I am leaving my current job very soon and starting in a new role elsewhere which will be a small vertical move.

I gave a notice period at my current job. After this period has started, the team lead (who has managerial responsibilities) on the project has also announced he will be leaving.

Following his announcement I have been approached by management with an offer to take his place, something which would be a big vertical move.

The problem is :

  • This offer will only take effect in about a month.
  • I will be beginning my new job (contractual/consulting) work in the meantime.
  • I am still undecided if I want to take the job of team lead.

The problem I face is how to professionally delay making a decision regarding a job offer while still behaving in an ethical and professional way? I'm worried about behaving unethically by not making a timely decision...

I feel that if I hide this fact to my new client I will be burning bridges when I use the contract exit clause after say 2 weeks of work and he learns I took the job knowing the chance of me leaving after 2 weeks was pretty high.

If I reveal this info to my new client he may decide not to hire me and I may be left out of work waiting for a formal offer for team lead that never comes, or I could decide I would rather not take the team lead offer and be left out out of work.

  • 1
    While seeking counsel from a friend, he has given me an answer which I feel has a lot of merit. Should I post it here and use the voting system to compare it with the other solutions proposed by the community? – Gilles Dec 14 '12 at 4:35
  • I am new to this community, could I get any feedback to the down votes so that I may either improve this question or barring that future questions on this site? – Gilles Dec 14 '12 at 4:52
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    Hi Gilles, welcome to the Workplace SE! You've got a good question here with 1 close vote suggesting it's too localized -- too specific to your situation and not helpful to future visitors. I'm not sure I agree with the close vote since many people face making the tough decision of how to navigate the workplace setting when faced with changing careers. However, I'd suggest maybe rewording the "behaving in an ethical and professional way" to "professionally delay making a decision regarding a job offer". I know that sounds more specific, but I actually think that's needed here. Good luck! :) – jmort253 Dec 14 '12 at 6:33
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    @jmort253 I took your suggestions and applied it to my bold section and my title. I also made small edits to un-localize the question a bit. – Gilles Dec 14 '12 at 14:02
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    There have been lots of questions on this topic, all but one closed as duplicates. Here is the one not closed: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/111/… – DJClayworth Dec 14 '12 at 17:03

Part of this question relates to your motivations for leaving in the first place - typically counter offers don't work in the ways that employers hope for (as the issues driving you away remain). Would all of your reasons for leaving be addressed by the new role?

I would think that you would be well-placed asking your current manager for a contract to look through for the new role as a) it could be different to what you expect and b) will make sure that the offer is genuine. You don't have to sign it, but you would at least know both offers were concrete.

In terms of burning bridges, I think that saying no to the manager of the company you are leaving would be far less adverse than snubbing a new employer and (context-dependent) is this something you really want to show on your CV / Resume?

Your concerns around whether or not the new employer knows you were planning an early exit are I would think less important than the inconvenience they face in taking the time to bring someone up to speed and then having to re-hire after only two weeks!

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