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I applied for a new job about 6 months ago and after a fairly quick round of interview they (potential new employer) got back to me today. I am happy they have asked me permission to contact my referees now which means they are considering me for the position, however I have a problem.

My current employer has decided to send me for professional development training in Japan after which I will be bonded to my current employer for an year. I have tried to put this off for as long as I could however I am the only one left in my department who doesn't have this training and so I accepted to go since I also did not hear from my potential new employer for so long and had lost all hope.

Now when I have to leave for my training this weekend, the potential new employer is talking to me again and it seems like they want to hire me. This is all unofficial though and they still haven't given me a contract letter. I really want to work for the new employer but I am unsure of the their time frames as they have dragged their recruitment process for so long and there is also a chance I might not get the job. But I do not want to get bonded to my current employer after I finish the training and miss out on the new potential offer.

My airplane tickets and hotel bookings are already done by my current employer however I can still cancel but I am not sure if I will get the new job or how long will it take for the potential new employer to go into the next phase of the recruitment process. Please advise on how I can best handle this situation.

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    If they haven't given you a contract letter and are contacting your references then they aren't serious enough to bother risking your current employment for. – FiringSquadWitness May 11 '16 at 1:04
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    Have you explained your situation to the potential new employer? They'd be the only ones that could tell you what their timeline is. They are also the only ones that would know whether they can move more quickly, whether they would be willing to pay the bond, etc. – Justin Cave May 11 '16 at 1:34
  • I am afraid if i let them know, they might pull out of the entire thing – Shalvendra Sukul May 11 '16 at 1:43
  • @ShalvendraSukul So how would that be worse than getting committed to your current job for a year, which would almost certainly make them pull the entire thing? – Patricia Shanahan May 11 '16 at 5:46
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    In the last six months while the potential new company was thinking about their next step, were you applying to other places? did you have any other interviews? Is this potential new company your only option? – mhoran_psprep May 11 '16 at 10:35
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In the end, everything is your decision, but the training course will be valuable for you and increase your value both to your current company, and to any future company. Let's say that course cost $5,000 and the company hopes to get $5,000 of value per year. The first year they protect their investment by a bond. The next year they will have to put some money on the table for you to protect that investment. That's a good position to be in.

As far as the other company is concerned, you know what you want: A firm job offer before you go to the training course. You don't get that by sitting on your bum and waiting. The only chance to get it is by telling them about the situation. If they want you, they will get moving and get you an offer. If they don't want you, they won't. If that company is incapable of moving quickly, that's a big red sign.

So get on the phone to that company, and tell them to get moving. If nothing happens, you have a valuable training course and a much improved standing in your old company. If you want something, you have to move to get it.

If you wait, or worst case if you wait and refuse the training course, you will be kicking yourself when the new job falls through, and if your old employer has already paid for hotel and flights, not going to that course will be very detrimental to your career.

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