Author Topic: Right to refusal?  (Read 5183 times)

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Dark Annie

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Right to refusal?
« on: January 13, 2013, 07:03:16 AM »
This situation is at this stage hypothetical but may become an issue in the future.
Person is new uni graduate and looking for work. They apply at two companies: Company A and Company B. Job A is an ok job, in an ok area and in the field of what the person wants to do- say foster care case managent as opposed to child protection. Job B is child protection and investigation, exactly what the person wants to do- but it had a later cut off date than Job A and is harder to get into.

Person applies, gets Job A and accepts. A few weeks later, Job B rings and offers a job to person B. is it wrong for the person to take Job B and quit job A after only a few weeks? Or (etiquette-ly and professionally speaking, should person turn down job B and keep their commitment to job A? Keep in mind Job B will most likely never be offered again.

Inspired by a debate raised in my uni class.

cicero

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 07:15:29 AM »
It's just been a few weeks - well within a normal adjustment period. It could just as well be that Company A will turn around and let this person go (not suitable for the job, doesn't get along with peers etc).  It happens.

If the person feels that they *really* aren't happy about doing Foster care management, then they should leave - politely, not burning any bridges.

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camlan

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 07:25:45 AM »
Since both jobs are in roughly the same field, quitting Job A would have to be done carefully, to not burn any bridges or get a poor reputation. You never know what consequences will arise, years down the road.

Forty years ago, the advice would have been to stay. But the workplace has changed quite a bit since then--companies are no longer as loyal to their employees as they used to be. People change jobs much more frequently.

This happened once when I was a manager. I'd hired a young man who was working out really well--he caught on to things quickly, paid attention to the little details, got along with the entire department, and all-around did a great job. A month and a half after hiring him, he came to me. He'd just been offered his dream job; a job he'd never thought he'd get.

What could we do? We let him go, with regret. He wrote a lovely thank you letter about the attention and training he'd gotten at our company, and expressed his thanks that we had been understanding about his situation.

The reality was that once he'd received that dream job offer, he'd never have been fully happy with our company. He'd have been thinking about the job that got away. We didn't want to let him go, but could completely understand why he made that decision. And he handled the situation with a grace and tact that was pretty impressive for someone just out of college.
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peaches

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 09:48:33 AM »
To me, the first few months of a job is a trial period for employer and employee.

Many employers have formalized this idea; they might wait 3 months before providing health insurance or other benefits, have a review after 3 months, or have other policies that make it clear that new employees are provisional during this period.

If the perfect job came along, I would take it. I would try to make my exit a gracious one, giving appropriate notice, etc.

I'd rather move on quickly, before an employer became dependent on my work.

gramma dishes

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 09:57:52 AM »
I agree with everyone above.  I think the candidate should carefully and politely leave Job A and accept job B.  That's what s/he really wanted all along and s/he will regret it forever if they don't accept the offer now. 

I especially agree that leaving Position A needs to be done carefully, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity because the two jobs are actually "related" and the candidate may indeed have future dealings with people currently at Place A.  It's best not to burn bridges.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 10:38:07 AM »
I agree with everyone above.  I think the candidate should carefully and politely leave Job A and accept job B.  That's what s/he really wanted all along and s/he will regret it forever if they don't accept the offer now. 

I especially agree that leaving Position A needs to be done carefully, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity because the two jobs are actually "related" and the candidate may indeed have future dealings with people currently at Place A.  It's best not to burn bridges.

Agree.  Work does not have the same rules as social engagements.  And as a manager, there is nothing worse than a recent college grad who would rather be somewhere else.  I'd rather the employee switch to the role they preferred rather than have me spend a year training them to then quit to take another position.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 10:57:58 AM »
I'd take the dream job.  In most places, if there has been a recent interview, they can pull from that interview to offer a job to the next most qualified candidate.  Where I work, if the job is exactly the same in the same location, they can go back to an interview up to a year previously.

By leaving for the second job, that person may have made another person's dream job available.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

gramma dishes

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 11:01:26 AM »

...   By leaving for the second job, that person may have made another person's dream job available.

Excellent point!! 

