Today, I quit my current grpahic design job because I was getting a better offer. My current boss also agreed to pay higher, but I chose growth over salary. But I made a mistake, I broke a promise. Yesterday, I told my boss that I'm not joining the new company, I'm staying with you since you'll increment my salary.

Actually, I when I told my current boss about quitting, he asked the problems for quitting. I told him the I'm doing all the stuff in 3-4 hours of 8 hours working. Rest of the time is going waste somehow (I used to create future content in spare time but that also didn't seem quite right because nobody knows what works in future what not).

Moreover, my boss told you can also do the work which your colleague does. But the thing is, it seemed like my colleague is not ready to give me any work, not because I can't do it, but because he feels he'd go in similar situation i.e., spare time. So he often avoids whenever I requested him for even simplest works.

But somehow they (1-2 colleagues) often comment/felt like you don't have much work to do; you're sitting free for 2-3 hours OR we'll give you the work when it is worth you.

Third, I personally felt my design sense is better than my colleague. I would often see basic design mistakes in his work. He'd also like my feedback. Of course my senior was better at problem solving, but I felt my creativity is going useless. All I was doing was non creative work. Nothing creative.

Whenever I tried to make a design little creative (and not a copy of someone else), he'd say you're wasting time, it's too difficult to do, it's very time consuming, just copy it etc.

My boss was unaware of it, but seeing that my senior is very valuable resource to my boss, he'd definitely take side of him. So I didn't discuss all these things but I told him in a single sentence :

I don't see my time is being utilized properly here, I'm not doing any creative work (some conversation is already discussed above).

So he increased my salary and said we'll fix these problems. But I guess he thought increment would solve my problem. Because he's financially good.

Suddenly after coming home I thought for one day again. I somehow knew that even if I would discuss the entire problem, even if my boss would say my senior to give me work, my relations with my colleagues would become bad, because they already were not very professional with me.

I thought a lot about it, thought about last 2 months of work, how things went, what did I learn, how I was treated.

So finally next day I broke promise (there's was no written thing, only verbal). At this, he got little frustrated (Actual words he said: "You know what it's pathetic". He also said I'll make sure you don't get any job in your career), because he didn't want me to leave. He thought money would stop me.

I said sorry to him. I almost cried. 15 minutes later I again talked to him and again apologized for quitting. This time he said he was also frustrated, but here you could grow more. You'll face a lot of problems in switching to new company.

I respect my boss. I also told him so. I said thank you and quit without notice period of 15 days because he said leave immediately. I even offered to him that I can do a bit freelance work for him because it's not much time consuming, to somewhat compensate this experience, to which he denied that a lot of people are applying for job here. You're not alone.

Most importantly, I have already done March + half of April months complete work so they won't have any issue. So in terms of work, they didn't lose anything immediately, but what hurt him I broke my promise.

Personally I feel a made a good decision, because I wasn't being treated well in all aspects. I also knew my worth is more than current job, in terms of salary and creative work. I'm also planning to get married at end of this year, so I wanted to be stable.

I'm not sure about the new company's future experience, but they have a larger team, little big clients and lot of and lot of varieties of work, holiday benefits, which I always wanted.

Given all that, was this a selfish and immoral decision? Shouldn't I've hurt my boss by not breaking promise and not quitting the job?

  • Breaking a promise is the same as breaking a contract. Just think if the tables were turned; suppose he verbally promised to give you a 15% raise if you stayed, and then said months later "oops, that agreement wasn't in writing, so I don't have to do it!" I think you would not like that one bit and it's quite likely you would find his actions immoral.
    – Brandin
    Mar 6, 2020 at 10:00
  • @Brandin so it was immoral and I should learn a lesson from it?
    – Vikas
    Mar 6, 2020 at 10:20
  • Whether it was moral or not is really only best answered by you. Imagine if it was done to you by them as I described. If you think that would have been immoral by them, then yes, according to your own morals, then it is reasonable that your action to them is also immoral by the same reason. But "morals" are not laws and we cannot tell you your morality here.
    – Brandin
    Mar 6, 2020 at 10:44
  • I have a hot temperament and a co-worker with a colder approach told me to answer "I will take a day to think about it" even if I was 100% sure of my decision. This advice improved a lot my life and it may improve your :)
    – Tom Sawyer
    Mar 6, 2020 at 17:30
  • @SebastienDErrico your English is little hard for me to understand, especially starting senetence. Can you please edit it so I can also improve my life :)
    – Vikas
    Mar 6, 2020 at 17:43

4 Answers 4


Given all that, was this a selfish and immoral decision?

No, you took a decision which is good for you, nothing immoral about making the decision itself to move out.

Shouldn't I've hurt my boss by not breaking promise and not quitting the job?

Let's take it in two parts:

  • "breaking promise": Yes, Absolutely you should not have done that.
  • "quitting": Back to answer 1: choice is yours.

