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I am a software developer, working in India. I received an offer from Company A in India two months ago, and I start at the organisation next week. Meanwhile, I tried applying to Company B outside of India, and I am on the verge of getting selected there, but I am not sure how the visa processing will go.

I don't want to lose the job at Company A in an assumption that everything will go smoothly with the Company B.

What reason should I give HR in Company A for wanting to delay my joining date? I really don't want to tell them that I am trying for another company and that's the reason I want them to delay.

  • Consider changing the title to "Asking to postpone start at new job". As this seems to be the core of your question. Please add some context as to why this date was set, maybe there is an expensive training to be given to people joining by that time. – Mefitico May 7 at 20:03
  • "What reason should I give HR" not that you are asking, but this community will probably not recommend lying. I suggest you rephrase as "what is the professional way to achieve X" where X is what you want to happen – aaaaa says reinstate Monica May 7 at 21:57
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In my opinion, there's no easy way you can keep the both options open without burning some bridges and / or earning some bad reputation.

Given that you have accepted the offer with a predefined joining date, then you continued interviewing with other organizations and now you want to postpone the joining because you expected you may have a better offer from another organization, it's unethical, at best.

As I see, you have two options:

  1. Communicate to the company which you're about to join, regarding the "change of mind" (need not be explicit about reason). Unless there is a legal issue, you'll likely only earn yourself some bad reputation and probable blacklisting, and you then you can focus on the other potential job.

    • Pros: Can't really see any
    • Cons: Loss of reputation, chance of being unemployed.
  2. Forget about the "potential" job for now, join the organization you're supposed to join, and after a suitable amount of time and based on the work experience, search for other offers.

    • Pros: Build relationship, avoid uncertainty, grow networking
    • Cons: Maybe lose out on the other opportunity of working abroad (but it's not end of the world)
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You'll have to weigh-in the benefits and the demerits of joining both companies.

The easiest thing to do would be to stay at the company you're expected to join next week. It would also cause no problems with the company. It's also the most ethical thing to do. Especially since you don't have the letter of offer for the other company yet.

I don't want to lose the new job that I have to join next week in a assumption that everything will go smoothly for going to other company outside.

It's a hard choice, obviously. You have to pick between something you know will reward you or gamble with a job that you really want but has many risks(No letter of offer yet, getting a work visa, moving out of India, backlash of burning bridges with other company ,etc.)

I really don't want to tell them that I am trying for another company and that's the reason I want you to extend my joining date

After reading up a bit on India's 3 month notice period in the IT sector, I can understand why you would want to extend your joining period. Ask for an extension on the join date. Tell them that you have personal things to attend to and if they pry too much just tell them you're not comfortable saying much more.

If you do get the letter of offer, it'll be up to you to find a way to tell them you'll be working abroad instead of joining them but at least there shouldn't be any legal issues. I still find it sort of unethical but you have to remind yourself that you're your own person and you should do what makes you happiest.

If you don't end up getting the letter of offer during that extension, you still have options: If after you've joined the company and the abroad company sends you the letter of offer, ask them if they would be alright with waiting for 3 months. You could explain to them that it is part of your contract(correct me if I'm wrong here) to give a 3 months notice but it would also help you get a work visa and find a place to live.

You would be burning bridges but if you think the results outweigh all the issues you'll have to face, go for it. I don't think it's that uncommon for people to leave early for better opportunities.

Hope this helps a bit.

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