Sharnita

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 01:06:56 PM »
I would say that one should be very careful.  I know people who have worked in both fields and moved form one to the other.  At least around here they tend to go hand in hand - you need to work cooperatively with each other to get anything done.  To tick off people in area one could make your life extremely difficult as you try to accomplish anything in workplace two.  They need and rely on each other in a way that would make bad history a really bad idea.

dirtyweasel

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2013, 02:28:59 PM »
This situation actually happened to my mom a few years ago.  She had been working for Job A for about two weeks when she was offered a job at Company B.  Company B had better hours, better benefits and was closer to what my mom wanted to do with her career.  She gave her two week notice, started at the other company and hasn't regretted it yet.



jpcher

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2013, 04:28:24 PM »
No, it's not wrong for person to go with JobB even after only a few weeks.

The person in camlan's post handled the situation admirably. He didn't burn bridges. He didn't gloat. He gave an explanation, an apology and a thank you.

Yvaine

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2013, 05:14:52 PM »
I would say that one should be very careful.  I know people who have worked in both fields and moved form one to the other.  At least around here they tend to go hand in hand - you need to work cooperatively with each other to get anything done.  To tick off people in area one could make your life extremely difficult as you try to accomplish anything in workplace two.  They need and rely on each other in a way that would make bad history a really bad idea.

I think the example fields are made up; the real jobs might not be so linked as what you've experienced.

Sharnita

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2013, 05:31:29 PM »
I would say that one should be very careful.  I know people who have worked in both fields and moved form one to the other.  At least around here they tend to go hand in hand - you need to work cooperatively with each other to get anything done.  To tick off people in area one could make your life extremely difficult as you try to accomplish anything in workplace two.  They need and rely on each other in a way that would make bad history a really bad idea.

I think the example fields are made up; the real jobs might not be so linked as what you've experienced.

Yeah, if the real jobs are closely linked like the example it complicates things.  I am curious to know if there is overlap.

onikenbai

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 07:03:22 PM »
If job B is really what the person wants then yes, it should be taken.  However, the person must realise that bridges will be burned and be prepared to accept it.  We just had this exact thing happen at work and it has been a right PITA.  We hired a new guy, spent about $6000 in training time and equipment for him, only for him to give zero notice and walk out the door the first day back from Christmas break.  He had been with us only 6 weeks, which is just long enough for us not to be able to call the second choice person and offer them the job.  Now we have to start from scratch with interviews.  We also had work left uncovered and we missed client deadlines because everybody had to scramble and rearrange their schedules as we suddenly had five sites across the city to supervise and only four bodies.  Leaving a site unsupervised at any time is illegal and cancelling work at any of the sites for one day would cost thousands of dollars so it was not an option.

We never got the full story as to why new guy left, but it was most likely that he got a slightly better offer from a competitor for essentially an identical job.  You have to do a cost-benefit analysis whenever you decide to do something like this:  is it worth committing PD with one of the biggest companies in the business to improve your job situation?  Sometimes the answer is yes, but often it's no.  We have had people leave like this before only to try to come back one or two years later and we basically slam the door in their face.   

For the record, we have also had people leave after years of service and we have taken them back with open arms.  It all depends on how it's done.

blarg314

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Re: Right to refusal?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 10:50:49 PM »

Interesting question.

In my field, everyone knows everyone else in a particular area of research.  It's common for you to be applying for multiple jobs, some of which you might really, really want, and others that are backups. What happens if you get an offer from a backup job, and haven't heard from a prime job is that you ask the backup job for time to decide. Then you go to the prime job, and you say that you've had other offers, so you'd really appreciate it if you could get an update on their evaluation process. That can push prime job into making a offer, because if other people want you, you're more valuable (or reject you outright, so you aren't hanging on for a job you really want). There's a bit of a cascade effect as the top jobs go first, the top candidates make their refusals, and offers go to the next candidate on the list.  This is all very normal, and people generally realize that given a choice, most people are going to take Caltech over small state school, or a general fellowship with a research budget over a position reducing someone else's data.

However, accepting a job and then cancelling afterwards would be seen as very bad form, because the employers will have already sent out rejection letters to the other candidates who will then have taken other jobs. So by doing that, you're forcing the employer to either take the bottom of the barrel candidates who have no other offers, or not hire someone that year. 

Starting a job and quitting within weeks or months is pretty rare, in part because there's typically, there's a  few months between accepting a job and starting work at a post-doc level, and up to a year at the faculty level. So putting in notice a few months into a post-doc or lectureship because you got a permanent faculty job would be considered totally understandable, but you'd generally have time to finish the year's teaching and wrap up your work before moving on.