As the question says. Not sure what the consequences may be in terms of legal and effect on career and networking down the line.

  • Does this mean that you prefer B over A? May you tell us why you are not able to wait the time until B starts? (I suppose you are currently between jobs?). How much time is between "soon" and "summer" (the start of A and the start of B)?
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 21, 2020 at 3:09
  • 2
    Furthermore. Does accepting A involve some Notice Period you should give? Does accepting A involve a NDA or Non-compete agreement you should sign? Would this agreement conflict with offer from B?
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 21, 2020 at 3:10
  • 3
    Do you currently have a job? Oct 21, 2020 at 4:42
  • 1
    No location tag. Apparently there might be legal issues if you try doing this in India, based on some of the questions we've gotten here about companies refusing to fill in the paperwork to formally release employees of their employment with them.
    – nick012000
    Oct 21, 2020 at 5:36
  • When is summer where you are located: December, or June? Oct 24, 2020 at 14:09

5 Answers 5


You know what sticks out more than a short interlude at company A? Being unemployed for half a year.

Even worse if you don't already have a written offer from company B.

Also, you might like job A way more than job B. There's nothing to lose from accepting job offer A and then after a few weeks decide if you want to stay, want to do a personal time-out until B starts, or if you wait until the last possible day to hand in your notice and go on to job B.

The probation period on a job works both ways, it's not only you that has to impress a company, it's also the other way around. If you already have job B lined up, you're in a great position to check out company A.

  • 16
    I would agree entirely, what most people seem to forget, is the company wouldn’t hesitate to get rid of their employee the second they arn’t making them any more money and claim ‘business is business’ or free market or some shit...but suddenly it’s ‘morally’ incorrect for an employee to do the same. Oct 21, 2020 at 8:23
  • @morbo the thing is a company acting like that will probably still have no further difficulty re-giring people after that, while a job hopping might be a red flag for some companies. I completely follow you on the rest though...
    – Laurent S.
    Oct 21, 2020 at 12:34

Is it ok to accept A, starting working and quit before B start date?

There are lots of details missing from your post that would help us give a more precise answer, but in general terms no, it's not ok.

Here are some reasons why it would not be ok or why it could be harmful or backfire on you:

  • You will most likely burn all bridges will company A by quitting shortly after starting for a job. Even more if you knew this all along and just took A "in the meantime".
  • Accepting offer from A may also mean you could have a notice period to hand when considering quitting, so you would have to consider that for your timings to be right. That assumes that you care about serving your notice period. If you don't serve that would be very unprofessional again.
  • Accepting offer from A may also bring an NDA or Non-compete agreement that you should sign. This could be problematic if this conflicts with your offer from B, and you would be in professional and legal trouble if you decide to ignore it.
  • This hop from A to B will show up in a background check if they want to look for such things, so be ready to explain about it for a long time to come when seeking employment in the future ("why did you had a job in A for such a few time and then went to B?")
  • You never know what the future has prepared for you. If there is such thing as "work karma" it could come and bite you in the future if you use A in such way (for example, what if someone from the interview panel has to interview you again? ouch).

Like I said, much details are missing from your post to help you better. Assuming you are currently employed, and that you prefer B over A, I would suggest you take B, politely decline and thank for offer A, keep doing your current job, hand your notice period sometime near next summer, server it and move on.

  • 1
    Only applies if Job A doesn't have an expected high turnover rate. From the way the question is phrased, I suspect they're the same job in different companies, and not something like a 3 month stint at McD.
    – Nelson
    Oct 21, 2020 at 3:52
  • 1
    @Nelson all what you said is speculation. I presented my answer in the best way possible with the current information given. I also suspect some things but I though it better to answer in an objective way with the few facts we know. Will update when we get more info.
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 21, 2020 at 5:08
  • 9
    "why did you had a job in A for such a few time and then went to B?" - wouldn't the simple answer be "because B was a better job, but only came to fruition after A"!? A person can't seriously be expected to go workless and payless for six months waiting for the next job to start. I'd be very surprised if that was found to be adverse on a background check, unless the employer is not living in the real world where people have rent and bills to pay.
    – Steve
    Oct 21, 2020 at 9:08
  • 1
    there will be a probation period at company A, this for the company to see if the candidate is right for the job AND for the candidate to see if the company is right for them
    – PeterH
    Oct 21, 2020 at 11:47

It's fine, as long as you are careful with thing like notice periods.

