On the first day of summer 2023, I defended my PhD and soon took a very long vacation to have a good rest, and went to my hometown. While on vacation, I unexpectedly came across an interesting vacancy. I was attracted to it because it was a good starting position for working in a new area of scientific interest. I responded, but didn’t expect to receive an invitation. Everything turned out differently.

The head of one of the departments contacted me, we phoned, I told about myself, he briefly told me what his department was working on and sent me introductory materials. He said that after that there would be more interviews with him and his colleagues, and then with the company’s management. We did not discuss the exact timing of the next contact, but we agreed in the spirit of “when you study the introductory materials”. Well, I read them quite quickly, but I never got in touch... It was August 2023.

The fact is that the company is located in a large city and quite far from where I lived and worked recently. But I overestimated my current capabilities and at that moment I was simply not mentally, physically and financially ready for such major changes as moving. Recently, a colleague and I completed a small project, and I felt that most likely it was time to carefully return to full-time work. A little later, I came up with the idea of offering the employer a hybrid work format. That is, visit the company office from time to time, and work remotely the rest of the time. This transitional method would help me both start work and improve my financial situation, which I would later take advantage of and move fully. But about 5 months have passed...

Is the path closed or can the situation be somehow improved and trust restored?

1 Answer 1


The path is probably closed. "Time waits for no man" and the company will almost certainly have moved on and found someone else to do the job.

But "almost certainly" isn't "absolutely definitely" - you won't lose anything other than maybe a few minutes of your time contacting them. Most likely you'll just get back a polite note saying "thanks but no thanks".

  • Yes, it’s probably worth contacting and explaining everything as it is. I already have an idea for such a letter. But the question is different - how do employers usually perceive such “returns of prodigal sons”?
    – ayr
    Commented Dec 30, 2023 at 16:08
  • 8
    @dtn With all due respect, you're not a "prodigal son", you're one of many people they've talked with about jobs over the years. You never even got as far as a real interview. Bottom line is, you're almost certainly not important to them at all. Commented Dec 30, 2023 at 16:15
  • Well, I just meant the layer of young people who, due to some life circumstances, come to the party when it could already be over.
    – ayr
    Commented Dec 30, 2023 at 16:22
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    @dtn I have two goals when contacted by someone like that: 1) to not take up too much of my time 2) to not act like a d**k. Hence expect something very similar to "Thank you for your interest but we're not hiring at this time. Please keep an eye on our careers page for future opportunities. Good luck!" Commented Dec 30, 2023 at 16:57
  • @PhilipKendall - I'd say the first part (thanks for the interest), but would not say anything about future opportunities. A delay of 6 months in doing a simple follow-up does not bode well for their day-to-day responsiveness. And working remote would not be an option at all for them anyway...
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 2 at 17:13

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