I took a position at workplace "B" five months ago. I was supposed to cover for a maternity leave position. It is not in my usual field of work, but at the time I wanted something different.

Recently my previous employer offered me my old job back with a pay increase that I wouldn't be able to get at my current workplace. If i accepted the new offer, I would basically be going back on my words that I said during the interview process. I had told my current boss that I was sure this was something that I wanted to do. I'm afraid of burning bridges at my current workplace especially since one of the managers stuck his neck out to help me get the job. But at the same time, I really need to money. I don't want to look like I jump around from job to job. But feel like my previous job would be a better fit for me. What should I do?

closed as off-topic by David K, Retired Codger, gnat, JasonJ, Thomas Owens Mar 2 '17 at 22:00

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  • need a country probably – Chris E Mar 2 '17 at 20:11
  • Saskatchewan, Canada – Jay Mar 2 '17 at 20:11
  • We can't tell you which decision to make. That's a question you should ask your friends, family, and colleagues who know you well. – David K Mar 2 '17 at 20:13
  • (the reason I wanted the country is because some countries have strict rules about notice periods and switching jobs) – Chris E Mar 2 '17 at 20:21
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    You said you were hired to cover someone on maternity leave. Has that person come back, is scheduled to come back, didn't come back? If the person is scheduled to return in a few months, could your previous company wait that long? – mkennedy Mar 2 '17 at 23:36

Integrity should always be a first concern. By your own admission, you'd be breaking your word. At that point, your word means nothing and it becomes easier to justify your dishonesty the next time, even though you really intended at the time to stay.

Will you burn bridges? You'll blow them up. The bridge won't be just burned, it'll be gone and if your name comes across the desk of anyone involved in this in the future (it's a small world you know), there will be bad things about you.

Additionally, you'll be causing genuine harm to a company that is relying on you to do what you say. They'll have to find someone now to replace you, or perhaps the person on leave may have to come back early to cover for you.

You're basically putting a price tag on your word and your integrity.

If I were you, I'd talk to your old boss and tell him that if he can wait you'd love to come back to work for him but that you gave your word and that has to mean something. If nothing else, you'll get his respect, unless he has no integrity himself.

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    It sucks, I know. One time I'd been trying to get on this this organization but they were too slow so after 2 months of delays I took a position elsewhere. 3 months later I got a call saying they'd like to hire me. I had to refuse because my new company had paid a fee to hire me and it felt wrong. 6 months later, we were all laid off because we were bought out. That was 20 years ago and to this day I'm still convinced I did the right thing. – Chris E Mar 2 '17 at 20:32

I absolutely agree with Christopher Estep that integrity should always be a chief concern.

It's not entirely clear from your question whether leaving would violate your integrity.

I had told my current boss that I was sure this was something that I wanted to do.

If this was true at the time, and is no longer true. You were wrong, but not deceitful. If you knew at the time that you were unsure, you lied to get the position, and should stick it out until you're no longer needed.

I'm afraid of burning bridges at my current workplace especially since one of the managers stuck his neck out to help me get the job.

If you leave, you'll likely at least damage the bridge with that manager, and could burn it completely.

But feel like my previous job would be a better fit for me.

There was a reason you left that job in the first place. It's best to remember why and consider whether anything will have really changed to make it that much better long-term.

If not, you probably shouldn't go back, you'll just be unhappy and looking to hop again. Instead, focus an actual search on position that might actually be a good fit long-term.

If you think it will be better the second time around, discuss with your old job about a start date after the maternity leave is scheduled to end.


Oh my god, I'm in the same position as you right now, I got offered a better job even though I signed a contract when I started this job and my employer asked me things in the interview such as: How do you feel about moving to this city, how do you feel about working alone, how do you feel about committing for 30 months... All of which I answered positively but now my feelings have changed.

You just have to tell him you want to leave and it's purely business. I don't like when people ask "Is this job all about money to you?" because at the end of the day it is. You're not there to make friends and keep everyone happy, you're there so you can feed your family and take care of yourself. If someone is offering to help you do that, then by all means take the offer.

p.s. you don't have to tell your boss why you are leaving. It may be best to simply say your leaving for personal reasons and don't wish to discuss it. Once you hand in your notice, it's a done-deal.

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