Job Offer

I lost my IT related job as part of restructuring and interviewed in a few companies. I got a offer letter from a consulting company but doesn't have the same compensation as my previous job. I am also waiting on other offers that I interviewed. Do I accept the offer letter or wait for the best job offer? If I accept the offer can I ditch the offer before the start date which will be in 2 weeks?

You should let the other companies know that you have an offer letter, and that you need to make a decision in X number of days. Tell them that you're most exciting for their opportunity and that you'd be grateful if they could expedite your review so you could make the most informed decision.

I give this advice to peers and friends in this situation and usually it's a win-win. Either you find out quickly that you're not a fit at your #1 company and you take the offer from company #2 or you force #1 to speed things up, you get an offer quickly, and it's usually a better offer.

I would also look to see if there is any way to get the start date extended (if that's an option for you in your current financial situation) - saying that you would like some more time to consider making this career jump.  The last thing I would do in your case is accept and renege the offer - that's just burning bridges at that point and you never know when that will come back to haunt you later.  That is simply a lack of integrity - I know people have done that to me in the past and I will never consider those people for another position ever again.

I agree with Jason. As a hiring manager, I'd like to know that I had the opportunity to give an offer to a candidate I really like rather than having him/her take the offer without giving me the chance. 

Notify the other companies you're interviewing with that you have an offer and give them a chance. You might be surprised with what happens.