I had applied for a job and received an offer. Though I accepted the offer and agreed to come into the office at the start of next week, I changed my mind. There are several red flags that after further consideration, simply are not worth the risk.

The job is part time and entry level. It pays close to minimum wage. Ranging from aggressive non-compete contracts to a simple sense of disorganization, I do not thinks this is a good idea. I feel like I’ve jerked the company around as they had already agreed to push my start date back to accommodate my other job.

How should I write an email saying I’m not longer coming in this week? What should it say and include?

I never signed the official job acceptance contract (or most of the other heavy duty paper work, they had me sign things like PCI compliance well before the start date).

HR is in a different country and they keep calling and emailing me complaining I haven't signed the paper work fast enough. This is really irritating because of the complex wording of the contracts I wanted time to go through them thoroughly and they never said in the first place there was a deadline (e.g. a week vs tomorrow).

  • “I feel like I’ve jerked the company around as they had already agreed to push my start date back to accommodate my other job.“ - You have to ask yourself, is this potential job, better then your current job. Do you advance your career. If your current job isn’t part-time or entry level, then it is confusing, why you even entertained the job offer.
    – Donald
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 5:10
  • It's not enough to check whether the job is better than the current job. People normally move from worse to better jobs. But is this new job better than alternative new jobs? Is it secure? What's the probability the OP would need to quit within the next 12 months? What's the probability they would need a lawyer to solve any issues related to the new job (huge costs, stress, lost time)?
    – BigMadAndy
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 6:56

3 Answers 3


It depends on your personality and on how diplomatic you want to appear. You normally include:

  1. "Thank you so much, oh so much for the offer!"
  2. However, several stipulations of the contract you've sent me are unfortunately unacceptable for me, which is why I've decided to withdraw my application.
  3. Alternatively, if you want to make it even easier, you can lie that you need to withdraw your application from consideration "for personal reasons" and add that it wasn't an easy decision.
  4. "Thank you again for considering me for the position!"

And don't feel guilty. If the company had some major red flags about you they would also withdraw their offer. And if the contract is really doubful, there's nothing you can do apart from withdrawing the application.

P.S. Mind you, I'm not a native speaker of English.

  • Choice 3 seems like potentially less of a "lie" than 2. With 2, they could rightly ask "which stipulations?" and then what would you say? Would you really be willing to accept if they changed those?
    – Brandin
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 11:07

If you haven't signed any legally binding contract that requires you to start, then you call them and say "I'm sorry, but I changed my mind and will not start with your company". I wouldn't add anything more, don't give reasons, and especially don't lie about reason. Giving reasons will just lengthen an unnecessary discussion. Lying about reasons has the risk that the lies are found out or just not believed, and then things get really embarrassing. Just a plain "I will not start". That's all the company needs to know.

If you have signed a legally binding contract, you do exactly the same. You may say "I'm really, really sorry" instead of "I'm sorry", that's the only change needed. It depends on the company how much trouble they will cause you (and this seems to be quite country dependent).


Being involved in the past in several complicated contracts, I can pretty much tell you what you feeling is normal when going for a new job.

If the contract was worth it, I would probably tell you it might be worthwhile reconsidering listening or not listening your gut feelings. As you say it is a lowly position, I wont go that way.

Given you already having a written trail and at least a signed document, I would talk with them and put in writing you are not going through with the job.

Whilst while talking, I would mention I do not feel at ease, depending on the conversation tone, in writing on would mention anything more than being sorry, but you feeling you are not a fit for the position.

As you have not signed any contract yet, and have not yet started worked for them, nothing more would be required of you in principle.

I would have a look at the wording of any paper you signed. Some documents have a set number of days, either specified or by default in law for you to repudiate them. (for instance, I can repudiate a written contract in 8 days without any compensation clausule going in effect).

Nevertheless, besides the contract dates, there is also the experimental term. I would not feel bad about not starting, there is also people that starts and then gives up for similar reasons. Consider the experience a dodged bullet.

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