Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Job Seeker Must Learn to Weigh Options

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been applying to a number of jobs in hopes of advancing my career. I expect to get interviews in the near future, but I struggle with accepting the first offer I get. I do not know how to express to interviewers that I am considering other jobs, and I often feel pressured by them to take the job on the spot because they convey an attitude that if I don’t accept at that very moment, I must not want the job badly enough. This makes it so I don’t get to hear what other jobs have to offer or process all of my options to the fullest. How can I express to interviewers that I am considering other jobs without ruining my chances of working with them? -- Keeping Options Open

DEAR KEEPING OPTIONS OPEN: You cannot tell a potential employer that you aren’t ready to accept their offer because you are waiting to see if something better comes along. That is out of the question. At the same time, you can ask for a certain period to make a decision. Since you seem to be getting offers, you can even be more discriminating with the interviews that you take. Select companies and opportunities that you are very interested in so that if you get an offer, it is for something that you really want. If you happen to receive two job offers in the same short space of time, you should think of which job you want the most. Decide what makes the most sense, and go with the one that will advance your career.

DEAR HARRIETTE: There are so many people running for president of the United States that I don’t know how to even begin to figure out who to vote for. I think that when there are so many candidates, it makes it close to impossible for the voters to learn enough about them. I want to be an informed voter, but I don’t have time to research 20-plus candidates and do each of them justice. What can I do to be informed? -- The 2020 Race

DEAR THE 2020 RACE: Watch the debates when they are held. Read a bit about each of the candidates so that you have a sense of who they are. Quickly, a few will begin to stand out. Do more research on those few so that you know where they stand on issues that matter to you. You can go to the candidates’ campaign websites to read their positions. All of the major news organizations have already run stories about the candidates. As time goes on, they will probe more deeply. The information is readily available online.

While you may not have time to go deep for all candidates, now is the time for you to make research about the 2020 election a top priority. Your knowledge about the candidates and the issues is essential. This includes paying close attention to the policies of the incumbent so that you are clear about how he is governing. Compare that to each of the other candidates, and let your research guide your vote.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)