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I had a long interview process with Company A. I did a phone screen, an on-site and then had to wait 6 weeks for the third interview (on-site) and then another week for the last telephone interview. The whole thing took at least 10 weeks. It was very frustrating. 4 interviews for a non-managerial role.

Company A is a new branch of an established company. They are really growing and looking to build a team. I would be the first Frontend developer there. They are using the latest technologies but it's a little bit of chaos in there and 1hr 15min commute to 1.5 hrs. The other developers there are a little bit more talented than Company B. I could have some people with 10+ years of experience to learn from. They said there is a chance to build up to team leader level. The hiring manager kept saying things are 'fluid-like' and always changing. They said it took 6 weeks to get back to me because they didn't think I had enough experience so they continued to interview. The others didn't make the cut so they re-visited me. They are trying to build a team. During this time Company B came in, did a phone screen, an on-site and then extended an offer the next day after the on-site. I liked how decisive they were. They said I was the preferred candidate out of 3. Company B is a small established company. A key member is leaving because his visa didn't work out. They have been around for 30 years and have a stable and impressive client base. They are not using the latest technologies but they are a decent company. It's a 30-45 min commute from my house. I will be the lead developer on a mobile app. It's mostly independent work but there will be others there.

I didn't know if company A would extend an offer or not so I accepted company B's offer straight away. I didn't want to wait and take my chances and end up jobless. Just 4 days after that company A extended an offer.

The problem is, company A's offer is only marginally better than B's. 5K more, health insurance for me (not my family), and an unknown year-end bonus. I don't know if the offer is worth burning my bridges with company B.

Is it going to burn a bridge if I change my mind for only a marginally better offer?

My fear is that down the line I will grow to dislike the long commute and then won't have the option to go back to this company that is closer to my house at a later time. Company A said that they might give me the option to work from home sometimes or work on the train to help with the commute IF they feel I can be independent but an IF is not a guarantee. Also, I am not sure they can guarantee all the promises made in the interviews.

I will be commuting by train not car.

closed as off-topic by Dan Pichelman, Retired Codger, Masked Man, Caleb, Chris E Apr 25 '17 at 17:56

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    Separate from the actual question, I would note that Company B has their act together, makes decisions quickly, and knows they want you as an employee. Company A seems much less decisive. I would be concerned about whether that pattern will continue in the long term. – Patricia Shanahan Apr 25 '17 at 16:51
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    Certainly isn't going to look good. In the future the best thing to do would be to tell Company B that you would like to consider the offer and let company A know you have another offer and if they are interested you need an offer from them so you can compare before accepting the offer. Personally I've never been big on long commutes. Without knowing the specifics you could easily end up spending half that 5k more salary from company A on gas not to mention the wear and tear on a car and the lost time. – Evan Steinbrenner Apr 25 '17 at 16:56
  • I will be taking the commuter train into work so no car but it's the lost time. – Audra Quinn Apr 25 '17 at 17:00
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    This all very subjective, but by the tone of your post I would say you are not really sure company A is all there. In my opinion, company B sounds better in many ways and I think you know that too. – Bill Leeper Apr 25 '17 at 20:15
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First of all, I can't believe that you're even contemplating taking an offer that is only marginally better for an extra 2 hours of driving each day (assuming 1.5 hours vs. 30 min)... you'll eat up that extra 5k in gas and wear and tear on your car (assuming you're driving) - not to mention the extra 10 hours per week wasted on traveling.

That being said, they both sound like decent offers and I believe that you should just take whichever one you want the most. Too many people seem preoccupied with "burning bridges". Will you "burn a bridge"? It depends. In a few years will the same people even work at that company and will they remember you? Who knows? As far as I know, no company keeps a list of "those a-holes that screwed us over". And if they're really in need and they do indeed remember you as someone who "started a small fire on a river-crossing" one time... they'll most likely hire you anyway.

But most likely I don't think that you'll burn a bridge anyway. I don't think those people really know you well enough to hold a grudge like that. People tend to do stuff like this all the time in business these days, especially in fields that are in high-demand where qualified people are in short demand. If anything, they may just shrug and say to each other "we lost another one".

  • It's not driving; I'll be taking a commuter train. – Audra Quinn Apr 25 '17 at 17:58
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There is no way of telling if quitting before you even started (that is what taking the other offer after you have accepted one) will burn a bridge.

It will surely put you at a disadvantage the next time you apply to the first company, as you have a proven track record of being unreliable. If that is enough to not hire you depends on the availability of your skills. If you are the only one with that skill set... I guess they have no choice. If there are plenty of people to pick from, they will probably rather go with an unknown candidate instead of one that has let them down once already.

So to stay in that bridge terminology... it will surely set it on fire. You will only know if it burns to the ground if you try. The risk is certainly real.

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