Author Topic: Quitting a job before I start it....  (Read 4213 times)

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Lynnv

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Quitting a job before I start it....
« on: February 18, 2013, 04:48:22 PM »
It has been a long, strange trip back to employment for me.

I was laid off in 2010 when my employer closed offices in Colorado (we are an auditing firm and the client we worked with moved to Florida).  I was out of work for nearly a year when my employer called and said, "Can you come help with some backlogged work in Florida for about 3 months?"  Of course I could, and did.  6 months later, they were getting ready to send me home to Colorado and back to unemployment when they found that they needed me in California for 2 months.  6 months later, they sent me home to Colorado as a part-time/as-needed employee.  I have been doing between 0 and 50 hours of work a week for them since then, probably averaging about 15 hours a week-but it has been spotty.  There have been good business reasons that I have not been employed full-time-so I have no complaints.

I have been looking for full-time work since then and two weeks ago was offered a full-time position.  It would be a step backwards in responsibility, pay and position-but it is full-time and permanent.  Great-I accepted the job from not-quite-as-good employer and told current employer that I would be able to continue working on current projects, but that they would no longer be my priority.

Then today, current employer let me know that a position has come open that would bring me back full-time, with some travel but not as much as before, full benefits and will allow me to keep my time in service.  Great.  The reasons they have not had me back full-time before have changed, so this is a permanent position.  And I am accepting.  Huzzah!!!!

Not quite as good employer is closed today, so tomorrow I have to call and let them know that I will not be starting next week after all.  I hate to do it to them, as I know they were looking forward to having someone with my experience and skills in the position.  But I cannot turn down a 35% better salary, better benefits (vacation in particular) and a job that isn't a step backwards. 

Any suggestions on how to word things so as to char the bridges only slightly (as opposed to burning them right to the ground)?
Lynn

"Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat."  Robert A. Heinlein

Hmmmmm

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 04:56:32 PM »
Congratulations.  I'd just call and say something like "My circumstances have changed and  unfortunately I can not accept the position after all.  I really appreciate the offer and I wish you and your department great success."  I wouldn't mention you have been offered another position as they may see it as trying to negotiate a better salary.

Lynnv

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 05:18:35 PM »
Congratulations.  I'd just call and say something like "My circumstances have changed and  unfortunately I can not accept the position after all.  I really appreciate the offer and I wish you and your department great success."  I wouldn't mention you have been offered another position as they may see it as trying to negotiate a better salary.

Good thought!  There is no way they can meet the salary, and I would not expect it for the position they are offering, so I don't want them to think that way at all.  It just feels icky to say "yes" then go back and say "never mind" a week later.  I suppose it is better than if I had actually started, though.   ;)
Lynn

"Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat."  Robert A. Heinlein

WestAussieGirl

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 06:25:39 PM »
I have done this and it did feel icky but the guy was very understanding and I did end up working for that company a few years later in a different role. I did tell them that I had been offered another job.

I think whether bridges are burned depends on the individual.  I think most people would understand but some people will be angry no matter what you say.  And those people probably aren't someone you would want to work for anyway.

DaDancingPsych

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 10:32:34 AM »
It happens more than you think. Of course it stinks to lose a good employee before even starting, but that's how it works sometimes. I would just state that you got a counter offer from your current employer. If you would be willing to consider a counter-counter offer, then I would give them the terms. Sometimes companies will surprise you. If not, just thank them. Like I said, it does happen and as long as you are professional, hopefully the ex-future-employer will be, too!

Congratulations!!!

Coley

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 11:12:35 AM »
Yep, this does happen sometimes. It happened to me, too. It can feel pretty awkward! I like DaDancingPsych's approach. It's similar to the one I used.

Like WestAussieGirl said, it isn't a given that doing this would burn your bridges. In fact, I also was hired a couple of years later by the company I turned down!

Lynnv

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 03:13:32 PM »
It happens more than you think. Of course it stinks to lose a good employee before even starting, but that's how it works sometimes. I would just state that you got a counter offer from your current employer. If you would be willing to consider a counter-counter offer, then I would give them the terms. Sometimes companies will surprise you. If not, just thank them. Like I said, it does happen and as long as you are professional, hopefully the ex-future-employer will be, too!

Congratulations!!!

I like it-but I went with the "circumstances have changed" line because, honestly, there was no way on earth they were going to match the offer.  They were really stretching to make me a decent offer (and it was a really great offer for the position they were giving me), so there was no way on earth they would go up that much.  I presume that they were annoyed behind the professional response (I was annoyed when it happened to me), but it didn't peek through, so that was good.

I spent the morning playing phone tag, and finally was able to speak with my ex-future-direct supervisor and my ex-future-human resources person.  Now I am trying to start working for my previous/current employer...and the system is down so I can't log in and put in hours.  Thus I am surfing the net and reading eHell instead.

Thanks everyone for the advice.  I am really glad to have my employment back on solid ground again.  Or at least as solid as it gets these days.  :>
Lynn

"Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat."  Robert A. Heinlein

Hmmmmm

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2013, 07:45:17 PM »
Glad it worked out.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 04:12:44 AM »
This happened to my Mum. She was lines up for a new job and then got one with her current compaby close to home.

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 07:32:29 AM »
I have a story to share of a former colleague who started a new job and decided within the first hour that it wasn't for him.

Rather than front up, he got his bag and went to the bathroom, changed out of his uniform into his own clothes and climbed out of the bathroom window.....

I *still* can't believe he actually did this!
Love, dance and chocolate fudge cake - what more do I need?

Aquamarine

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2013, 06:53:29 PM »
Just be truthful and tell them your old employer has made you an offer and that you prefer to work where you have a history with the company.  They may not like it, then again they don't have to, but I think they will respect the fact that you were forthright with them.  You can not like something yet respect it at the same time.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

Lynnv

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 10:09:56 PM »
The folks where I quit before I started were very polite about everything.  I didn't expect them to like it-but I honestly don't think they were surprised.   They were getting a huge amount of experience and, truthfully, I was terribly overqualified for the job.  If I had actually started, I would have had a much harder decision to make.  I probably still would have quit-but it would have been a lot harder.

I am working weird part-time/on-call for the new job for another week.  I start full time on the 11th.  I will start with the benefits that come as though the layoff didn't happen (minus, of course, the time I wasn't working at all).  The only thing I had to agree to was that, since I collected severance when they originally laid me off, I would not be entitled to collect it again.  Which is fair enough.

Thanks again everyone!
Lynn

"Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat."  Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Quitting a job before I start it....
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2013, 07:49:04 AM »
Really pleased you got it sorted and things have worked out so well for you.  :)
Love, dance and chocolate fudge cake - what more do I need?