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June 12, 2012

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Sounds like you made the right move. Sometimes you have to listen to your heart. Glad it all worked out and thanks for sharing.

I think you did the right thing too. You were honest about it and you did what's best for you.

I once had received a job offer while I had an interview at another company the following day. When I received the job offer I simply told the company that I needed a few days to talk it over with my wife. That bought me time to hear back from the second company.

I don't think that changing your mind after accepting a job offer is that big of a deal. I wouldn't do it normally of course and you do risk burning a bridge. But you do have to do whats best for your career and not inconveniencing an employer shouldn't be more important.

How badly it might burn a bridge really depends. Some employers may not care too much as all they have to do is call up candidate #2. Some industries may be big enough that most people don't know one another and word will not 'get around' about it. I also can't see how this would really paint someone in that bad of a light in general. People change their minds and its not the end of the world.

Here is my take on the your "word" stuff. We are in a new economy now where we cannot "trust" the companies word. So why should they trust our word. It is a two way street and the Americans belief in the companies looking out for their employees is gone.

I say look out for number one until the company proves they will actually look out for you. Also, don't believe for a second what any hiring manager or upper bee is telling you. Trust your instincts and take the best offer you get.

Yes I would go thru the process you did. But heck yes if another better company called for a better job. I don't care if I am on the job for 1 day or 12 years. I am going to go listen to what they have to offer. I am very fortunate, my current company has proven to me and many others that they are here to look out for the employees within reason. If we protect their interests. I can understand that and agree with that.

I am in a similar quandry myself - TODAY actually. I have an offer from another company that I really want to accept, but we cannot agree on a start date. The date they have proposed would not allow me to give a full two weeks to my current employer. I have explained to them that I feel it would be unprofessional to not give two weeks notice (my current office is screaming busy and understaffed as it is, plus I don't want to burn bridges here) but they won't budge.

It's very difficult, because I really want this new opportunity. And I know that my current employer wouldn't hesitate to drop me like a hot potato if they found someone better. But I just don't feel it's right, and I have to live with this decision. So although I hate the situation, I am about to let them know I can't accept the offer. Hopefully this is a sign that something even better will come along. Ugh.

Walden --

That is a tough one -- a new employer who won't wait a few days versus a current employer who would replace you in a moment. Personally, I would look for any possible solution (can you work nights or weekends for your current employer to give them 10 full days of work before you quit?) to make it work out. If I couldn't find an alternative, I would probably go with the new job, but you have to do what's right for you.

I wish you the best.

If you are in the process of a job search, the best thing to do is be honest with everyone involved so they don't assume that you are committed before you actually are. Keeping an open forum with all companies you are applying to by vocalizing that you are speaking with other hiring managers as well as the one with their company, will leave no room for bad blood once a decision is made. It sounds like this did work out the best for you- you accepted the job you wanted without damaging contacts or your reputation in your field. I'm not sure how someone could really blame you for taking a different job that was better for you and that you would do better in. I think anyone in a corporate position could admire honesty and integrity in a situation like this, and understand that someone seeking employment will go where they want to go.

@ Walden This may not be over just yet. The hiring boss could bend his requirements after you decline to get the person he really wants.

Great advice here. Conventional wisdom would be that you need to stick with Co. A out of intergrity. However, I'd push back on that notion and say that it's not a move that lacks integrity to take a job that's a better fit for you - even if a few weeks later.

I know somebody that did something like that (going with a so-called Company B), and I think it worked out spectacularly well for him. People who are reasonable will actually be understanding, as they might do the same thing in your shoes.

Ultimately, we all have to ask ourselves what makes the most sense for us, and what do we truly feel comfortable doing.

@FMF - Thanks for the suggestion about nights/weekends. I would certainly be willing to help out as much as possible. The real crux of the issue is timing - because of previously scheduled vacations and a business trip, my employer would effectively have less than a week to even look for a replacement for me, let alone try to cover my work. I'm just not ok doing that.

@Luis - That is my secret hope! That they will recognize my outstanding integrity and professionalism and decide to wait for me! ;-)

I once applied for 2 jobs at about the same time. I interviewed with Company A, and while waiting to hear back, Company B interviewed me. Company B said they would have an offer package put together for me. Company A called back that day with an offer. I was honest with A and said that B was putting a package together for and that I could let them know something in a day or two. A was understandable with my situation because I was honest with them. B's offer came back and it was a level move, while A was a little more inline with what I wanted to do. So, I went with A.

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