How To Reneg A Job Offer For A Better One

businessman in black suit holding card sign you are hired

From the mailbag:

Hello Andrew,

Can you talk about how to reneg a job offer for a better one?


Bean Counter Fan

Finally, you received an offer.

What most people starting this fall semester dream of.

But wait…

You’re dream firm just called and wants you two.

What do you do?

This is a tough situation and it’s very hard to have all winners.

The important thing to remember is that you are the most important person in this situation.

If you quit the current job, will they be mad? Yes.

If you don’t take the offer for your top firm, will you be upset? Probably yes if you’re emailing me.

This is not easy.

I will say it depends largely on the stage of your career.

If you still haven’t started full-time, I would probably quit the first company and go with my dream firm.

Some people may be upset that I would suggest you quit after accepting an offer.

But remember…

In the financial crisis, almost all firms took back offers for interns, full-time, and experienced hires.

Hiring froze.

People didn’t know where the economy would be.

My point is: the firm has a right to reneg on your offer AND you have a right to reneg on it too.

Nobody wants to do this.

But if you’re heart is set on your dream firm, I think you owe it to yourself to try.

However, if I already started, went to training, got a laptop, started a few clients, I wouldn’t quit.

If they want you now, they will probably want you in 2 years when you’re a senior. And pay a bonus.

You’ve made a commitment to this company and at this point, you should stick to it.

If you realize after 6 months, you don’t like the career, I think it makes sense to consider quitting.

But after 6 months, changing to another firms is a big question mark.

It won’t look good on your resume.

2 years, 2 years, years looks good.

6 or months or less is just too short. While you have an offer now, it will be a difficult story to tell down the road.

Not too mention, you have the chance of burning all the relationships at the firm.

If you leave after 2 years, people will be upset.

But 6 months, they may not talk to you again.

Either way, I want you to go with the dream firm, just minimize the damage when making this type of move.

When you do, I would say something like:

“Honestly I really enjoyed my entire experience here and appreciate what you have done for me. I don’t take this decision lightly and I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t very important to me. The truth is, I always wanted to work for this company and the opportunity just recently came up. I truly apologize for having to resign and I hope we can stay in touch.”

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!