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Career Conundrum - Ethics Question

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Intern
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
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WE: Project Management (Computer Software)
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Career Conundrum - Ethics Question [#permalink] New post 29 May 2014, 09:05
First, I want to point out that I recognize that I am in a very good position relative to many in this economy. Having an option between two organizations is a luxury that most do not have. That said, I am 24 years old, holding a liberal arts degree from an undistinguished university and have worked for the last three years in a small (~50 employees) software firm doing project management. I say this to illustrate how lucky I am to have received these offers in the first place.

I have been job searching for some time with increasing urgency as the company at which I presently work appears to be floundering financially. I was contacted by a recruiting agency that is soliciting a position for a Fortune 50, Company A (think Wal-Mart). This position is for an internal consultant working in project management on a multi-year contract. I have gone through two rounds of interviews onsite and am intrigued by the work and thrilled by the potential to work for this organization. The interview process is very long, however, and I have been in it for several months.

During the interview process for Company A, I was contacted by a recruiting agency for Company B. Company B is also Fortune 50. The position would be to run two projects in a project management capacity for a ~6 month contract, with the possibility of extension. The offer was exploding, and upon hearing even worse news from my current employer, I took the offer.

I received a final round invitation from Company A, and am planning to attend the interview. The interview will take place on Friday, I am scheduled to begin work at Company B the following Monday. The essence of my question is this: if I were to receive an offer from Company A, the company of my dreams, would I be making a big mistake by informing Company B that, after working there for only a few days, that I received an offer that I could not turn down and would therefore be putting my two weeks notice? My concerns here are for the health of my career, the potential concerns that Company A might have if they heard about what I did to Company B, etc.

The money at the two places is the same. The level of responsibility is much higher at A, and the brand name is much, much larger, and the contract is for much longer, thereby giving me much more security.

I feel miserable at the prospect of putting Company B in a bind, but it is difficult to see how I could forgive myself for foregoing such an opportunity. Any and all thoughts appreciated.
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Re: Career Conundrum - Ethics Question [#permalink] New post 29 May 2014, 11:28
Tough one.

First, some random thoughts -
1.) Ask A to expedite, explaining your predicament and saying that you have a position at B starting in a week or so, but A is your absolute first choice. (could be a bit risky)
2.) Ask B to delay your joining for a week or two. Obviously, you don't need to mention about A. This is a relatively safer option.

If, at the end of the day, nothing works, the situation would completely be down to where your moral compass points. Some people would pass B in a heartbeat, some would stick it out because they would feel morally obligated. It looks like you have that sorted, so good for you.

As far as A getting to know what you did at B - I'd be upfront about it. It is a matter of you convincing them that you had no other option because of XYZ reasons. However, A remained your absolute top choice and therefore, you couldn't let this awesome opportunity pass.
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Re: Career Conundrum - Ethics Question [#permalink] New post 29 May 2014, 13:49
jumsumtak wrote:
Tough one.

First, some random thoughts -
1.) Ask A to expedite, explaining your predicament and saying that you have a position at B starting in a week or so, but A is your absolute first choice. (could be a bit risky)
2.) Ask B to delay your joining for a week or two. Obviously, you don't need to mention about A. This is a relatively safer option.

If, at the end of the day, nothing works, the situation would completely be down to where your moral compass points. Some people would pass B in a heartbeat, some would stick it out because they would feel morally obligated. It looks like you have that sorted, so good for you.

As far as A getting to know what you did at B - I'd be upfront about it. It is a matter of you convincing them that you had no other option because of XYZ reasons. However, A remained your absolute top choice and therefore, you couldn't let this awesome opportunity pass.


Thanks very much for your feedback, Jum. Those are definitely good ideas that I'm going to try. Part of the complicating factor is that while I have gone through several interviews, it's still unlikely that I will get A simply based on probability alone.

You're right that it comes down to my moral compass, which as I've said is agonized. lol. I suppose what most worries me is unforeseen consequences for my career. Blackballed, etc.
Re: Career Conundrum - Ethics Question   [#permalink] 29 May 2014, 13:49
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