I've worked for my current company for 9 months and feel that I have been underpaid. Another company has offered me a position with a salary of roughly double what my current company pays (technically it is 1.5x my current salary with a retention bonus of 0.5 my current annual salary payable after two years). I responded that I would need some time before I could leave my current company but that I could engage with the new company as a consultant in the mean time.

A few weeks ago I gave them an update that I thought it would be possible for me to join them in another 6 weeks.

Since this however (in the last few days) my current employer has offered me a raise - while not quite up to the levels of the other company it also comes with equity and I understand that as a startup they are limited in what they can pay.

I am also concerned that I may be seen as a "job hopper" if I leave my current employer so soon.

How can I communicate to the manager of the new company that I can't join them? Would it be better to propose further delaying my start date?

  • Seems like a duplicate of How do I decline an offer from a job I'm not longer sure about? – Dukeling Mar 12 '18 at 16:54
  • I've edited your question to try and make it easier to read and to make it answerable here, hopefully this doesn't change your fundamental intent but if it does feel free to revert my edit and do one of you own. – motosubatsu Mar 12 '18 at 16:58
  • @Dukeling I see where you are coming from with the potential dupe.. however I think the difference here is that the OP has gotten somewhat further down the line having already accepted an offer and agreed a start date. – motosubatsu Mar 12 '18 at 17:00
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    Things will not get better at your current place. Think long and hard about accepting a counteroffer. They rarely work out. – HLGEM Mar 12 '18 at 17:12
  • @HLGEM, actually this is not counteroffer. As there is a month remaining, I haven't told current company that I am leaving. And this week is normal review period. But yes, I was asking for more salary since a month. – Hungry Mind Mar 12 '18 at 17:17

How can I communicate to the manager of the new company that I can't join them?

You could say something like "After further consideration, I am not able to join your company on a full time basis. Perhaps I can continue serving as a contractor as I am currently?"

Would it be better to propose further delaying my start date?

I think your best bet, reading between the lines a bit, is to continue with the start up as you are leaning towards, and you can (should be able to) continue on as a contractor for the new company as well.

As long as you have the bandwidth, why not work for both and maximize your earning potential while alleviating the job hopping concern?

  • As I am not leaning only towards salary but also equity and as the current company has just offered equity, I am not in position to leave currently. Will saying this professionally make new one believe me? I could continue as consultant with this but not full time, yeah. – Hungry Mind Mar 12 '18 at 17:15
  • @HungryMind Who can say? I would just be honest with them about your position and offer up consulting for them on a part time basis. – Neo Mar 12 '18 at 17:16
  • @hungrymind you are not in a position to stay. Once you told the old company, you are a marked man. – gnasher729 Mar 14 '18 at 10:36

The rule: never accept a counter offer.

Your old company underpaid, and they know it, and you know it. You will be a marked man who gets fired at the earliest possible time. You will never, ever get a raise. And in the USA, as soon as you declined the new offer, the old company can not only rescind the offer, but fire you. It has happened to people posting here.

So go to the new company, sign the contract, and when you have a signed contract you give notice.

Of course you may have burned bridges with the new company at this point, so act quickly. And nobody will accuse you of “job hopping” if you quit a job for a 50% raise.

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