I recently finished college and I have been searching for work as a software developer. After a few interviews I got in contact with a small startup which happened to be ideal as it is exactly what I want to do and in the area I want to live.

The initial interview which was on the 7th of September went well and the employer said he would get back to me.

After this two weeks passed, during the interview he had asked if I could vouch for another graduate as he was looking for two graduates. So I emailed him two weeks later with the name (the other graduate was in a different continent so it was hard to get in touch) and gave him the name.

He said he would look into it as things were taking longer than expected as there were many surprises for him in the startup and said they had not made a decision about employment yet. I replied promptly and thanked him for his time and told him I understood that starting a business takes time and left it there.

Two weeks ago I received an email from the employer telling me that he had hired another graduate and would like me to make him aware and contact him if I received an offer from elsewhere and asked for more time as he had trouble hiring a senior developer to lead the project.

This is where I am conflicted as financially I can't wait much longer. I would like to ring him as he previously stated in multiple emails to get in contact if I had any queries or questions.

So the question is, Can I ring and ask(in a more polite way) how much longer does he foresee it will take to get development started?

I have looked at multiple sources online and have found many conflicting sites about what to do in similar situations. Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    When you ring you should ask if you are still a candidate for employment, and if so what the next steps are. Asking is not rude. Also, don't "wait" for this company or any other. Continue your search and when there's an offer you want to take, take it. The companies that are too slow to react will simply lose your consideration; they already know this. – Brandin Oct 13 '15 at 8:26
  • There is no reason not to continue to look for jobs until you actually start. Never hang about waiting for someone to make a decision. If he gets back to you before you get something else , then cool, otherwise just move on. – HLGEM Oct 14 '15 at 19:04

I personally would certainly get back to him and hear about this Senior Developer position.

Now, you are fresh out of uni, so this might not be in your wheel well, but its also a startup, so you can fake it till you make it.

In an interview, I'd make it clear that you are looking for an aggressive start date. Ask him directly "when do you want me to start?"

Overall, why not hear what the guy has to say? Don't let it stop you from applying and possibly accepting elsewhere if he keeps dragging his feet, but dont cut off your nose to spite your face.

  • Ya I wanted to talk to him about the senior position but the outside sources he has providing help would see through it straight away as their senior devs working alongside Sony and other big companies so I decided not to just in case it endangered my position in any way. Thank you and I think I will contact him but as you said I'll also apply elsewhere as it can't hurt to see my options – Dennington-bear Oct 12 '15 at 23:59

Yes, it is appropriate to contact the potential employer to try to clarify your standing. There is nothing to be gained by sitting and wondering, and at least something good could happen if you try to talk with them.

It is also appropriate to consider letting go of this opprtunity if you are not up to the startup lifestyle of high pressure and constant uncertainty. But that is your choice to make.

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