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accepting offer then declining

wbbwbb Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
if you accepted an offer with a company and mailed in your letter of intent,

and a month later a better companz gives you an offer and you accept that, what happens

is it safe to say you will never get a job at that company again

does this show up on your any records

plz explain
Post edited by wbb on

Replies to: accepting offer then declining

  • tuffsuff86tuffsuff86 Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    Yeah, I think it’s safe to say you’re screwed when it comes to the possibility of working there in the future. It’s considered unethical to back out of a job you already accepted. Since employers do talk to each other, it is “safe to say you will never get a job at that company,” b/c you will be considered a “job hopper.”
    A) By canceling your commitment you end up inconveniencing the company who thought they had secured someone for the position, so now they’ll have to do more interviews.
    B) You ruined the possibility of someone else’s shot at the job, because the company already gave the position to you

    Make sure you:
    1. let them know by telephone that you are no longer able to work at their company (think up a really good reason; it will look soooo bad if you tell them you’ve accepted an offer somewhere else.)
    2. Thank them for their time and consideration
    3. Wish them the best
  • gsp_silicon_valleygsp_silicon_valley Registered User Posts: 1,542 Senior Member
    How would you feel if the situation was reversed?

    You receive a job offer or college acceptance letter. You sign the offer agreement and are already to start your new job or college experience.

    All of a sudden, you get a communication from the employer or college that because an applicant with impecable credentials has emerged, we are withdrawing your employment offer or college admissions offer.

    You would probably seek legal action for breach of contract !!!
  • sakkysakky - Posts: 14,759 Senior Member
    Well, actually, gsp_silicon_valley, the situation you described about employers reneging on offers does happen, and far more often than we'd like to believe.

    The truth is, most states in the US are 'at-will' states which means that a company can release you at any time for any reason, or for no reason, and with no notice (and conversely, an employee can quit at any time for any reason, or no reason, and with no notice). And certainly if you're talking about an international job, then the company is bound to only respect whatever laws hold for the jurisdiction that the job is in, and those laws are often times few and far between. Hence, companies are well within their legal rights to rescind offers even before they start. They might have to pay you the severance package that was stipulated in their offer (as if they had laid you off), but they are otherwise free to do what they like.

    To give you an example, when oil prices crashed in the 80's certain oil companies which shall remain unnamed started rescinding signed job offers. So students who had signed their offer and were all ready to start their job were told that they no longer had jobs, and there was nothing they could do. Most of these students had other offers that they had turned down because they thought they were going to go to that oil company. Those other companies had filled their positions, so these people couldn't go back and reactivate their old offers. So they ended up with no jobs at all. And, sadly, they had no legal recourse.

    I'll give you another example. During the economic downturn of the early 2000's,. many consulting firms began rescinding signed offers. However, to their credit, they did it in a few more respectable manner than those oil companies did. They basically asked for volunteers with signed offers to either bow out (in return for a fairly decent cash settlement), or to start their jobs on a later date than what their offer letter said, in return for a payment. For example, they might say that instead of starting your job this year, we'll pay you, say, $5000 to start next year. They usually ended up getting enough volunteers such that they didn't have to outright rescind too many offers.

    But the point is, companies can, for the most part, rescind their offers anytime they want, and there really isn't a whole lot you can do about it. It just becomes a matter of corporate reputation. In the case of those oil companies, they got an extremely rep for their dodgy hiring practices, such that many college career services offices simply refused to bring them back onto campus. The attitude was that since these companies were not behaving ethically towards the students, the colleges would deny recruiting access to future students. So it just gets down to the ethical reputation of the company for treating employees well. Some companies have excellent reputations for being desirable places to work. Others have terrible reputations. That includes some very famous companies that nonetheless have extremely unethical reputations. You want to avoid those companies that have bad reputations, because they tend to have bad reputations for a reason.

