I accepted a job offer in writing 7 days ago from company A but I received a better offer today from company B (that I didn't foresee) that I would like to take.

How can I professionally renege the offer that I previously accepted? What is the most graceful way to handle the situation?

  • 1
    If you already signed a contract, you'll need to check that (and/or consult with a lawyer) to see whether there's any legal consequence to going back on the offer at this stage. If nothing else, you could theoretically be required to serve out your notice period (if any), not that many employers would do that. – Bernhard Barker Jun 12 '18 at 8:28

Contact the recruiter you worked with at that company and advise them that due to an unforeseen change in personal circumstances, you're unable to resume the opportunity at this point. Do thank them for their time and effort in considering your candidacy and offer to help them find an equally good referral (if you have one, if not that's ok too).

Do the same with the hiring manager.

However, be sure that you truly want to take up offer B before doing so.

The best approach, of course, is to avoid being in this situation as best as possible by delaying acceptance (especially when competing offers are expected) in the first place.

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    I disagree that the OP should avoid situations like this as often a bit of competition in the hiring process can lead to a better result for the candidate. – user1666620 Jun 12 '18 at 5:24
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    @user1666620 It's good to have multiple offers, but it's better to simply ask for a bit more time to consider the offer or convince the other company to speed up their hiring process. The main benefit to accepting an offer only to later decline it is that you don't risk losing out on it (which shouldn't be a big risk if approached carefully). It doesn't really help with competition as using an accepted offer to negotiate a better one or going back on an offer to renegotiate is likely to be seen negatively and may cost you either or both offers. – Bernhard Barker Jun 12 '18 at 8:22

Congratulations, you are now in the enviable position of possibly getting yourself into a bidding war between two companies.and can try to get a better offer out of one or both of them.

Go back to company A and inform them that you received an offer from company B with the details of the package. See if they will offer you a better package. If they do, go to company B and tell them you have an offer from A and see what they say.

Your goal is to maximize you salary and/or benefits.

  • May I ask why this was downvote? I am genuinely curious why this would be viewed negatively. – user1666620 Jun 12 '18 at 6:17
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    There's nothing wrong with getting into a bidding war - but it is best not to have accepted one of the offers first. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Jun 12 '18 at 7:13

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