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?

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.)


1 Answer 1


If that were to happen, what should I do?

That's your decision to make. Both options have pros and cons so you need to weight how these stack up against your personal life and career goals.

In my personal opinion a full time permanent job trumps a part time temp job by a wide margin and most future hiring manager will probably see it the same way.

Rescinding the acceptance of an offer is always dicey and you run the risk of burning bridges, but your situation is one of the more acceptable reasons to do so.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .