I have around 4 years of experience in an IT company as a software developer.

  • The current company I am working with is a service-based company.
  • The client of the project/product which I am working on has offered a job on their company(same profile of Software Developer, work will not change). They are also offering a 50% pay hike.

Current scenario:-

They have discussed my joining like one month back and I have told them I will join their company (verbal discussion) [given they were offering good pay, & work will be the same].

Cons I see:-

  • But the problem is, they are a startup company (~2.5 yr old) and are not well established (as of now they are completely outsourcing work & I will be among the first few employees If I join them).
  • Also, team leaders and upper management are going to be changed. (but I am happy with my team lead of my current company).
  • The people of my team (not sure of the client) care about us (the growth, learning, productivity).
  • The work location is going to change (different state)

My question:-

With the above points in view, I want to continue with my current company and reject the job offer from my client (your opinion is also welcome), how do I do this in a polite and professional manner, given they have had good relations with us since the start of the project?

I know they will ask why you don't want to join now, as we are paying a 50% hike and work is not going to change. What should be the professional answer to this?


They are not going to discontinue the outsourcing from my current company abruptly that I know, so even if I don't join their company, I may have to still work for them (without joining their company).


3 Answers 3


"I'm sorry, but I must decline your job offer."

When they ask why you explain it's just not a good time for you to change jobs. Frankly you should have thought of this before you accepted, but you can always decline a job offer, including on the day you show up, at least in the US.


Here are two approaches, the plain and the honest:


"Sorry, I'm not interested" and no explanation.

If they ask why, then you can reply with a variation like "I'm just not interested."

Reason why this is a good approach: you don't have to come up with excuses, worry about hurting their feelings, getting a bad rep, etc.


"I'm not really comfortable with working at startups / being one of the first developers. I really need the security of an established company that has an defined development practice."

Reason why this is a good approach: it offers a simple explanation—not an attack—that can satisfy their natural curiosity.


This is an unusual situation! Here in the States, I have yet to run into a consulting company that allows their clients to poach their employees. Standard contracts include a "non-poach" clause. Often the employment agreement with the consulting company states you cannot work for one of their clients for many months after you leave.

  • 2
    "They have discussed my joining like one month back and I have told them I will join their company" — With the plain approach, I think saying "I'll join your company" and then a month later following up with "I'm just not interested" with no other explanation will lead to hurt feelings & getting a bad rep. Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 15:30
  • I work for consultancy in germany. Yeah, the company and the customer have a no-pach agreement. I didn't sign any, as putting one in the contract would put additional obligations on my company they don't make us sign it. They know customers will try to poach us, and they told us to speak with them before leaving. The loophole of course being that I would claim the job change was my initiative, and not the customers. So far, all customers have tried to poach me, more or less seriously.
    – Benjamin
    Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 20:32
  • For the current customer, someone stated in a big meeting: External people talking to them to become internal are their favorite meetings, they are always open to that.
    – Benjamin
    Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 20:33
  • I work in the States and for several years worked for a very large consulting company where people hopped between competing companies or clients all the time. I ended up leaving them for a company they directly work with and nobody batted an eye over it. So it's normal for some companies.
    – Kat
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 18:52
  • @Benjamin - Those "non-poach" clauses can be difficult to enforce in states like CA.
    – Donald
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 13:05

I would just say something generic like "Yeah, I know we talked before, and I really appreciate the offer, but after more thought I'm really happy where I am now. Not looking for a change. "

Doesn't have to be something your fret about. I would not give a reason. No need to imply anything negative about their offer.

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