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I was recently interviewing and I landed two job offers from Company A and Company B. I had accepted a job offer initially from Company A, but Company B came along and gave me an offer with a better salary, benefits package, PTO, and what I thought would be an entry back to an industry that I wanted to be in again. I decided to go with Company B and I politely turned down Company A's offer. I have not heard back from Company A since then, but that is to be expected.

I started Company B two weeks ago, and I have realized that it is not a good fit for me. I really wanted to try and give it a go, but inside my gut I know that Company B is not going to work out for me long term. I would rather leave Company B gracefully and not put them into too much of a lurch if I were to leave them months or a year from now.

I would like to start a conversation with Company A again since I did see that they are still advertising for the role I interviewed with them for. I know this will be a slice of humble pie to ask them to reconsider me and that I made a wrong choice.

I'm not sure how to approach this, and I was thinking something along the lines of:

I wanted touch base with you to see if the [position] is still open. If it is, I would love to be reconsidered for this role.

Since we last spoke, I have given this opportunity a lot of thought, and I would like another chance to join the team. I thought that a career in [Company B's industry] was going to be a better fit for me, but I have realized that I am better suited to a more dynamic technical role like the one that is at Company A. I know that I would make a great addition to the team after all of the interviews I have had and I would like to the opportunity to discuss the possibility of a second chance.

I know the possibility of me not being considered back after I turned Company A down is a very real possibility, but I would rather say that I tried and failed than wonder What if?

Is there a good way to approach a situation like this or should I even attempt it at all?

  • @Joe Strazzere Nope, that’s fine. Well, I’m willing to give it a shot at this point since the worst they could say is no. Either way, I’m starting to plot my exit strategy and revamping my job hunt again. – Perdue Nov 5 at 19:45
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Should I even attempt it at all?

Yes of course you should, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

But don't count on it, restart your job hunting anyways.

Turning down an offer is not a big problem, but you were turning it down after confirmed acceptation, that's already dipping into certain level of dishonesty. A good number of companies sees dishonesty a serious issue and may have to re-evaluate if you are still a worthy candidate, so don't expect you automatically get the same offer sheet back.

Beside that, the fact you wish to quit a job right after starting also raises a yellow (if not red) flag for not only company A but quite some other potential employers, so do take that into account too, it's the bullet you have to bite if you want to move on.

Is there a good way to approach a situation like this?

I think the line you came up with is a good start. You can always be general or be honest, and either way is double edged sword that you need to consider and decide by yourself which way works better for your potential employer:

Being honest, basically sharing your current situation and your thought with your potential employer, sometimes can raise certain level of sympathy, and if done properly, can better persuade them that you won't be hopping again in their company, but also may (unexpectedly) raise some extra flags for your potential employers.

Being general, basically treating it like any other opportunity as if nothing happened, may trigger certain level of ego if you happens to have to deal with exactly the same recruitment person/team, but sometimes help you avoid raising more flags for yourself while being honest.

And either way you pick, prepare a good answer for question like:

Why are you leaving your current position so shortly after you started?

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    Good preparation: Why are you leaving your current position so shortly after you started ..,. AND why do you think it won't happen at company A again – Hilmar Nov 5 at 13:42
  • @tweray You do raise a good point about possibly not receiving the same offer again from Company A. The offer I received was only verbal and contingent upon a drug screen and a background check. The background check just wrapped up when I got my offer from Company B, so I know it was not a good move after they spent money on me to do the pre-employment process. I do not plan on even listing Company B on my resume or LinkedIn unless I make it to the three month point. I can pick up my job search again and not mention Company B at all. – Perdue Nov 5 at 13:43
  • @Hilmar That is a really good question that I probably should address in my email to Company A. I know it is an industry thing for one, the culture at Company B is not as collaborative as they presented in my interview, and I want to be in a more technical role than the one that I am in now with Company B. I would probably list those reasons as to why I wouldn't bail on Company A after such a short time. – Perdue Nov 5 at 13:47
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    Wishing to quit so soon after starting is a yellow flag. I'd ask about it at interview, but I wouldn't rule the OP out. If he quits soon after joining company A as well though, that would be a red flag. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 5 at 15:24
  • @Martin Bonner supports Monica I am hoping Company A will take that into consideration. It is really is not a decision that I want to make to leave a job so soon, but I think if I admit that I made a mistake in my decision that I may gain a little sympathy for my situation. – Perdue Nov 5 at 15:42
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I think you can always try and the example email you have shown looks fine and honest to me. I however do see a few issues.

1) You say you want to leave company B a few months or a year from now. So you expect company A not only to reconsider you but to also wait some time before you can join. That might be asking too much.

2) You have tried company B only two weeks. That is not a lot of time. As company A I might think you did not give it a proper try and that you might do the same to me (company A)

So if you are really going to send the letter now, you should IMHO explain better why you know for sure that B is not for you and why you wont think that of A after working there for only two weeks.

  • Well, if I could, I would actually turn in my notice today to Company B, but I need some income coming in. This is where I think about if I were to stay a few months or a year from now. I would be asking Company A now if they would consider me back. I understand where I could see Company A thinking I would flake out on them after a couple of weeks, and you make a good point about stating why I'm sure Company B isn't going to work for me. I can at least say that there is not much of a team dynamic at Company B like Company A. – Perdue Nov 5 at 13:39
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    @Perdue so if you email A and they say: "yes please come, here is a contract" you could join immediately (taking into account a normal notice period ofcourse). Than my first point is not that important. However I missed that you declined after initially accepting. Tweray is right to point this out in his answer. That could be a serious yellow/red flag. You might want address that as well – user180146 Nov 5 at 14:21
  • Yes, I agree, and I do feel bad about it on both ends since I went into this thinking that I found the right job and that Company A was not a better job. It is hard because I don’t like making a mistake like this since it affects a lot of people who are counting on me on both ends. At the same time, I don’t want to waste anyone’s time at Company B if I don’t have any intentions at this point of continuing to be there long term. I will totally understand Company A’s position if they view me as a red flag, so I am aware going into this that I might get shot down after I reach out. – Perdue Nov 5 at 15:01

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