Should I take this job or wait?

Six weeks ago, I applied for jobs at Companies A and B. Both pay about the same salary.

Company A moved faster in the hiring process, and I accepted their offer. But there’s trouble with the security check. This is because I worked at a startup that didn’t make any money, and I don’t have tax forms. So it’s not really a done deal.

Company B has dragged its feet, but they’re on the verge of making me an offer. I’d rather work at Company B, but I did accept the offer at Company A.

What should I do? I accepted A’s offer, but since they don’t feel obligated to hire me, I don’t feel obligated to work there. At the same time, Company B hasn’t made me an offer yet, though I expect one soon.

I’m inclined to say “Take it, because what if…”.

But I haven’t been in the same situation myself.

I wrote something, but then it dawned on me that both companies have almost hired you (to one degree or another), but neither of them have and both could fall through.

Can you push B for an offer? Are you in a position to contact them and explain that you “hate to rush you” and you’d “love to work there”, however you do have another offer on the table?
Obviously you don’t want them to take you out of the running for that, but it might force their hand, especially if they actually want you.

Come to think of it, you could probably send the same thing to Job A as well.

I agree with Joey P. There’s a way to politely pressure both of them.

Any idea how long it will take the security check to clear? That might influence my decision.

That’s a good point, and I think I’ll do that.

No, no idea. Apparently, the decision makers are dragging their feet.

What does a “security check” mean, exactly? Are they looking for affirmative evidence of something that you may not be able to prove?

Then I second your decision to push B for an offer. Then you can let A know that due to the delay, you accepted another offer.

What Enola Gay says. Wait for the first actual offer, with an actual start date and that’s the one you take. Until that magic moment happens, you should proceed as though you don’t have an offer and keep looking for jobs.

They’re searching for tax documentation to verify that I worked for the startup. But because I founded it with a friend and we didn’t make money, I don’t have any.

That sounds like a good idea. Thank you.

You are not obligated to wait around for an offer that may come. Keep looking until you have an off that you like.

Assuming you explained this to them, why are they still looking for something that they’ve been told does not exist? Doesn’t make sense.

Because H.R. departments are stupid. And no matter how smart individuals are at any organization, when you put them all together, it creates many stupid results.

Not really stupid, just working in a field they know little about. When I worked for a department store the H.R. people were people who had worked in sales and got tired of working odd hours and week ends so moved to H.R.

45 year working life and here is some of what I have seen H.R. do
Told a Chief Engineer that he could not terminate a hopeless engineer who was still probationary without going through the process that a non probationary employee gets. Instead of being able to hand him his check and be done with him we were stuck with a useless employee that knew almost nothing about machinery until he screwed up and did a no show for a week.

I had talked to the Chief Engineer on the phone and set a appointment time, when I came in to fill out an application before the interview H.R. refused to give me an application. I had to get very vocal before they gave me one. The job had been posted by H.R. to the union for about 4 weeks. I got the job and started the next week.
Company changed health and retirement plans H.R. claimed the employees would be better off in new plan, entered all employees into new plan and did not pay the priemium to the plans covered by the union employees. And fought the grievance the employees filed. Company ended up having to pay the back months premiums to the old plans and was not able to recover the premiums paid to new health care company. And because the company was not covering as many employees as the contract call for insurance company raised the rates.
Company from back east purchased company in California and thought they could operate using the laws of the home state and did not think they had to honor union contract. Expensive lesson.
H.R. approved Regional Engineer requiring one engineer from each engineering team be on call for week ends and nights. The pay they would receive for being on call was 1&1/2 if they were call in to work. This was a large company with rental office building buildings, high and low rise.
There are more.