Moving jobs? How to prevent feeling pressurised to accept an offer

Let’s face it: No one wants to feel rushed or forced when making any decision so why should this happen when choosing a job that you’ll be committing to for the foreseeable future?!

But unfortunately, you’re probably one of many reading this blog because this happens far too often.

Most recently, I was working with a candidate who was looking for the perfect Senior Category position. Now, she was very transparent throughout the process, telling potential future employers that she was in the process with other organisations. The first had offered her a role, but she was also in the final stages with the other two businesses.

Instead of rewarding her transparency (and let’s be honest, assessing your options properly is critical to any candidate considering a move!) they gave her an ultimatum saying she had till 5 o’clock on Friday to make a decision!

A lot of it comes down to the agency you’re dealing with so, if you want to avoid feeling pressurised to accept an offer, here are my top tips and warning signs to look out for to ensure you make the right decision.

The 3 alarm bells when dealing with a recruiter:

  1. An Ultimatum
    Understandably you can’t take a month to decide whether or not to accept an offer, but if you are being pushed with an unfair deadline with no justifiable reason then this is a clear alarm bell.
  2. The brief changes
    Another warning sign is if suddenly, the message changes e.g. You’ve been told from the beginning that you’re looking after Sainsbury’s then without much explanation your main focus will be Iceland. Things do change within businesses, but it is important to understand why the role of responsibilities has changed.
  3. They don’t know you
    I’m not talking about your favourite colour, I mean your aspirations, motivators and drivers. If they know this, then they’re way more likely to match you to the perfect company.


The 6 positive signs:

  1. The recruiter knows the process from the start to finish
    A good recruiter should be able to map out the whole interview process at the first call. e.g. if they know from the beginning that it’s a 3-stage process with a verbal reasoning test in the middle.
  2. They’ve worked with the company previously
    If the recruiter has worked with the hiring manager or the talent acquisition team previously it not only shows that they are trusted but it also shows that they’ve proven that they’ve successfully placed a good candidate in the past that fits with the company culture. This is super important for you because beyond role and pay, you want to know that your recruiter gets you and will align you with a complimentary company culture.
  3. They’re the companies preferred recruiter
    This may be the best sign of them all. It conveys that your recruiter is not only competent and valued but also speaks volumes that the client is willing to cut all cords with any other recruiter.
  4. They won’t budge until they meet you
    Who can truly understand you and your long-term goals in a 5-10-minute phone conversation? I seriously doubt even your parents can! So, if a recruiter endeavours to meet you because they see the value in talking with a clear headspace and looking at your career development holistically then guess what?! They are a keeper!(Related: See what exciting Commercial Strategy / MS&P, Category / Insight & Commercial Sales opportunities we have at Vertical Advantage now)
  5. Presentation preparation
    Now I don’t mean they literally prepare the whole thing; I mean they’re instrumental to your presentation being successful. They guide you; they tell you what to include, they’re honest about the length and help you be as concise as possible.P.S. Here’s a general rule of thumb if you’re wondering:

    • Don’t be too fluffy
    • Be concise
    • Convey what a good outcome looks
    • Always include initial priorities and longer-term goals and smart objectives
    • Encourage you to know your product e.g. store visits, topical insight
    • Makes sure you know what’s relevant in the category and who the competitors are

    In my opinion, the best recruiters are the most knowledgeable. In fact, they’re so well informed they might even sound like they could do that job themselves!

  6. Really honest feedback
    No one is perfect. That’s why the best recruiter will not tell you what you want to hear. Instead, they will give you constructive feedback as well as help you with developmental areas.


Being aware of all these points will ensure your recruiter understands your aspirations, motivators and drivers meaning that will get you the perfect job so you aren’t left questioning it all and feel pressured to make that final decision.


If the role is perfect, location is ideal, packages are in line with your expectations and you like the brand or product – why are you still questioning it?!

Ask yourself honestly: why are you hesitating?!

It’s probably because you don’t want the role, it is better to be honest and not leave companies wondering. You never know where you will come across that hiring manager again.

Accepting offers can sometimes be trickier than the interview process, that’s why it’s always so important to meet your recruiter face to face so they understand your needs and create a bespoke plan for you. If you don’t put the time in at the beginning to express your wants and needs, then it’s no surprise that it can likely crumble when you get to the finish line.

I hope this article has helped you navigate better in what can be an uncomfortable situation and helped you feel a little bit more in control. If you want to discuss further career opportunities, some top tricks I’ve learnt along the way or maybe you’re just after some career advise then please drop me an email on, alternatively, you can reach me on 0207 438 1565. I’m all ears.