I'm currently working as a web developer in the DC area. About two months ago I interviewed with a well respected company (company A) after a good friend of mine referred me internally. After a rather vigorous interview process I was told that they really liked me and wanted to bring me on board, but unfortunately the government awarded the job I had interviewed for to another company. They said they would try to find other positions for me in the future but to obviously continue my job search elsewhere if I desired.

A few weeks later my current company began a large series of layoffs so like anyone else I began interviewing at several other firms trying to avoid an employment gap. After a few weeks a very large and respected company (company B) reached out to me with an offer letter, stating that I had 5 days to either accept or decline. After thinking it over for a few days and waiting to see if anything else would come through I hesitantly accepted with a start date in three weeks, knowing that having this company on my resume would lead to many good opportunities in the future. Although I was disappointed with the salary they offered and technology they want me to work with (java) I felt that at the very least I had to avoid being unemployed.

As luck would have it, less than a week later company A reached back out to me with a substantially better offer (over a third more money) in a position that directly aligns with my skills and chosen career path (front end dev with React.js). This offer has already been formally approved by the government so no problems there. As an added bonus company A will require a considerably shorter commute through the horrors of DC traffic.

If I had not already accepted company B's offer I would be madly excited about this opportunity as my friend has had a great experience there for almost 5 years and the technologies their using are exactly where I want my career to go. Also, over 30k a year more with equal benefits is quite substantial.

I know very similar questions have been asked previously, but I feel this is different enough in that I did not seek out other opportunities after accepting company B's offer, in fact I turned down many requests from IT recruiters and even contacted my friend to make sure he hadn't heard of anything coming through with company A. I'm aware that rescinding my acceptance with company B could certainly burn any bridges with them and possibly hurt my reputation as a whole. For the sake of professionalism and etiquette I'm inclined to keep my word and continue on with company B, however I feel I will quickly regret that decision and look to move on anyway after a relatively short time and it's clearly better to just move on now before they invest considerable recourses getting me up to speed. How bad is it ethically or professionally to move on? Any help is greatly appreciated!

  • @JoeStrazzere read that post and I feel this is different in that I have two written formal offer letters and the new offer is for a position I didn't interview for or even know existed. – user320345 Jun 16 '16 at 16:34

This has been discussed many times here.

Taking a job after already tentatively accepting another offer

The answer is - take the new job if you want it. Your reputation may be sullied, but that is your choice to make.


I respect your professionalism, and loyalty, however it also seems quite clear to me that you want to take Company A's offer.

Here's the deal: you've been at your new job for about a week. That's well within the early stages when an employee asses the employer as much as the employer is assessing them.

It is easy enough to explain away walking away from a job after the first week: cultural mismatch, the job not a right fit, etc. It's ever easier to explain away at a later stage - especially since Company A won't require an explanation at all.

Will you burn bridges with Company B? Most likely, but reaslistically, do you really care that much? You're a professional with a solid employment history and CV - leaving one job because you got a better offer is human, and normal, not a stigma that will haunt you forever.

My advice would be to make the choice that is best for you in the medium/long run. And $30K more, plus more job satisfaction sure as heck sounds like the superior option.

Note: If I were you I wouldn't even hessitate to take the choice which is beneficial to me, but then again I have a very clear "me and mine first" mentality.

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