I was job hunting for the past 5 weeks. I applied for Company A (dream company) and Company B at the same time. Company A's recruitment process is comprised of 5 steps, while Company B's recruitment process is only short.

As expected, I finished Company B's recruitment process earlier than Company A by 1 week. They eventually offered me the job. At that point, I just finished step 5 of my dream job's (Company A) recruitment process. I asked Company B to give me an extension to decide if I should accept the offer or not. They, however, declined.

I was not sure if I did well in step 5 of Company A's recruitment process, and I need money to pay my bills for the upcoming months. These led me to accept Company B's offer. A week later, Company A told me that I passed all 5 steps of the recruitment process. Their offer was in many ways better than Company B's, but there's a catch: my commencement date at Company A is on October (2 months from now).

I badly want that job and I know that by accepting it I can grow better in my career, especially since the company's name alone can open many doors. However, I am not exactly sure how to handle this as I have to choose between my personal interests and the company's welfare. I want the best of both.


I have just started last week at Company B, and I still have 2 months left to exit gracefully. The contract allows me to leave early with a week's notice. I want to tell my employer that I'm gonna be leaving by the end of September so that they can prepare earlier for my exit. Would that be advisable? Is it better to just give them my notice exactly 1 week before leaving?

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    Do you have an offer from Company A or a signed work agreement including the start date? That makes quite a difference. – user8036 Aug 4 '14 at 11:11
  • @JanDoggen Yes. A softcopy and a hardcopy. – davecroman Aug 4 '14 at 12:49
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    The obligatory Joel on Software article is relevant here: Exploding Offer Season joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/11/26.html tldr: "But unethical recruiters that don’t care about your future and don’t want you to compare different companies are going to take advantage of your ethics so they can get their bonus. And that’s just not fair." Turn-about is fair play. – BrianH Aug 4 '14 at 15:03
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    I agree with @BrianDHall. They forced you into the situation after you explicitly asked for a short delay. If you feel guilty, then give two weeks notice. Giving them any more notice gives them a lot of time to reconsider your employment with them, especially if another candidate comes along. With employers, I like to imagine what would happen if the role were reversed and rarely would the company give you two months notice if they had the opportunity. – pickypg Aug 16 '14 at 19:09

I am going to be cynical and say "Accept the offer from Company A and continue to work for Company B until you have to give your week's notice"

  1. You need the money.

  2. You want to give Company B a chance to keep you. If they treat you well, they just might. I don't know too many companies whose name alone opens many doors, unless their name is "Google". Aside from that, it's what you do that matters not whose company name you have on your CV.

  3. You still want to confirm with company A that you have an official offer from them between now and October, and if you have an official offer from them, that they confirm by the end of Sep that the offer is still on - After all, they could rescind that offer any time before the end of Sep.

  4. Given that you won't know until the end of Sep that Company A still has an offer for you and that you might like it at Company B and give them a chance and stay there, your own decision to go with Company A won't be final until the end of Sep.

@Jones adds: "Agreed: Also you gave company B a chance to avoid this situation by asking for an extension, and they refused. Keep your choices open as long as possible"

This situation reminds me of high pressure sales tactics like "buy it now while supplies last" or "it's a time limited offer". The first offer is not necessarily the best. Those who are out to sell you dubious goods will rush to push them into your hands without giving you any latitude to change your mind. If you want latitude, you'll have to take it because they won't give it to you. This is not to say or to even imply that company B indulges in the equivalent of high pressure sales tactics, but the analogy just came to my mind.

If I were a startup and I know that my offer would not otherwise be competitive, I'd be first out of the gate with my offer, compared with the competition. And instead of giving my recruitment target two weeks to decide, I'd give them one.


If you do tell Company B that you plan to leave them in a couple of months what is to stop them from firing you immediately so they can start to recruit somebody else in your place? (Might depend on laws where you are, but I'm guessing nothing)

There doesn't seem to be any benefit to the company in keeping you on as long as possible as you are new and likely less productive than if you had been at the company for a number of years.

So if you want to be paid until starting your new job I would only give the minimum amount of notice possible.

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    If they fire you immediately, you would normally get paid severance for a few weeks, which would likely cost them as much as if not more than keeping you around and getting work out. – user2813274 Aug 4 '14 at 14:47
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    @user2813274 this is unlikely to be true for the first few months of employment. In the UK at least, there is normally a probationary period where it is much easier to let an employee go with short notice. – Joe Aug 4 '14 at 14:48

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