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I've been hunting for a job for about 6 months at this point. I'm currently living paycheck to paycheck, and I'm in the final stages of interviewing for a job that will quadruple my pay. (I really need this.)

Near the beginning of the job hunt, My wife and I decided that we should move to another state when our lease runs out, to get a fresh start in a cheaper city, but I should keep trying to find a higher earning job in the meantime.

The problem is, the job search took waaaaay longer that I thought it would, and it seems like I will be offered the job within the next few weeks. That only gives me about four months to work there before I leave.

Is there a way to handle this without burning bridges?

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    You are 100% certain you are moving? Why aren't you looking for jobs in the new city? Say you take this job and immediately start looking in the new city. Are you going to put this job on your resume? – mikeazo Jan 20 '16 at 18:13
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    Quick notes: You don't have an offer until they actually offer you the job. Moving to another state without a job lined up is very risky. Doubly so if you have financial difficulties. If you do get the job and you'll quadruple your pay, why move to a cheaper state? Surely you'd be able to afford the lease or rent for a while? – Lilienthal Jan 20 '16 at 18:13
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    If you do receive an offer, re-evaluate your decision to move. You made that decision when you were in financial trouble, but with four times the pay, perhaps it makes more sense to stay than to go through all the expenses of moving plus quitting a well paying job without another lined up. – Kai Jan 20 '16 at 19:03
  • City to city cost of living is not going to be 4x. From a financial perspective don't go to the other city unless you think you have a good chance of making 4x (or 4x discounted for lower cost of living). – paparazzo Jan 20 '16 at 19:21
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    @Lilienthal, not really. Kai's comment gives one way to handle the situation without burning bridges. It is definitely a different way to think about the problem than what Andrew likely had in mind, however. In my opinion it is a much better way than telling lies, which is what the existing answer is suggesting. – mikeazo Jan 20 '16 at 20:27
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Andrew, when analyzing this sort of situation keep one thing in mind:

Always follow your interests.

Companies will do the same, even at the cost of screwing you over - and they will do so without hesitation.

By taking this job while knowing that you will be leaving in the next 4 months you are screwing your employer over, no question about it.

However, you're in dire financial straits, and you need this job. So what's there to talk about? Take it.

Consider that you'll want to secure a job in that new state you're moving to before quitting here, and that it may - again - take longer than you thought it would.

Also keep in mind that unexpected things might happen, and you could potentially not end up moving at all.

Don't kick away a great opportunity simply because you're trying to be fair-minded. Keep your interests in mind.

When the time comes that you have to leave simply approach your boss, apologize that it didn't work out, and claim that you need to move away because of unforeseen "family issues". They won't like it, but there's not much they can do about it either, and if you're careful in how you approach the situation you probably won't burn too many bridges. I wouldn't expect any references from them though.

Note: Please read the contract you sign very carefully in case it contains stipulations regarding your leaving the job within a certain time-frame, or non-competes.

  • Pretty much spot on. The only thing I would mention is that you don't want to become known as a job-hopper, either through reputation or because of your work history. If the OP already has a spotty history then the hit to his resume may not be worth the temporary financial security, but that's up to him to decide. – Lilienthal Jan 20 '16 at 18:11
  • What on earth does "burn too many bridges" mean. Like they'll still burn an acceptable number of bridges? – user42272 Jan 20 '16 at 18:52
  • @AndreiROM That is extremely helpful and very insightful, thank you. – BarelyBetterThanMcDonalds Jan 20 '16 at 18:58
  • @Lilienthal I've taken that into consideration. This is a career in which I will be focusing on many different clients, and the portfolio will be a more important asset as I look for jobs after the move. Thank you for your answer – BarelyBetterThanMcDonalds Jan 20 '16 at 19:03
  • @djechlin - you can be the guy everyone remembers as an a$$hole, or you can be the guy who made a good impression, but still put you in a difficult situation. If you give a good reason for putting them in that situation then some people may forgive you. However, some bosses won't care about the context of the "betrayal" (as they would see it), and will simply take the stance that you're a punk. By parting ways as respectfully as possible it's possible that at least some of those managers might not hold a grudge against you, hence burning as few bridges as possible. – AndreiROM Jan 20 '16 at 19:06
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If you presented to them like you were looking for a permanent position, then you'll likely burn bridges - unless:

  1. You lie to them when you leave -or-

  2. You take the risk and contact them before they hire you and tell them that due to family issues, you must move to another city in four months, but would still like a chance to work for them if that is possible. Who knows? Maybe they might give you 5x your current salary to stay if they liked you enough - or be willing to let you work in the other city! You never know.

Onboarding a new employee is expensive and a burned company will not advocate for you as a reference - especially if they find out that you knew before taking the job you were leaving in four months.

You may also accidently screw over other people looking for work - what about candidate #2? They lose out on a chance for a good job and the company loses out on a potential good employee.

If the company finds out that they lost candidate #2 due to your deception, it will make them angrier. This could be cause for legal action - which would be made stronger if you lie to them about why you are leaving.

If this is some type of professional job or a job where people know each other, you take the risk of getting a bad name even if you move to another state.

Lastly, this means you will have a gap on your resume if you leave it off, or a useless work experience if you do not.

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It seems you're constraining yourself in odd ways.

  1. Take the job if offered. Leave when you need to.
  2. Interview in the new city now. Take a job if offered. Break the lease if you have to. If it's a big city, you can pretty easily sublet to minimize your expenses (or even turn a profit), and you can ask the new employer for relocation expenses--something you can't do if you move before looking for a job. This also gives you the flexibility of choosing a job before you choose a city.

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