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Note: This is a hypothetical situation. I have completed a Computer Science degree. My dream job is to work for a global software development company, based in central London.

Hypothetically, I apply for an open position, I get interviewed and do very well. However, I receive feedback that senior management has just put in place a hiring freeze and so they are unable to offer me a position. Disappointed, I apply for other positions, and I am offered a job at a local small company that provides software to local government. This is position is far from ideal, but time has passed, so I accept the position. Between signing the contract of employment and starting work, I am contacted by the global software development company in Central London and told that the employment freeze has been lifted and that they can therefore now offer me the position discussed previously.

The ethical dilemma is that (hypothetically) I have accepted a position at a small company but have since been offered a better position.

What are the ethical arguments for not taking the dream job?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Steve, DarkCygnus, Dukeling, jcmack, gnat Jan 23 at 6:55

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    This reads like some sort of question you could find in a test... is this real or hypothetical? Also, the ethical arguments involved would depend heavily on the one answering... do you have an actual, achievable goal we can help you with? Welcome to The Workplace BTW :) if you need help editing or with something else do tell – DarkCygnus Jan 22 at 23:01
  • Welcome to SO. There's no ethical dilemma here as this is about applying/accepting job offers. Perhaps a legal question in regards to company contracts. Please update the post. – Isaiah3015 Jan 22 at 23:06
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    @MikeS I see your edit indicating this is a hypothetical situation. I must say that those questions are discouraged here, as they are really open-ended and don't have much applicability or usefulness to real-life situations (i.e.: users won't benefit much from them compared to real questions). Please, consider editing to avoid your post from being closed. – DarkCygnus Jan 22 at 23:21
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You're not a slave, you can quit your job or decline to work for somebody whenever you want. Do whatever is best for you.

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Ethically you don't owe anything to anyone nor do they owe you anything. Business is business, just like the first company (temporarily) said no without considering any ethics you can also say no to either of them.

Yes, they wasted their time on you by interviewing you, but that is the cost of doing business. You can be nice about it by explaining this to them but its not like they will hug you and thank you for your honesty. They won't care and promptly move on to the next name on their list.

You'll find out at some stage that honesty, loyalty and other admirable qualities are extremely rare in todays world. Do what is best for yourself.

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