    In fact, I strongly remember, years later, one of the executives at one of these oil companies talking about how when oil prices crashed again in the late 90's, this time they had "learned their lesson" and were now honoring every single job offer they put out and that is signed by the candidate, and I was thinking to myself "Uh, aren't you supposed to honor every signed job offer you make? That's just like the old Chris Rock joke of how irresponsible people go around trying to take credit for doing things that they're supposed to be doing anyway. You're bragging about how you honor every signed offer, well, you're SUPPOSED to be honoring every single job offer." Or so I thought. Then I found out that this is not true, and that companies backtrack on offers all the time.
  • 2331clk2331clk Registered User Posts: 1,656 Senior Member
    My son did this exact thing, and it isn't as uncommon as you think. This was for a summer internship before his last year in college...he received an offer and verbally accepted but signed nothing. Felt he had to accept, as there was a deadline, but he was waiting for other internship offers if they were to come, and he knew they'd come shortly. He even received a check from the company for summer housing but wisely held onto it without depositing it.

    Maybe a week later he got a more desirable offer (Goldman Sachs which he felt he couldn't pass up). Talked it over with, among others, career services at his school, which advised him the "most honorable" thing to do was stick with the first job, but off the record they advised him that gratiously declining and apologizing would be OK. After a lot of thought he called, wrote a nice letter and returned the check.

    The amazing thing...in his senior year he received an offer from the same company he rejected! So I wouldn't worry too much about employers talking about you unless these are very small companies...they have better things to do.
  • wbbwbb Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    whats a good excuse to say to decline an offer after accepting
  • skysky Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    There is no good excuse. Let me just say that doing stuff like that is highly unethical. If you expect to be a respected member of the engineering community, (especially a small community like the aerospace engineering one), you need to put behavior like that aside.

    You cannot just jump ship the second something "better" comes along. You have an obligation to the company that you accepted with. The aerospace industry is highly cyclical. This type of behavior will not be looked upon lightly by your hiring managers.

    aerospace engineer
  • wbbwbb Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    i am just asking a hypothethical question, it is not my case
  • wbbwbb Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    also is htis just for internships, or all jobs in general, because employment is "at will" so if you do get a better permanent offer, wouldnt it be like...

    working for a while, but still actively searching for a job and then quitting when you get the better job?

    arent people constantly looking for better jobs?
  • 2331clk2331clk Registered User Posts: 1,656 Senior Member
    the problem when looking for internships was this: you are throwing your resume out to a lot of places, you get interviews etc at some, and even though they are all for the same upcoming summer, there isn't standardization regarding when to reply. Because of this you are forced to reply before your offers have all come in. Not like the formal May 1 reply date for undergrad colleges, for example.

    In S's case I emphasize he signed nothing, that would have been a different story and this was a few months before the internships ever started... still it was a tough call. And it was an offer at one industry vs another entirely different industry. His reasons: 1) financial (the better internship paid 50% more) which is no small change when you're on financial aid). 2) Much closer to home. In general the less said the better.
  • wbbwbb Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    what would the case be if he had signed and still accepted
  • skysky Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    Have you seen the email exchange fiasco between two lawyers in the news about a month ago? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dianna_Abdala

    While that doesn't apply in your case, there are a lot of good lessons young professionals can learn from that. I'm not saying you should take a poor job, or let employers walk over you. However, there is a certain level of loyalty and trust that has to be honored between a company and an employee. Loyalty will get you further in the aerospace industry than perhaps in other industries. If you talk to experienced engineers, they will all swear by the company they work for. You will not see many engineers jumping between Boeing, Lockheed, and NASA just for the sake of getting a slightly better offer. I'm not implying that you would need to work for the same company for 30 years either.

    Yes, you will be working under "at will" conditions for the most part, so there is nothing legally stopping you from quitting. I said nothing of legality in my first response to your question. I said it was highly unethical. And yes, you should always seek out to get the best job you possibly can. If that means quitting (after a reasonable amount of time on the job), then that is perfectly fine. However, accepting and rejecting jobs on what is basically a whim, is not ethical. If you don't like one company's offer, reject it and wait for the next. It's exactly what another poster said earlier. Imagine if you applied to college, got and admission offer, and then after you accepted it, the school withdrew their offer. You expect them to honor their offer, and employers expect you to honor your acceptance of a job offer. If you need more time to decide, tell them that.
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