I applied for Company A for a job. I applied also for Company B.

Company A has given me an offer. I accepted it, and I canceled all of my other applications, except to Company B. I did it because Company B was a much better job, but I've seen only a small chance for a success.

Company A sent me a contract to sign, and started to organize the starting procedure.

Meanwhile, also Company B has given me an offer. It was a surprise, but I had luck.

Now I need to cancel the procedure for Company A.

Yes, on the paper and on the law is everything okay. I got an offer, I am free to reject it.

But, the sad truth is that I was unthinkably dishonest. They honored me with a job, they trusted me, and I slapped them on the face. That is the truth.

I am ashamed.

What the heck could I do? What?

What should I say to them? I think, I will be forever blacklisted at Company A, and I deserve it, but what should I say them?

  • 4
    Does this answer your question? Is it ok to turn down an already accepted offer?
    – gnat
    May 12, 2021 at 9:53
  • Were you “dishonest” to leave your current job for a new job? No, that’s how it works, you go to a better job, whether you have been there 10 years or haven’t started yet.
    – mxyzplk
    May 15, 2021 at 0:12
  • @mxyzplk They trusted me and they wanted to employ me. And I slapped them on the face. Doing this was okay on the law, it was okay on the market, but I caused a huge problem and loss for them and I was immoral against them. Yes, I know, it was okay and first I should consider my career and my family. And I did it so. But I hate myself.
    – Gray Sheep
    May 16, 2021 at 23:38
  • Don’t be a drama queen. If company A had a reason to stop your hiring process (financial issues, reorg) they would do it in a second, because this is business. You went through the process in good faith but have a better offer. The self flagellation about it is a mental disorder not an ethical virtue.
    – mxyzplk
    May 17, 2021 at 1:16
  • @mxyzplk No. They were good guys. But thanks.
    – Gray Sheep
    May 19, 2021 at 14:22

4 Answers 4


But, the sad truth is that I was unthinkably dishonest. They honored me with a job, they trusted me, and I slapped them on the face. That is the truth.

I am ashamed.

No need to be ashamed, thats just business. You are looking out for your best interest, the company is looking out for theirs..

Since you haven't signed, there's no legal obligation on your side.

What should I say to them?

Thank them for their interest in you and their time spent on the application process and tell them you found another job that's more suitable to you. You could add that they might keep your record for future opportunities.

That's all there is to it - no need to loose sleep or get grey hairs over it, your move is not so uncommon and completely understandable..


People back out of accepting a job offer all the time. For a multitude of reasons. A small company with inexperienced staff may be surprised, but for most companies, this is just part of the game. They will just shrug, and move on. For the companies POV, it's better if you abort the process now, then if you would start, and leave during your probation period.

Just send them a letter, addressed to the relevant people, thanking them for their time and trust they put in you, but that you have decided to decline the offer. You don't have tell them any reason.

Will that burn any bridges? Maybe. Some people might remember your name, and decline to talk to you for another opportunity. Some HR agent might put note in your file. (I know recruitment at the company I work for does -- they keep track of every outcome, mostly to track performance as recruitment as a whole; but I also know several people who first declined an offer, and later joined the company; it's not hold against them). Most likely, they won't remember. (Of course, if you work in a field of which there only a few dozens of people working in the whole work, it will be harder to forget a name).

If you find a better position, go for it. You don't have to be loyal to a company you haven't even gotten a first paycheck from.

  • A HR boss said, after such a thing, this person is "burned". Probably he understood it so that never will be a new recruitment process even considered with him.
    – Gray Sheep
    May 12, 2021 at 10:22

If they choose to blacklist you, it's very unlikely that whatever you're thinking of saying is going to change their mind.

That said, if you're ready to face the consequences (burning the bridges, to say the least), go ahead and inform them about the change of mind as soon as possible. That's the most you can do - to minimize the impact of your rejection and allow them sufficient time (compared to a delayed intimation) to find a suitable replacement for you.

Do not go into explaining anything - it's likely that it's going to make things worse - thank them for the opportunity, state your choice apologize and move on.

  • My problem is not that they blacklist me. I well deserved it! My problem is that I was dishonest.
    – Gray Sheep
    May 12, 2021 at 9:36
  • @GraySheep OK, then don't be - Sorry if I'm sounding rude, but all i'm saying is to be truthful to yourself. If you think doing something is good for your finance but bad for your ethics - you need to take a call whether you let finances override morale or vice versa, Remember, either way, you have to take the decision and stick to it. Do not second guess yourself - best of luck. May 12, 2021 at 9:41

You have the choice: Get a much better job with B, and make A upset. Or get a much less good job with A, and make B upset.

In that case you look after #1, which is YOU. You do what's best for you. A is a business, they have to look after themselves, and if they can't, tough. So what's best for YOU? Take the job with B. It's business.

And you were not dishonest. Every reasonable employer will expect you to look after yourself and your interests, and they will look after their interests. So going with B's offer is totally expected. Sure, A will be annoyed, but that is part of being a business, sometimes things happen that you don't like.

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