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I've been with my current company (Company A) for about a year and 4 months. A couple of months back I decided to start applying for new opportunities due to issues with my pay and personal growth.

A couple of weeks back I received a great offer from Company B, and I put in my 4 weeks notice of resignation with my Company A. Unfortunately, due to concerns about COVID-19 and the global economy, my offer from Company B was rescinded just recently. I swallowed my pride and explained the situation to my Company A and asked if I could remain. They agreed, which I am very grateful for, and have proven themselves to be very supportive.

However, the issues with pay and personal growth are not going to go away. I still want to leave Company A. I'm still going through the interview process with some other companies that I think could be great opportunities, but I am acutely aware that if I received another offer from say Company C, and that is also rescinded, its highly unlikely that my Company A will take me back a second time.

That said, I think it's also unrealistic to expect/force myself to stay with my Company A for much longer just because they helped me out, especially when I know that the issues I'm concerned about aren't going to go away.

This seems to be a very fine balance and I have no experience dealing with this situation. I've never had a job offer rescinded before.

Is it acceptable to remain with Company A and immediately continue looking for new roles, and possibly "resign" again within 1 - 2 months? If not, what is the acceptable amount of time before I resume my job search?

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    Acceptable to whom? You can do whatever you want. Just know that in this climate, you better get an ironclad contract signed, or you better select a potential employer that actually turns a profit because of the pandemic, before you try jumping ship again. It's doubtful your current employer rescues you again. – Stephan Branczyk Mar 29 at 3:58
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    “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” or why would you treat people like that? – Solar Mike Mar 29 at 6:40
  • @SolarMike I agree. But as I mentioned, eventually I will have to leave. The things I'm concerned about with my role are probably not going to go away. Basically I'm looking for advice on how to manage this in such a way that I can leave the company, but at the same time, not burn bridges. – JuniorPerson Mar 29 at 8:25
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    @JuniorPerson You can't anymore, they already took you back once, if you will turn on them again, that's past reason to ever consider you in the future after they've done you such massive favor. – Tymoteusz Paul Mar 29 at 11:51
  • How did you communicate when talking about canceling your resignation? It all depends on whether you said "I want to stay" or "I want to stay until I get a new offer". With the latter, leave as soon as you get a new offer, but with the former you'd be burning bridges if you did. I don't think it can be objectively answered without knowing the content of your previous communication. – Morfildur Apr 1 at 7:40
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To be honest, you're not going to get a concrete answer.

I mean, you could approach it from a sheer, personalized utilitarian perspective and say "I should be looking out for myself, and if my best strategy is to find Company C, I should start looking."

You could approach it from a "Do I want to screw over Company A after they gave me a safe harbor during uncertain times?"

Both of those are completely legit answers - and are both arguably correct. Ultimately, it's going to be up to you what kind of employee/person you are. None of us here can make that decision for you.

That said? Two things I'd add:

  • I personally wouldn't do that to Company A - I'd stay at least a year or two (unless something truly drastic happened.) With unemployment ramping up and a huge uncertainty about the labor market... now's probably the best time to take a risk replacing an employee that clearly doesn't want to be with them. But instead, they're giving you a very nice shelter in the storm.
  • You should also flip the tables and look at what it would be like if the company did it. "Is it acceptable to hire Employee A but immediately continue looking for someone else to fill the role - and if we find someone, replace Employee A?" That's the same thing you're doing, just from the other side of the table.
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    I would also add that as the pay was big issue for op with company A, the market is about to get a lot harder, and the gap between A and others may not be as big anymore. – Tymoteusz Paul Mar 29 at 11:50
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Is it acceptable to remain with Company A and immediately continue looking for new roles, and possibly "resign" again within 1 - 2 months?

I don't think "acceptable" is the right term to use in this context. Of course it's acceptable for you. But think about if it's "advisable".

As you indicate, you likely won't get another reprieve if you get your next offer rescinded. And even if you are actually hired, in a recession often the last hired is the first fired.

So consider if now is a good time to be trying for new job offers, or if you would be better off putting up with the issues with pay and personal growth for now and seeking a new job when things have stabilized.

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I see two perspectives to this:

Will this affect your reputation in the industry / with other employers?

Potentially.

This depends a lot on context, I find.

  • Do you have a good relationship with your current employer?
  • Are they aware that you are still intending to look for another job?
  • If so, they expressed a stance towards this decision of yours?
  • How encapsuled is the field, i.e. is it so widespread, with so many companies participating, that your potential future employers barely come in touch with your current employer? Or do most companies know and interact with each other?
  • This last point is speculation, but it may be perceived negatively for you to be leaving your company twice in times of heavy crisis, but this is merely an assumption I am making

Is it ethically acceptable to be looking for the door immediately?

The way I am reading your question, you have basically decided that you would like to leave the company and want to start looking immediately and now you may be looking for validation of this opinion.

SE is not a service that provides you with ethically appropriate decision making - it does not decision making whatsoever in fact.

This decision depends on your personal understanding of and stance on ethics. I will say however, if you felt this was worthy of a thread, then there is obviously a conflict going on inside your mind, meaning you are already aware that your personal ethics may not go along with this decision.


Of these two, I am inclined to think you are pursuing the latter. If so, make this decision on your own. W.r.t. your career there may or may not be consequences to this, however severe, but this is impossible to tell from a reader's point of view given the amount of information.

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The world is in a strange place now. And your job stability is a complex one.

  • If company A is in a situation where they will have no reason to let people go during this pandemic, then your position is solid during this crisis. So doing nothing is an acceptable action because you might be able to stay long after the crisis ends.

  • If company A has a reason to hire many temporary workers during the pandemic, then you might now be viewed as a temporary worker. When they see the crisis has passed you will find yourself among those let go. So looking for places to jump in a few months might be an acceptable action.

  • If you do decide to search for a job during the crisis, you have to be sure that the job you are going to is solid, and will not be hurt by the crisis, or disappear when the crisis ends.

  • If you do decide to accept an offer during the crisis, company A may let you go when you hand in your notice, or they could make you work during the notice period. Knowing which they will do takes knowing how they view you.

Only you can decide how much you need a job now.

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