It's an unprofessional experience of me:

I accepted and signed offer with company A (dream company) for $X.

Company B came in later, knowing I already signed another company, offered me $1.25X trying to get me in. I accepted company B instead.

I called company A manager and apologized. I explained sincerely that I am currently in heavy financial situation and a 25% increase is much more appealing to me. Company A understood my situation and asked me to stay in contact for future opportunities.

The next day, company A manager called me again and told me they managed to raise my compensation to 1.25X and asked me to stay. I felt shocked and moved, I asked the manager why counter offer me when I haven't started my first day yet. He said he and team valued my potential and willing to learn attitude. They also explained this is the first time company A counter offer a new employee. I honestly don't have a clue why they value me so much.

  1. Should I accept company A back instead?

  2. What is the intention for company A to counter offer me since I already "betrayed" company A by switching to company B

Thanks in advance.

  • The manager already told you the reason for the counter offer, but this is presumably the same as the reason for the initial offer. One negative doesn't cancel out all positives (and they may not even view the "betrayal" negatively). – Dukeling Jul 13 '19 at 10:11
  • @JoeStrazzere, based on my research, $X is quite OK given my experience and job nature. $1.25X is my desired salary but it's on the high end of pay range. If company B offers even more, I don't think my current capability match that compensation which will result in job insecurity. Also I don't want company B to counter back cause I don't want to sound like bidding. – tchen003 Jul 13 '19 at 11:44
  • @Dukeling, you are absolutely right. The $X was based on one of my previous offer ( I didn't accept) and they try to match it. – tchen003 Jul 13 '19 at 11:45
  • @JoeStrazzere, Perhaps am afraid that too much salary negotiation may have negative effect on job search and professionalism (e.g. ask company A or B to increase compensation for another one or two times). I may be wrong. – tchen003 Jul 13 '19 at 11:57

Should I accept company A back instead?

That would be my recommendation.

What is the intention for company A to counter offer me since I already "betrayed" company A by switching to company B

Exactly what your manager said: Team valued my potential and willing to learn attitude.

  • Thank you for the comment. I will work hard, make progress and able to hold this salary. – tchen003 Jul 13 '19 at 11:46

Well, you said company A is your dream job so I'd go with them. It's not about the money if both companies are offering the same amount.

There's an old saying that if you ask for a certain price and the other guy says, 'yes' quickly then it means that you didn't ask for enough. Company A. must have been willing to pay you far more long before company B. showed up.

You didn't "betray" company A. for the same reason that companies don't think it's betrayal when they fire/lay people off with zero notice. If they had given you a signing bonus or training then you would owe that back when you cancel (according to the terms of whatever you signed) but it doesn't sound like that applies here.

Don't beat yourself up because these companies have thousands and thousands of applicants. They will just pick one of the other people if you move on. They aren't really being harmed here.

  • Thank you for the detailed explanation. – tchen003 Jul 13 '19 at 11:47

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