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Last month I had 2 interviews with companies that are likely to be employing in January. One of the companies is a dream company, the other is a company that I would still really like to work for. In the meantime I have got myself another job for a massive corporate company (estate agent ) but I would much rather work for the other two.

How do I approach them to say 'I have a job but would love to work for you' without making myself look flaky and unreliable?

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My advice would be to not mention it. Attend the interview as normal, and if you get an offer from any of your 2 dream companys, simply take that offer and discard the first job (serve your notice period or retract acceptance of an offer, depending on wether or not you started working there yet).

  • It sounds like you have not been with the current company for long. I agree with Magisch. Don't mention current job (simple discretion does not impugn your integrity). If new company asks during 2nd interview, say you took a position temporarily to get you thru economically. I am an employer, and though I wouldn't be happy to have to start interviewing again, I would understand if a recently hired employee got called back from a previous interview more in his/her career path and resigned. At will works both ways. This is business and you are setting your course by your career choices. – Cleo Dec 9 '15 at 14:40
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How do I approach them to say 'I have a job but would love to work for you' without making myself look flaky and unreliable?

You can't. Accepting a job while continuing to interview for other positions is a text-book case of an unreliable employee. When you accept a non-seasonal job offer as an employee (as opposed to a contractor), the typical expectation is that you'll stay with that company for at least 1 or 2 years.

You'd be acting in bad faith, disrespecting the company that hired you as well as the other candidates for the job that you pushed out of the running. Any hiring manager that finds out that you've done this will wonder whether you'll do the same after he hired you and most will choose not to take the risk.

If you still want to go through with this, don't mention it to any other employers and don't mention to your current employer why you're leaving or for which company. Frankly, I'd consider leaving your new position off the web for a while as well to avoid (irrationally) spiteful managers.

But my advice is to tough it out in your current position for at least a year, preferably longer to avoid having an instance of job hopping on your resume. The damage this can do to your reputation should not be underestimated.


For a similar perspective on this, have a look at this post by Alison Green on Ask a Manager (emphasis mine):

Now, some people will tell you that it’s fine to renege on that commitment because your employer could fire you or lay you off at any time, or even rescind your job offer before you start. But the reality is that rescinded offers are rare. And very few employers continue interviewing candidates after they make a hire just in case someone better is out there. It’s highly, highly unlikely that your new employer is continuing to look at candidates for your role and that they’d boot you if they found someone better. That just isn’t how it normally works.

And if you think about how pissed off you’d be if that did happen, it might help you look at this differently. You made a commitment, they made a commitment, and you should act in good faith. Because you want to be someone whose word has meaning and who operates with integrity.

Source: should I keep interviewing after I already accepted a job offer?


Caveat: all this assumes that your current job is a regular long-term position and not a short-term contract that both parties can end at any time. If that's the case, you just mention that it's a short-term job with a notice period of X days/weeks.

  • It's not uncommon for someone to get hired and then someone they interviewed with comes in with a better offer and they leave. Companies should expect this. – Amy Blankenship Dec 8 '15 at 16:44
  • @AmyBlankenship Perhaps in certain industries or professions but in any office setting that is a career-limiting move and it's certainly not expected. Would you appreciate a new company telling you in your second week that they found someone better and you don't have to come in next week? – Lilienthal Dec 8 '15 at 16:58
  • Lilienthal that happens as well. The only places I have ever seen people get hired and then accept another job are office environments. It's more likely in places where they take forever to hire, thus forcing the candidate to keep looking in the mean time, so it's often self-inflicted. (Oddly, if I try to @ you, it just disappears from the comment.) – Amy Blankenship Dec 8 '15 at 17:01
  • @AmyBlankenship That should happen very rarely though, have look here as well: should I keep interviewing after I already accepted a job offer?. (The SE framework will auto-filter unnecessary pings.) – Lilienthal Dec 8 '15 at 17:14
  • @AmyBlankenship if you add a comment on Lilienthals post it pings him automatically, so the system knows that and stops the ping instead. pinging him from another post works. – mag Dec 8 '15 at 17:32
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From whatever you have mentioned in your question, I am able to understand that you are currently in a project but would like to work on one of the other two options. Now my question is, If at all you know that you are going to be employed in January, why did you even commit to the third project? Do you see any potential difference in the third one as compared to first two?

Next thing is identify the right job that fits the most to you. Not just your dream company can be an attribute. Jot down other pros and cons and decide upon one choice you would pursue with.

Thirdly, if you would like to make a shift to one of the first two jobs, please don't let them know. when you get a confirmed offer letter from them, think twice about your decision and then let the employer know about your choice.To my knowledge, you cannot work on two companies together simultaneously. So you might have to face your current employer to leave your job(If you decide to get different) and accept the new offer silently.

The below link is not completely for you but partially describes how to handle a manager about another offer

http://www.career.vt.edu/jobsearchguide/MultipleOffers.html

http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/should-you-tell-one-company-youre-accepting-another-offer

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Most places expect you to already have a job and are planning to serve a notice. It sounds like your question is if it will look bad for you if you recently found a job and you want to work for someone else. In such a case I would say unless you are doing it frequently it doesn't sound bad to me. New opportunities arise unexpectedly and you can't miss out on your chance. If you get the dream job of yours and they ask about, simply state exactly what you said here. Otherwise I wouldn't bring it up.

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