I was going to leave my company about 2 months ago, but was offered a promotion to stay. After receiving this promotion I was offered another position at a third company which is even better. Is it unprofessional for me to accept this third position so soon after accepting the promotion at my original company?

How best to accept the new position without burning bridges or seeming to be unprofessional?

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    It will be difficult to accept the offer without burning bridges. – Donald Jan 29 '18 at 14:56
  • Do you have any suggestions on how to do so? Professionally speaking, the offer is tremendous, both from a financial and work standpoint. However, I've been with the current company for several years. – Mike Jan 29 '18 at 15:00
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    Well, they presumably offered you the promotion with the intention to make you stick around for a while, so there's obviously some potential to burn bridges by leaving now. But we can't tell you whether bridges will actually be burnt or whether you'd prefer the new opportunity above potentially burning bridges. – Dukeling Jan 29 '18 at 15:11
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    @Mike - If you've been there several years and have to leave to be missed and bribed to stay that foretells they'll be your pal until your toes are out the door, the only way to check is to phone or visit next Christmas. Leave professionally, it's then their obligation to let you leave professionally. Did they offer to beat the other offers by a great margin, because a raise at the next place will spike you further ahead. Be certain to factor non-wages like travel time and great places to go for lunch vs. nowhere. Potential to network in a richer environment is also a factor. Just go. – Rob Jan 29 '18 at 16:24

There Is really no way for your present employer to see this as anything other than a slap in the face. Accept that.

That said, if money were no object, would you move on? If not, then stay. Your present employer has already shown that they care enough to negotiate a promotion to retain you so you KNOW that you are valued. The new company is an unknown.

So, in summation. No, there is no way to move on without burning bridges, so be careful before you make your decision as this time, there will be no going back.

  • How much a company values an employee can be directly measured though; in money. They've offered him a promotion; which means they value him SOME. The OP needs to decide whether the amount they value him is sufficient. – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Jan 29 '18 at 15:17
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    @JonathonCowley-Thom Money is not the only measure. Time off, flexibility, working environment, benefits, stability, etc are all measurements. The fact that they took time to listen to his concerns and address them speaks volumes. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Jan 29 '18 at 15:18
  • Well, to expand- Time off is comparable, a little less at the new company. Benefits are a slight edge to the new company. Stability- honestly is any job stable in this day and age? Working environment is also comparable.Again, I'm 95% on taking the position, I'm trying to figure out how best to do so without causing scorched earth behind me, if at all. – Mike Jan 29 '18 at 15:22
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    @pmf it doesn't sound like he threatened – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Jan 29 '18 at 15:33
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    @Mike then they certainly didn't respond to a threat. You may want to work on your communications in the future. Ask for more money first before moving on. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Jan 29 '18 at 16:42

How best to accept the new position without burning bridges or seeming to be unprofessional?

The only thing to do if your intent on taking the offer, is to turn in your notice and leave. Do it in writing of course, and when there are questions asked, be open and honest about it. Also, be prepared for the possibility that you may never be able to go back.

You cannot control how your employer will respond to this, but you can control your own actions and level of professionalism.

During your notice period, be as helpful as you can. Document whatever you can to make it easier for your employer once you are gone. This will increase your chances of going back should you have the need.


It's best to do what you feel is right. Everyone here is speaking about how you'll burn bridges, but unless your company is brand spanking new, or the HR is brand new, or your manager is brand new, it's highly likely that they know you'll be leaving soon once you put in your original notice and they asked you to come back. Unfortunately, even though they know that, they sort of put the pressure on you because you end up looking bad because they can say, "we tried to reason with him, but couldn't."

Either way I think it's best to go with your guts and if you want to switch jobs, do it now.


We see over and over people that want to leave, and accept a counter offer, end up leaving anyway. Even in cases where the company doesn't renege on their promises, the employee still feels that there are better positions/offers/companies available.

It is impossible to predict how they will feel. It is likely that your current company knows that their promotion was a stop gap. And you announcing that you are leaving is not unexpected. It is also likely that your announcement will blindside them.

The best you can hope for is to tell them, apologize, and don't accept a counter offer. Then be professional during your remaining time with the company.

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