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It’s not very often that an employer will make the tough decision to delay your start date or rescind your job offer, but unfortunately, it can happen. Berkeley Career Engagement is here to provide you with the resources you need as you navigate the next steps in your Career journey. Below you will find steps you can take in order to move forward, as well as reasons why employers may make the decision to delay or rescind a job offer.

Things to Remember

  • Give yourself breathing room – this is only a temporary setback in your career journey.
  • You are allowed to keep your job search going if your job offer has been Delayed or Rescinded. 

  • Communicate with your Recruiter or Hiring Manager, whoever shared the written job offer with you:

    • Are there any other positions on this team that could be a fit instead?

    • Are there any other departments in the company that could benefit from my skillset?

    • Is there anyone else you recommend that I connect with as I figure out my next steps?

What You Can Do

Assess your situation, in order to move forward: 

  • Have you put in your ‘two weeks’ resignation at your current role? Are you able to retract and continue working while you search for something else?
  • Are you still in good standing with your employer? (If you have good relationships, it can’t hurt to ask about coming back- the worst they can say is No)
    • Does your current position still exist, if you are leaving one for this offer? 
  • Are you financially able to continue in the position you are currently in? 
  • Do you believe that your offer has been delayed/rescinded illegally? 
    • If your role is considered “at-will,” changes such as a Delay or a Rescind are considered legal 
    • If you suspect that an offer has been retracted or rescinded illegally, (as in, discriminatorily,) seek out the advice of an employment attorney 

Questions to ask yourself

  • Is my chosen industry still currently growing? Are similar companies within this industry still hiring for my role? 
  • What can I do in the meantime to set myself up for success in the future?
  • How can I use this time to explore other options I hadn’t prioritized?
  • Where could my skills still be useful, now that my offer for this role has been rescinded?
  • What skills are in demand across multiple industries? How can I improve these skills?
  • What can I do to take care of myself right now?

How to be Proactive

Network (in person or virtually) with employees at companies you are interested in

Share about your skills, your situation, and what you are doing now to prepare for your next role

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile by turning it into a search “magnet” 

    • List your strongest, most relevant skillsets first so that those searching for you do not have to sort through your profile just to learn about you

    • List your completed projects and materials for review so that your profile is optimized toward the work that is relevant to your experience

    • Ensure that your profile is organized, concise, and paints an accurate picture of what you have worked on in the past

Other Proactive Tips:

  • Try to begin networking BEFORE you make any moves- you can even start today!
    • Foster relationships ahead of job changes- with your current colleagues and those in industries you are interested in joining.
    • Get involved in networking events and in online affinity, alumni, or interest groups, and make sure to engage with them a least somewhat regularly.
    • Begin following thought leaders in the industries/with skillsets that you admire or are interested in
      • It never hurts to reach out for an informational interview, but make sure to tailor your approach, be professional, and be authentic!
  • Continue to hone and maintain your skills that are most relevant to the industry(s) you are most interested in joining

What You Should NOT Do

  • Panic- you made it this far, you received an offer. A rescinded or delayed offer is not a reflection of you, your skills, your worth, etc. – There are many reasons why a job gets rescinded or delayed that are out of your control. But you are a desired candidate, and something unexpected has happened that is likely outside of your control.

  • Badmouth- on social media, or to your network. If it can be traced back to you, it does not reflect well on how you might conduct yourself in a place of work.

Reasons Why Employers Delay Your Start Date

  • Recession: The macroeconomy is contracting and your employer must reassess their hiring budget priorities
  • Industry: Your company’s industry is experiencing a shift in its deliverable priorities.
  • Hiring Freeze: The company’s hiring budget for all roles needs to be reviewed, and they are not currently able to bring you on as originally planned.
  • Background Check: For some reason, you did not pass the background check (typically due to negative employment history, false or inaccurate information on your job application, or a criminal history). 

Reasons Why Employers Rescind Offers

In addition to the above reasons, employers may rescind your offer if:

  • You did not respond to the employer or recruiter by the offer deadline.
  • Your social media presence could be considered harmful.
  • You said or did something harmful during Onboarding process.
  • Your company goes through a “reorganization.” This means that the internal hierarchy of the company you’re joining is going through significant change, and your position might have been adjusted as well.