I received a job offer from a company 3 weeks ago, I accepted the offer and am due to start in August. In the meantime, a new position within the company was advertised, and is more suitable to my goals and current skills.

Could this look bad if I contact HR and ask if they could consider me for the other position even though I accepted an offer for another?


Does it look bad to ring HR and ask could they consider me for that position even though I accepted an offer for another?

Updated based on additional input from the OP

It depends greatly on the company and the differences in the positions. But yes, it could look bad. In your case though, I would say the risk in asking is pretty low, so why not ask? The risk of a negative reaction in my experience goes up with the level of the position which you are applying for.

For your consideration, the potential risks and reactions of asking

Don't be surprised if you decide to ask if the company wants you to stay in the position you already accepted.

From another perspective, the company could react more negatively than you may anticipate. The hiring manager may think "Ok, the candidate ( you ) are already prepared to move on from the position they originally offered and you accepted. Does this person really know what they want?"

And finally, the company may just move on from you all together, which I have seen happen in the past.

These are points for your consideration, to assist you with weighing the risk of the inquiry, regardless of how small the risk may be.

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  • The jobs are 2 different areas, but the 2nd job is an assistant to the job role I would like to see myself in a couple of years, so it would be the perfect stepping stone to my goal. As I am only graduating in July, I want to make the correct decision rather than moving position in a years time and having wasted time and missing oppurtunitys. But do I take the job I was happy with to begin with and stop being greedy? Or am I just looking for whats best for me? – Gavin Apr 21 '17 at 11:33
  • @Gavin At the end of the day, you have to look out for you. The company, no matter how good they are, are ultimately around for the purpose of making money. Your career development and goals are important to the company as well ( if they are a good company ), in the context of "What are our needs". – Neo Apr 21 '17 at 11:37
  • @Gavin I updated my answer based on the content of your comment. – Neo Apr 21 '17 at 11:38
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    Its a graduate scheme in a big company. It has a graduate development programme that you create with the company, therefore I was thinking I could maybe express my interest for the 2nd area whilst im in the company in hoping they recognise my strengths. But if I were to ask I wouldnt have to drop hints! I just think if i were to ask and was unable, it would create some tension on the first day as if I didnt want to be there in that particular office, thats the only thing thats putting me off from asking!The job I accepted is also still advertised which is confusing... – Gavin Apr 21 '17 at 12:07

Could this look bad

Yes, for two simple reasons.

Firstly because they have been to considerable trouble and expense to offer you a job already which they would still need to fill.

Secondly, you're basically saying you're not really all that suitable for the job they went to all that trouble vetting you for, yet you happily applied for and accepted it.

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  • Plenty of cowboys apply for jobs they aren't suitable for, they need a job... but your question is about perceptions, not what you know to be true, but how your request could be perceived. HR isn't in your head, they can only see part of the picture to make their decisions with. So they do simple math, you accepted a job you now say you're not that suited for, you want another job you say you are suited for (yet you said you were suited for the first one and accepted it) etc,. etc,. perhaps best just to choose whoever was second and get rid of the guy who doesn't know what he's suited for? – Kilisi Apr 21 '17 at 12:44
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    No I am suited for the job, the jobs are different roles in the same job field. I just know that I would enjoy and suit the other role better. Not acting a "cowboy".However, I can give it a go for a year or 2 to gain experience in the same field, and im sure I could apply down the line. Just food for thought at the minute. I understand where youre coming from though, that is the reality of it aswell. Thanks for your help. – Gavin Apr 21 '17 at 16:29
  • @Kilisi unfortunately your view is plausible, but that means that HR department is utterly incompetent. Any decent HR department should realize that there is no such thing as a perfect fit, and that a candidate may be suitable for many positions, – user1199 Apr 23 '17 at 19:58

Reading through the answers, I'm beginning to think this is would be a bad idea, too many people seem to have a skewed perception about this, so read the following with caution.

Since this seems to be a entry level position, your skills aren't that big of a deal. However your goals are.

I would first check if the position appeared after you got the offer ( maybe you missed the posting) and if it really appeared after, ask to be considered!

The following points must be part of your request:

  • you just noticed the new position
  • your skillset covers both jobs in a reasonable way
  • you have a preference for the new offer based on future career paths
  • you acknowledge the time and effort they put in the recruitment process for the first job
  • you will have no issue continuing on the first offer if they don't consider you for the new one.
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  • "Too many people", "however"... you might want to fix these... – user541686 Jun 29 '17 at 8:07

You can always ask them and see what they say. It depends on the company as to whether they feel the same way about you being more suited to a role or not.

However, you'd also need to check local laws and what you and the company can do relating to job offers being accepted and processed. Although this might not be as much of a problem as you'd just be switching roles as oppose to leaving etc.

If you really feel strongly then you can ask. The worst thing they can say is no. But if you provide solid ground for why it'd suit you more and that you'd have more of a beneficial impact for them, I can't see why not. But you'd have to ask. If you can live without the other role then just keep to as you are.

Don't wait too long though. Give them plenty of warning you wish to change and outline why. Don't wait until the eleventh hour.

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If you ask, here's what I would recommend:

  1. First, wait until you get settled at the company. At least a few weeks or months.

  2. Before you ask, check to make sure that the job hasn't been filled yet.

  3. Frame your question in terms of "What does the company need?" Propose that you might be more valuable as an employee if you were transferred to doing work that closely matches your skill set, but make it clear that you are happy to continue with your current work if that would be more helpful for the company.

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