I accepted offer for a great job but it feels like I've made a huge mistake. I've had to sacrifice a big holiday which they advised me I wouldn't be able to take if I started with them. I want to withdraw but I really want to work with them when I come back from the trip. From people's experience, I am wondering whether it would jeopardise my chances of reapplying if I have accepted and then declined (bearing in mind it has been 2 days since the acceptance date and I have not signed a contract).

  • Hello Zoe, and welcome to The Workplace! The best questions here are useful to future members and inspire answers that explain why and how -- questions that ask "What should I do?" are off-topic here. We can't tell you what to do in this situation, and we don't have a time machine to turn back time. This may be better to ask in our chat where this is plenty on-topic.
    – jmac
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 5:26
  • You're right, in my panicked state I did not express myself that well. Have updated question.
    – Zoe
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 6:34
  • Hey Zoe, thanks for giving it an edit, but I still think it's a bit off-topic even with the edit since it is just polling for opinion (and there is no definitive answer that will help in your situation). At the end of the day you agreed knowing you would have to sacrifice your holiday. If they didn't have any issue with you taking the holiday, they wouldn't have made that a condition of you accepting the offer. Common sense would dictate it will have an impact if you reapply after breaking the verbal agreement to work for them without the holiday.
    – jmac
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 7:00
  • 2
    You've accepted and now you have changed your mind after all. Be prepared for at least a note in your file - this will most likely give a very bad impression. Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 7:33

2 Answers 2


From people's experience, i am wondering whether it would jeopardise my chances of reapplying if I have accepted and then declined (bearing in mind it has been 2 days since the acceptance date and I have not signed a contract).

From my experience, changing your mind like this means that there is a big chance you won't get hired by this company again.

I had a somewhat similar experience. My company hired an individual and set a start date two weeks into the future. Two weeks later we received an email stating that he had changed his mind and decided not to work for us. He also mentioned that he received advice from his father (a famous local attorney) that he legally didn't need to show up.

This was very disappointing to us, and clearly infuriated the CEO. We were told in no uncertain terms that this person was never to be considered for a future position.

As it turns out, I was at a conference a few years later, talking to a friend in another company. He just happened to mention that he was interviewing the son of this famous attorney for a job. I told my friend the story. The son wasn't offered that job.

Once you accept the job, the hiring company puts in motion all sorts of new-arrival processes. They notify HR, payroll, IT, etc. They notify other candidates for the position that they have been rejected, etc. Retracting your acceptance puts them in a very awkward position, and forces them to do lots of extra work.

On top of all that, if you had just negotiated a different start date with this company you might have been able to avoid the problem altogether. From the hiring company's point of view, it looks like you just weren't thinking it through.

My suggestion, talk to them immediately. Tell them you would really like to change your start date and see what happens. They may be able to accommodate your needs, but (since you already discussed it) probably not. At least doing it very quickly will spare both sides some grief.

Good luck.


Accepting the offer is a commitment. It may be something you or your lawyer can get you out of, but you'll still be breaking an agreement, so if you do prepare for the smell of burning elevated river crossings (i.e. you'll burn your bridges).

Likely you'll be filed in the bin from that point onward.

If the thing stopping you is this holiday (assuming you haven't yet sacrificed it), talk to them, things can always be arranged if they really want you (and they've offered you a job so they probably do), playing games will get you on the black list.

If the holiday is booked and paid for, they'll either make allowances or allow you to gracefully withdraw, if not, then it's not firm enough of a plan to not be able to be moved to a time that suits you and the employer.

  • 1
    Thanks for your input everyone. Have decided to forgo holiday and go for the job! It's too good an opportunity to pass up:)
    – Zoe
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 17:39

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