Moral of the story is: You should never burn a bridge. You are the authority to make your decisions - but not through a broken promise which can be perceived as a lie. You should not promise things which you cannot keep. Learn a lesson, and move on.

Next time, when you need time to think to take a decision and make your mind - just say so. Take time and get back with a definite answer. People appreciate a well thought-off decision which may take some time, and eventually despise a prompt promise which is broken soon after.

Note: The way your boss acted (or reacted) is also not professional and uncalled for (even when you seem to brake your verbal commitment), but that's not in your control, and should not affect your decision to move on. Every now and then, people face (which they should not) these sort of "threats" or personal grudge-based comments when they announce their separation from the company. Not common, but neither unheard of.

  • 2
    Where did they lie? A broken promise is not a lie. There is an argument here that the boss should not have gotten hurt. They acted irrationally. They are responsible for hurt feelings. Mar 6, 2020 at 8:34
  • 4
    @Vikas Sometimes you should break promises. What you want to is learn to decrease the chance of having to break a promise. As Sourav said, in the future, give yourself "thinking time" so when you are willing to make a promise you know with more certainty. Mar 6, 2020 at 10:48
  • 2
    @Vikas breaking promise is the problem here, nothing else. Mar 6, 2020 at 10:55
  • 1
    @Vikas No. Making such an important decision due to feeling a little bad about breaking a promise makes no sense. The problem is you've let an irrational reaction by your boss make you think your "mistake" was a lot worse than what it was. You said you made a good decision, so stick with it. Mar 6, 2020 at 11:15
  • 1
    @Vikas Yes, I was responding to you responding to Sourav. Mar 6, 2020 at 11:28

Given all that, was this a selfish and immoral decision? Shouldn't I've hurt my boss by not breaking promise and not quitting the job?

I don't see anything immoral here.

I do think it was a mistake to announce a decision, rescind the decision, then change your mind yet again and go back to the original decision. In my opinion, that was completely unnecessary.

I think it would have been far better to figure out what you really wanted, think things through completely, weigh all the pros and cons, and only then announce your decision at the completion of your thought process. And then, of course, stick to your decision. I always advise this for everyone, as I don't think this sort of indecision is good for anyone.

That said, it's done (I assume). Just work your notice period, say your thank you's and goodbyes, leave this job behind, and enjoy your new job.


Yesterday, I told my boss that I'm not joining the new company, I'm staying with you since you'll increment my salary.

There's nothing immoral about you initially accepting his offer, then changing your mind. However, there's everything immoral about your boss' response:

At this, he got little frustrated (he also said I'll make sure you don't get any job in your career)

That's beyond unprofessional.

However, in a more general sense I'd say your mistake here was initially accepting a counter offer and a promise from his side that things would change, when in reality they're very unlikely to do so.

Counter offers in general are something I'd almost always recommend staying away from (both salary based, and promises of change.) The salary based counter offers seem like a nice perk, but only make any sense if it's the only driver for you moving on. Even if it is:

  • That salary may not be sustainable, and they may just look to replace you over a few months anyway (then that replacement would be in their control, not yours);
  • You've forced their hand in making that offer, so don't expect to be treated favourably for raises etc. in the future.

Offers based on promises of change are almost always empty. That's not to say they're deliberate lies - I'm sure many managers mean for things to change for the better. But once they've got you back on board, it's not a priority, so it'll never have the attention and drive it needs to happen.

  • 1
    Your last 2 sentences were also the reason I changed my mind.
    – Vikas
    Mar 6, 2020 at 16:52

Given all that, was this a selfish and immoral decision?

Selfish and immoral, the answer is no. You are working for a company they are exploiting your labour to make money. If the company was going bust do you think the would afford you this ethical conundrum?

Shouldn't I've hurt my boss by not breaking promise and not quitting the job?

This doesn't parse very well but I think you are asking

Should I have kept my promise ?

I mean given with the info you have said I wouldn't say you broke any promise. I would say you changed your mind which is perfectly acceptable. Everyone is allow to change their mind at any point and you should not feel guilty. As long as you were polite which by reading you question I'm almost 100% sure that you were.

I think that your boss is in the wrong by saying all of these vindictive things to you. Next time don't get upset and stand you ground and stand up for yourself. You done nothing wrong you simply changed your mind and being derided like what's happened to you is wrong.

Most importantly now forgot about that old job and good luck with your new job!

  • Thank you :) Yes I tried not being rude at all when he was little rude to me. My eyes were tearful.
    – Vikas
    Mar 6, 2020 at 16:55
  • 1
    @Vikas This is a learning lesson don't let them make you feel that way. I know it's hard when someone says something hurtful but you done nothing wrong at all. The boss is just pissed that they lost one of their best designers and venting.
    – Dave3of5
    Mar 7, 2020 at 9:48

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