I work on a series of 3 month contracts for Big Corp.. Each contract has had the same terms as the original contract had (pay, vacation, etc.) and each has been renewed for the last 27 months without a gap in my work.
My most recent contract expired December 31st. I had asked for a raise on the next contract on November 3rd and the raise (smaller than I had asked for, but acceptable) has been verbally accepted but it still has not been approved by the higher ups- this is a very bureaucratic company, and my immediate manager's manager did not request approval for the raise until December 19, which is causing most of this problem. This large delay is caused by the contract terms changing- several executives need to approve it.
I have been unemployed since Jan. 1st and I have used this time to seek other positions. I have a third interview later today with Small Corp., and I intend to accept an offer if it is made. Big Corp. is not prepared for me to leave- they are contractually obligated to two customers for projects I have begun and none of the other current employees have the necessary skills to complete them, so they would need to bring in someone new to complete these projects.
I am now only interested in returning to Big Corp. if:
- I do not receive an offer from Small Corp., in which case I would still be searching for another job while working for Big Corp.
- Big Corp. offers me the raise I had originally requested- my immediate manager told me he believes I would not be offered any contract at all if I pressed the issue and I believe him, so I will not ask for this unless I have another offer in hand. I joined the company as an intern over two years ago, and my skills have grown greatly since then. Company policy does not generally allow for as large of a percentage raise as I am requesting.
I had previously said I was interested in returning to Big Corp. after the hiatus, but it was implied that this hiatus would be under two weeks. I enjoyed working with my immediate peers and do not want to sour my relationship with them, but I am also struggling financially and would like to begin working as soon as is possible.
Under these circumstances, would it be unprofessional to not offer 2 weeks notice to Big Corp., and leave them in a bind, so I could immediately begin working for Small Corp.? Although I work on contract and am currently unemployed, I fit into the company culture with regular employees and my peers fully expect me to return. I believe the upper management has mistreated me and has created this situation, but I do not want to cause hardship for my peers. I would also like to maintain the good professional and personal relationships I have developed with my peers.