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I'm currently in my last semester of my Dual Study (see below for a definition) at a middle sized company in Germany. The Study Programme is Computer Science mixed with some Electrical Engineering.

My current head of department has already expressed an interest in offering me a job in his department a few months ago. Now I'm supposed to meet him again (I guess to talk a little more in detail about the subject). While I find this department very interesting to work in I would like to see what other departments have to offer as I feel like some of the other job descriptions fit me a little bit better.

My question now is: How can I convey to the head of department that i would also like to look at other job offerings without making it sound as though I dont like or am not interested in the job he might be offering?

Definition Dual Study: The core principle of the dual study concept at DHBW is the three-month rhythm, by which students switch between university and their workplace training provider, i.e. between gaining theoretical knowledge and applying this knowledge in practice. Students are employed at a company or a social institution and receive a monthly salary, including social security benefits. (Taken from: https://www.dhbw-stuttgart.de/zielgruppen/international-visitors/cooperative-education/dual-study-concept/, 17.05.2018)

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It seems you are interested in this job, but are holding out for something better. If something better doesn't come along then you may want to take this job. Really then, what you want to convey to the potential employer is that you are interested in the role he is offering, but meanwhile do everything you can not to rush the process forward and actively seek your preferred role.

There are many interpersonal situations in life where "hedging your bets" across multiple offers is considered disrespectful. But this isn't a case of deciding which of several party invitations will be the better one - choosing a job really is something on which your life, prosperity and your long-term happiness are at stake, so you have a right to be a little selfish. Loyalty to an employer while in their employment is expected, but that doesn't mean they own you. People switch jobs every day.

Some things to consider:

  • If you accepted and began the role you have been offered, is there any period of commitment?
  • If you took it and then something better came up, how much notice would you need to give in order to jump ship?
  • Would taking a job and then moving elsewhere soon after harm your reputation if your chosen career path is a small community?

Don't say:

I'm interested in this role but I am more interested in others.

If the department head is looking to fill a position he will choose someone who actually wants to be there. If he overlooks you and then nothing else arises for you, you could be scuppered.

Say something like:

It sounds very interesting. Of course I'm focusing on my final semester right now but I'd like to hear more about it. Please keep me in mind.

Actively look for other roles more inline with what you want. And if something else comes up you can do the decent thing by going straight to the department head and telling him:

I wanted to let you know that I have been offered a post elsewhere which I am going to accept. I feel it is more suited to me, but I do thank you for considering me for your role.

  • I think you could improve your "things to consider" if you added in the consideration of career development. Beside legalities, if you quit the first job you take after graduation within mere month, it will not look great in your cv. So there is a psychological pressure to at least hold out ~2 years at your first employer, to convey that you do not quit at the first bumps you hit in a new job. Else, great post! – user6109 May 17 '18 at 11:38

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