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I have been talking with a sizeable company for several months now. The CEO and I have a similar network. Last year they turned me down for a position but this year they offered to basically create a position for me. I felt that was rather generous.

I accepted the job through email. I never signed anything. However, my role was unclear, their communication has been slow, they're not clear about my salary, and I was asked about my religion and living situation in one of my interviews. Overall, I ended up feeling uncomfortable with this whole situation and changed my mind a few days before I was supposed to start. I sent an email explaining that this position wasn't right for me and thanked them for the opportunity. Did I just burn a bridge? Did you think I did the right thing?

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    A few days before you were supposed to start, you still didn't know your salary? If that's the case, you were right to reject them. – TonyK Mar 4 '17 at 20:08
  • @TonyK yeah that was probably my biggest concern. I'm about to graduate and they told me what my pay would be BEFORE I graduate, which was close to nothing. After pressing them on the subject, they simply said it will increase once I graduate but they didn't say how much. I should have kept asking until they gave me a direct answer, but at the same time, I shouldn't have to be that pushy to find out such important information. – jack_of_all_trades Mar 4 '17 at 20:38
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this year they offered to basically create a position for me. I felt that was rather generous.

That was certainly very generous.

I've done that in the past, but very rarely and only for candidates I knew well and really wanted to have work for me.

You must have impressed them.

Did I just burn a bridge?

Probably.

It's possible that this particular company will play the back-and-forth game a few more times and offer you yet another job. But no company I know of would do that.

Did you think I did the right thing?

No.

During the interview process, you must always clarify your salary. And it only makes sense to understand your role and anything else you think would be important about a company where you might wish to work.

You must do all this before accepting an offer. (Accepting via email or handwriting your signature on a piece of paper is immaterial to this process).

Next time, learn what you need to about the company first, then accept the offer.

As far as your eventually turning down the already-accepted offer, the "rightness" of that decision is one only you can asses. Without knowing a lot more, nobody can know how right that was.

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    Yep. Not to mention that anyone at that company where you interview twice at, eventually get an offer, but then absolute last minute cancel is almost guaranteed to not consider you again in the future. – enderland Mar 4 '17 at 16:55
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    Can you ignore the fact that he was questioned about his religion and living arrangements during the interview process? That seems to throw up a couple of red flags, IMHO. – Herb Wolfe Mar 4 '17 at 17:32
  • Thanks for your honesty. I should mention I DID try to clarify my concerns and they still wouldn't tell me my salary. I guess I should have asked yet again, but I ended up accepting anyway because I didn't have any other offers at the time. But because of their lack of communication I basically kept my ear to the ground for other offers and I considered this position more a "back-up opportunity." I want to work somewhere that is as enthusiastic to have me as I am to be there. I feel like they were having me as a favor to mutual associates, not because they actually needed me. – jack_of_all_trades Mar 4 '17 at 18:01
  • @JoeStrazzere I think this is definitely a learning opportunity. I ended up getting a much, much better job. But I'm just concerned about burning bridges so early in my career. And the way the new job talked with me and made their offer was much more professional. I'm glad I didn't accept the first job but I just wanted to get people's input about it / I want to know if this is really something to lose sleep over. Overall, I feel good about my decision. – jack_of_all_trades Mar 5 '17 at 1:50
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  1. Never assume you have a job until you get a signed HR request with a stated start date and stated salary.

  2. NEVER resign from a job without a SIGNED HR LETTER and a start date.

  3. TRUST NO EMPLOYER - THEY ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY and you are simply a tool in their pocket - disposable "human capital " : a burden to the bottom line.

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  • Yeah, that was a big concern of mine. I asked for a start date twice and they didn't get back to me until a week later. They ended up asking ME when I wanted to start. To me, it just seems like they weren't really interested in having me onboard and were just hiring me because I might potentially be useful and we had mutual acquaintances. I should have been decisive sooner and I'm scared about burning bridges this early in my career. But because I hadn't received a formal offer I figured that was my way out of this. – jack_of_all_trades Mar 4 '17 at 18:32
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    without an explanation, this answer may become useless in case if someone else posts an opposite opinion. For example, if someone posts a claim like "Always assume you have a job, don't wait until you get a signed HR request with a stated start date.", how would this answer help reader to pick of two opposing opinions? Consider editing it into a better shape, to meet How to Answer guidelines – gnat Mar 4 '17 at 20:19

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