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Moral Dilemma for contemplating 2 job offers

  1. Nov 10, 2013 #1
    Hey guys,

    So I have a little bit of a moral dilemma I would like some input on. I graduate from undergrad in December of this year. Back in July, I was given an offer from a defense contractor before I had applied there (I was an intern) and had to give my decision in 6 days. Without any other big job leads at the time and not wanting to lose the only offer I had, I accepted.

    Fast forward and now I have multiple job offers. Some of which are much better offers in areas of the country I much more prefer. Is it terrible to go back on my acceptance, and how should I go about it?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2013 #2


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    Did they give you anything in return for your acceptance?
  4. Nov 10, 2013 #3
    There is a pretty sizeable signing bonus. but I won't get it until January
  5. Nov 10, 2013 #4


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    It speaks well for your internal moral code that you are taking this commitment so seriously.

    So you've got employer A (where you interned) and employer B (where you prefer to work). Explain the situation to employer B first, and tell them that you want to ask A to release you from your commitment. Make sure B's job offer is totally firm. It is *extremely* common for job offers to evaporate at the last minute for various reasons (project got canceled, etc.). If B assures you that the offer is totally firm, call A and explain the situation honestly. Apologize, you feel terrible, etc. They'll understand. You're young and fresh out of school, trying to make your way in the world. They know that, and they won't hold it against you. The people you really could be harming are the applicants who lost out to you on the job with A. But if you take care of this promptly, A can probably call the runner up and offer the job to that person. Everybody happy.
  6. Nov 10, 2013 #5
    ok great! If it was a matter of another applicant losing out, I would feel worse, but I'm fairly confident that I was offered a position after successfully creating a program for them. There wasn't really an interviewing process, so I don't think that is the case (the branch I got an offer from has a few thousand employees).

    I'll give them a call next week after speaking to the other company. Thanks for your insight! It definitely helps to get an outside opinion.
  7. Nov 10, 2013 #6
    Yes but on the other hand either company might fire you for no reason on a moment's notice with no warning.

    So what you are really worried about here is burning bridges. You are going to be working in your industry for decades and will bump into the same people. It is smart not to make any of them mad at you. I think most HR departments know that a new employee fresh out of college is likely not to be working at his first job very long. 6 months to two years is typical. You move around quickly and move up the salary curve then slow down. Most graphs of turn over vs. age are smooth positive slope curves.
  8. Nov 11, 2013 #7
    Unless they've already paid you something or you've signed a contract (not just an offer letter!) requiring you to work there, then there's no moral issue. Take the better job and be happy about it. You do not need company A's permission to do so, though you do need to let them know.

    I agree that there is an issue of professionalism involved, so handle it in a professional manner.
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