I accepted a job offer from a company (Company A) and was planning to start mid month.

In a strange turn of events, the place I am currently finishing up at (Company B) sold their franchise and now what would have been my old boss is going with the franchise, and just today he's offered me a job there (Company C who purchased Company B's franchise) making more money.

I don't want to be rude to Company A who so graciously waited for me to close the year out with Company B, (Handle year-end/month end stuff) but I don't know what to do. I feel really badly about this. My boss has been fantastic and I've heard both companies (A and C) are good to work for.

What is the right thing to do here? I really don't want to burn any bridges but when I accepted the offer from Company A, I was under the impression that my boss was leaving Company B. I had no idea they were selling the franchise, otherwise I wouldn't be in this predicament.

  • Hi Zoe, welcome to the Workplace SE, the Q&A site for questions about navigating the professional workplace...... So if the company is selling the franchise, what exactly would you be doing there? Can you edit your post with that info? Also, what do you mean by them waiting for you to close out with your current employer? Isn't this company your "current employer"? My suggestion is to use "Company A" for the seller of the franchise and use "Company B" to describe the buyer, so there's no confusion. Good luck! :)
    – jmort253
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 20:01
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    Possible duplicate: Is it considered rude to turn down a job offer after initially accepting it? Hi Zoe, it may be a good idea to also look at this post, and if it doesn't answer your question, you could further edit your post to differentiate it. Hope this helps! :)
    – jmort253
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 20:48
  • What is the right thing to do here? = it's to do what's best for you. In the end, you need to make the decision that's best for your career/future--not what's best for some other company.
    – DA.
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 5:29
  • Furtherto NickC's answer, when you say you accepted the offer, one point to bear in mind is that when you say > I accepted a job offer from a company (Company A) and was planning to start mid month. Does this mean a verbal acceptance or did you actually sign a contract? If you did sign a contract make sure that you are not breaking it by going with Company C instead.
    – Dibstar
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


In most of these "I don't want to offend them but I want to do this other thing" cases, honesty is the best policy.

Most often, if you offend somebody, it's going to be because you caused them to feel like you participated in the negotiation/transaction in bad faith — leaving them without a fair chance, thus wasting their effort in an exchange they didn't have a chance. No one wants to put effort into something where they don't have a chance, and organizations and people alike actively avoid parties that they fear will take advantage of them.

Example of bad faith

They offer, you accept. Two weeks later, you reneg, saying your old company wants you. They might feel like either you used them for more money (as a safety net in a bluff), or you're flaky, but either way, you didn't give them enough information to truly compete and it possibly indicates low integrity. They had no chance to really get you, and they put a lot of effort in, leaving them with a sour taste.

How to act in good faith

In this case, you're right to be worried, since it seems like you might not be completely sure why you are reconsidering (since you haven't really told us).

Remember, the base assumptions when you seek out (and especially when you accept) a new job are that something about the old job was not good enough. It could be:

  • Money
  • Title
  • People
  • Job satisfaction
  • Stability

... and many other things. But, I would say that from experience, it's usually not just money. Following that, most companies are willing to be more flexible than you'd think about money.

You've been given new material information, that you didn't have access to when you accepted (Company C purchasing Company A). This is out of your control, and it is reasonable for to reconsider based on factors out of your control.

However, considering that Company B has put effort in to you and may have momentum, your reasoning should be fairly strong. It's a different situation than if you were at a simple fork in the road. You will be changing direction.

So, for Company B to understand your reconsideration, they need to know why it matters — so that they can compete with it if they'd like to try.

  • If it's only the money, then that might be OK, but you could end up coloring yourself in a certain light. There isn't one universal way this is viewed (for example, it might be much more typical of sales people to make a decision based on money alone than for software engineers) — but it is a risk you take that they don't like it.

  • If there are more differentiators, the best path forward is to be honest about all of them. After all, in any transaction, the best situation is where the arrangement is completely mutually beneficial. If they are not going to be the best fit for you, then it's better that you let them know now.

If there is something they can do to persuade you, I would know what that is before you talk to them and be prepared to tell them what it is.

How to actually bring it up

Once you know exactly why you don't want to simply go forward with Company B, you need to take the information to them honestly, and see how they react.

This will involve typical negotiation tactics, which I am no expert on, but your situation is essentially that you have two offers and are deciding between them. There is a wealth of information online about how to play one party against another, but in this case, remember that Company B is more analogous to your own employer than your new offer from Company C.

This might be in the form of an email or phone call like this:

Hello, representative from Company B. First of all I want to thank you for your patience while I wrap things up with Company A. I wanted to let you know about some new information from Company A. When we talked, I mentioned my dissatisfaction with Company A because of [REASON X]. Company A has just revealed that they are being purchased by Company C, and I have been offered a position as [blank]. [Talk about why this changes REASON X for wanting to join Company B]. [REASON Y you want to join Company C], is an important factor in my decision because [talk about why]. What can do for me [with respect to REASON Y], as I consider this offer from Company C?

Again, we don't have a lot of information (other than money) about why you are considering reneging your acceptance of the offer from Company B. But, it will be uncomfortable, but it's business, and as long as you maintain integrity, professionalism, and give Company B a fair chance, you should be able to get through this.

  • 1
    And take care to remeber that just becasue it is more money does not mean it is the better job. YOU need to evaluate the way they work and the people you would be working with. Further, I ahve seen far too many people offered a job in a company buyout who were made unemplyed after about a year. They want to transfer knowledge and clients to their company, they are not invested in the employees of the company they bought. If I already had anotehr job, I would probably not consider the new offer knowing this.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 19:27

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