I accepted a job offer in May at a large company in finance. My start date is in September. In the time between accepting the offer and now, I have worked on developing a project of mine with some friends, and it's been successful and I'd like to back out of the job offer to work on my startup full time. I feel bad for wasting this company's time and don't want to burn any bridges. How should I explain this situation?

marked as duplicate by gnat, Draken, scaaahu, Snow, mcknz Aug 23 '17 at 12:51

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  • Perhaps slightly different, since I'm leaving for my own startup rather than accepting a counteroffer. I didn't apply for any other jobs, I just had unexpected success from a personal project, and now I want to see it through. – Dr. John A Zoidberg Aug 16 '17 at 10:09
  • 3
    @Dr.JohnAZoidberg the logic is still the same though. – SaggingRufus Aug 16 '17 at 10:20

Well firstly you need to let them know sooner rather than later in order to give them the chance to start recruiting again ASAP.

Secondly if possibly I would avoid mentioning the startup to them - try and keep your reasons as vague as possible like "due to an unforeseen change in my personal circumstances I'm unable to take up the role but I'm grateful for the offer and hope that if circumstances allow you would be willing to consider working with me at some other point in the future" or similar. Otherwise it could be perceived that you accepted the position with them purely as a safety net which is pretty close to bad faith and that's quite likely to be bridge-burning.

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