I'm currently employed with a contractor (let's call it company 'X'). X and its culture are great. However, the contracting jobs that they acquired lately aren't that interesting.

That's why, when a recruiter approached me for an interesting company 'Y', I went and interviewed with them. Also, I notified X of the interview process, keeping them informed along the way (X was very appreciative of this). I got enthusiastic for the work at Y, but not that enthusiastic that I wanted to jump ship immediately. Therefore I proposed to Y to hire me through X.

Y didn't want hire me permanently as a contractor, as they were looking to find a long-term employee and save money. However, I did persuade Y to hire me as a permatemp for 6 months. X agreed with this. After a 'testdrive' of 6 months, I will have to decide whether I permanently go to Y or stay with X (and leave Y). I told both companies that I'll weigh my options in 6 months, and then make a choice. If X has a better contracting job for me at that time, I'll stay with X. (I'm not doing this to get a better salary.)

Now, a friend of mine tells me I'm taking advantage of these companies, and that I'm not committing myself 100% to Y. Therefore, whoever gets me the best job in 6 months, 'wins' me. Is this unethical? Did I dig a hole for myself somehow?

  • Ok, thanks. Is there any way this could end up badly for me? – Frank Kusters Nov 19 '13 at 5:42
  • I don't see what the problem is here. It sounds like your friend has a different opinion, and you are polling us for several others. Are either X or Y complaining about behavior? That would make this a good question. – jmac Nov 19 '13 at 9:02
  • "Is there any way this could end up badly for me?" Yes, there is a risk you could alienate both companies and end up with nothing. It could be percieved that you are trying to have the companies "fight" over you. Some may react badly to that. You have reduced that risk by being very upfront of your intentions though. – Fredrik Nov 19 '13 at 11:22
  • There are always ways that anything can go badly. You could fall into a pile of money and break your neck. Give everyone your best effort to make it work and there should be no complaints no matter which side you choose. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Nov 19 '13 at 14:44
  • @jmac: Indeed, I was checking for different opinions. I realize now that I shouldn't have done that on this website (the question is justly put on hold). Thanks anyway. – Frank Kusters Nov 19 '13 at 18:37

If 'X' is getting uninteresting deals, it may be because 'X' is running out of ideas. If 'X' agrees to let you work through them for 'Y' it may be because they're interesting in finding out what 'Y's market is. 'Y', on the other hand, might want more help from 'X', particularly if you work out. If either or both of the two companies didn't like it they would have made it clear in no uncertain terms. What ever you're doing is of benefit to both of them.

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