Carrie discovering she’s been mistakenly assuming she and Big are monogamous. Turns out he’s seeing other women. Don’t be Carrie in this situation. Even if these companies aren’t seeing other candidates, you need to explore all your options fully.
In addition to being fair to yourself, remember that each company is looking for the chance to sell itself to you. While you think you know which of the two—maybe three—jobs is your first choice, you’re making that assessment with only one-tenth of the information, particularly if the new job includes a new location. These companies want a chance to check you out, sure, but they also want a chance to convince you to come work for them. You’re being fair by giving them the opportunity to show you the job, the company and the area.
Not Quite Long Distance Dating
A couple weeks ago, a friend set me up with a friend of hers who lives in Atlanta. We’ve gone out a couple times, and I like him and want to keep seing him. I’ve started to feel a little awkward about the driving situation though. He’s driven here both times for dates, which is really nice of him, but I’m not really at the point of wanting him to stay over just yet. The problem is, he lives far enough away that it’s a pain to drive home, but not so far that it’s absolutely out of the question. So, that limits how late we stay out, how much he drinks, etc., because he has to drive home. I also kind of feel like he’s waiting for me to ask him to stay over, but he never says that outright, so I can’t really respond. Is there a way around this?
Solution for the next date: You drive to see him. He’s done the drive twice, so it gives him a break. It also gives you the freedom to end the date exactly when you want, by saying goodnight and getting back in your car.
Solution for the date after that: Ask your matchmaking friend to invite him to stay at her place after you go out. It will give him a place to stay and give you guys a chance to see each other two days in a row without accelerating the relationship faster than you want. It will also help eliminate the lingering expectation of his staying over. He’ll say something like, “I guess I’m going to head to Jane’s now…” and wait for you to invite him, but you’ll just say, “OK, goodnight, I’ll see you at brunch tomorrow.” Then, of course, after the next two dates, you need to talk about this openly. Whether you want him to stay over at that point is completely up to you and, of course, either is fine. You just need to acknowledge that you feel like there’s an expectation and that you’re not there yet.
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