A couple of weeks ago I received a job offer for a part-time, temporary 5-month position at a well-respected public body in the UK. I accepted the offer not just because I need a job, but also because it would be a good stepping stone to working in the public sector. (Good holidays, pension, etc.) It is still a conditional offer: I do not yet know my actual start date, they are contacting references, and I am waiting on my basic criminal record check.
However, before my interview for that position, I had also interviewed with a private company. The interview went well, but the interviewer said they would contact me later, after their annual leave. I was not sure about this, so I kept applying and interviewing with other companies. However, they did in fact get in touch with me, and had a second interview today. They said they were very keen to move things forward. Though they have another interview scheduled for tomorrow, they also said they would be in touch in two days.
This would be for a full-time position in a sector which I am very interested in. It would be totally different from the public-sector, temporary position. They are seeking to fill the vacancy ASAP, and they mentioned a possible start date in early August. I have an inkling (though I am not sure yet) that they would like to offer me the job.
If that were to happen, what should I do?
- Stay with the public-sector job for the temporary position? I have already accepted the offer, and it would be bad form to back away. (And I'd risk being blacklisted.)
- Risk burning bridges with the civil service, back away from the conditional offer, and accept the full-time position with the private company?
I know this is still in the hypothetical stage, but I am trying to prepare myself for all scenarios. (Obviously, if I receive no offer from the private company, it'll be easy for me to stick with the temporary job.)