I've interviewed for and been offered a position with a local company (charitable sector). It's a part time position which is low paid, working with service users on a particular project (job A). References and DBS checks are currently being obtained with a view to starting next month (latest information from the HR department).

I was showing my son the details about the charity today (on their website) when I noticed that they are now advertising another part time position which is much more in keeping with my professional skills as it's a position involving training staff at their venues. The job is still part time although 6 hours more per week but the pay is approximately 3 times more.

Job B is much more my preferred role and one which I am professionally qualified for (education sector, to post-graduate level) and if it had been advertised alongside job A, I would have chosen to apply for job B instead.

However, as I have been offered (and have accepted) the position of job A, I'd like to know if there is any required etiquette regarding the position I find myself in. I really don't want to alienate the company and I certainly don't want to appear fickle, but I am gutted that my ideal job is now sitting there and I feel like I can't apply for it as I've already accepted job A, although I haven't started yet.

I got on extremely well with my interviewer, who told me that I was by far the strongest candidate for job A. The position was available at two different projects and she gave me my pick of project to reflect how keen they were for me to take the position which suited me best, so that I would come and work for them.

As a bit of additional background, it might be useful to know that I was really happy to have been offered job A, as I have been working as a self employed freelancer whilst recovering from chronic illness. As I find working from home too isolating, I have been seeking part time roles which would involve me using my professional qualifications but still allow me to be able to pace myself back into the work place. Jobs with this charity are few and far between and as I am extremely grateful that they have been so welcoming in offering me job A, I was more than happy to settle for it. Unfortunately now that I've seen job B my head is full of "what ifs ..."

I'd be grateful if anyone could offer any insight as to whether I should consider asking them about job B or whether I should just forget it, start job A and then see what opportunities arise later. I certainly don't want to cause a problem for the company before I've even started working for them and I'm not actively looking for an alternative to the job I've been offered, I just happened to spot it. I'd really appreciate others' thoughts about the etiquette surrounding this situation.

Edited to add: The closing date for job B is after I expect to have started in job A, with interview dates advertised as being fixed for the following week.

Thanks for your time and your help.

marked as duplicate by gnat, Michael Grubey, Jan Doggen, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Garrison Neely Oct 28 '14 at 13:09

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • The old phrase "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" comes to mind. – Chris E Oct 27 '14 at 14:59
  • Yes, you're right, it crossed my mind too! Many thanks for your time. :) – Kat Oct 27 '14 at 15:13
  • Hi Gnat, yes I did look at the other questions in search of an answer about the etiquette first. However, I didn't feel that the situation with the thread you have posted was the same as I am not pursuing multiple opportunities, attending multiple interviews or trying to decide between multiple job offers: I just happened to come across an additional opportunity with the same company, but after accepting a different position, which seems to me to require a very different kind of etiquette as, whatever happens, I will still be employed by the same company. Thank you though :) – Kat Oct 27 '14 at 16:26
  1. If you had known that job A would be available, you would have put in your candidacy for job B. Fact is, nobody has a crystal ball.

  2. If you are fully qualified to meet the responsibilities and requirements of job B and you go for job B, you may save your prospective employer the trouble of searching and sifting candidates for job B. It may be easier for them to find someone for job A than for job B, so you may be doing your prospective employer a favor.

  3. I would phrase to the friendly interviewer my interest in job B not as a job change from A but as an "instant" promotion to job B, a promotion which serve both the prospective employer and I well - a win-win, shall we say. Yes, it's somewhat unorthodox of me to make the proposal goes through, the result is a win-win situation.

If you don't try, you don't succeed. If you don't ask, you don't get. At the same time, you can emphasize to the interviewer that if the organization is not comfortable with your proposal, then you'll stick with job A, with the proviso that you'll go for job B the first fair chance you get.

Your situation is unusual but I believe that it can be handled successfully for the benefit of everyone if it is handled with respect, openness, integrity and consideration for the feelings of all involved. And openness about one's motives, integrity, respect for others and considerateness over their feelings are all tried and true principles.

  • Thank you Vietnhi, you're right, it's because it's so unusual that I'm really unsure of the etiquette involved and I don't want to do the wrong thing. I'm definitely leaning towards the idea that I should at least talking to the company about job B and you have given me a lot to think about as to how I might approach it, which I appreciate. Thank you for your time. – Kat Oct 27 '14 at 16:03
  • @Kat Again, stick to the fundamentals and apply them: approach them with openness, integrity, respect for them an consideration for their feelings. The way you approach them may very well convince them that they have the right candidate for job B, and that she always right under their nose - put your best qualities forward. The correct word is "serendipity" : – Vietnhi Phuvan Oct 27 '14 at 16:09
  • @Kat, FYI if you found this answer useful, please honour the local convention and upvote it (by clicking on the up arrow on its left :-) – Péter Török Oct 27 '14 at 17:27
  • Hi Peter ... I've tried to do that but because I'm a new member, it won't let me, I don't have enough reputation points yet unfortunately. – Kat Oct 27 '14 at 18:33
  • @Kat No worries, what's matters to me is that I was helpful to you. The blood payment I require from you is your good will, which is optional :) – Vietnhi Phuvan Oct 27 '14 at 19:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.