It's not that uncommon for people to start work and then get a better offer only a few months later. If it's significantly better then it's unreasonable to expect them to stick with the first offer, which is demonstrably below market rate.

Sometimes people quit after a few months because they realize the job just isn't for them. And sometimes the company lets them go for the same reason. Most jobs designate the first few months as a probationary period with minimal notice and no invitation to things like the company pension scheme, for those reasons.

Just be sure you give the required amount of notice. Don't say anything else if they ask why, beyond that you have been given a better opportunity.


I think the question would benefit from a frame change:

If you were employed by company A and had only been working for them for 4 months would you then accept a job offer from company B?

The answer will vary according to the exact situation but most people would only choose to move if there is a strong tangible benefit to doing so.

For what its worth I don't think that company B values you very highly if they are insisting on a 6 month wait before you can work there.

  • 1
    Just want to point out that there may be legitimate reasons for the wait, e.g. a long clearance process, it's a teaching position for a specific semester, the hire is related to an upcoming contract, etc. No way for us to know without more info from OP but I would think it's more likely to be a legitimate reason than just jerking OP around, since that kind of time frame is inconvenient for the employer as well.
    – Michelle
    Oct 21, 2020 at 12:16

Do you think company would want to hire you, knowing you'll only be working for them for 3 months?

If the answer is "yes", then tell them upfront you can only join for a few months, and it's perfectly fine to do this. You and they will both get something good out of it.

If the answer is "no", and you're not telling them upfront, then by doing this you are being dishonest about your intentions, and doing something you know the other party would not be interested in if they your plans, and that should never be okay.

  • 1
    If the employer wants honesty and doesn't want a mere three-month stint, then they can improve the pay and conditions so the worker simply doesn't leave for B. They can also bind the worker with longer notice periods and supreme redundancy, garden-leave, and pension terms. The sort of "honesty" you are talking about, is the hypocritical sort where the employer wants honesty but doesn't want to pay the costs of it. There's no quicker way to drive honesty out of a market, than to starve those who are honest.
    – Steve
    Oct 21, 2020 at 9:19
  • You shouldn't be honest because the employer wants you to be. You should be honest because being honest about your intentions is "ok behavior" and being deceptive about your intentions is not "ok behavior". The question was whether a certain behavior was okay; being deceptive is not okay. "Is this smart" and "will this get me the best personal results" are a different questions, that were not asked :)
    – Erik
    Oct 21, 2020 at 9:25
  • You could equally say his long-term intentions are none of the employer's business. It's not a case of endorsing dishonesty, it's about recognising the fact that the employer sets the contractual terms on such fundamental matters, and all employers know we exist in a society where we cannot simply tell our banks or landlords to take a hike on their payments for six months. So one or another employer must pay for that six months. In this case, it will be the employer with the inferior pay and conditions who fails to retain their hires.
    – Steve
    Oct 21, 2020 at 13:45
  • You're free to write (or upvote) another answer to that effect :)
    – Erik
    Oct 21, 2020 at 14:29
  • I have upvoted Ruandas's answer already. In terms of writing my own, I'd be concerned that my comments only concern your powerful charge of dishonesty and deception, not a second independent answer to the question of "consequences". Your answer does not contain an analysis which leads inexorably to such a moral judgment, or treat alternative explanations, and that is what my comment makes explicit. If you want to ask your own question about whether such conduct should be considered dishonest - rather than asserting as an answer that it is - then you are also of course free to pose that.
    – Steve
    Oct 21, 2020 at 15:31

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