Moral Dilemma: Job offer/acceptance. Help!

I desperately need doper advice!
I’m graduating uni in a few months. I’m currently working casually at job1, which I really enjoy, but job1 doesn’t have a full time equivalent. This is my sixth year working there, and I’ve been involved in the organisation for over 10 years.

Anyway, as I’m graduating soon I’ve started looking for jobs. A job (job2) came up that looked really good, so I applied for it, and I had an interview for it yesterday. The boss said he would get back to me a week from next Wednesday.

On Monday I told my current boss about job2 because he is on my resume as a reference. When I went into work on Wednesday my boss was in a “closed door” meeting, and I’ve never seen his door closed before. On Friday when I went into work my boss told me that there was some “restructuring” going on, and that there would be a full-time position coming up (job1). He said to keep it quiet. He said that it would be advertised in the next few weeks.

Now, my moral issue is: what happens if I’m offered job2? I’ll definitely be told I’ve been given job2 before I find out whether I’ve been given job1 or not. So, my dilemma is, if I get job2, do I accept if I don’t know if I’m going to take it or not? And, given the choice I don’t know which one I prefer! (It doesn’t help that I don’t know the salary of job1.)

There are a few pros and cons.
Job1 pros: familiarity (I have a huge emotional attachment); wide range of responsibilities; given fairly free range; and high job satisfaction/enjoyment. Cons: a long way to travel.
Job2 pros: Closer to my home; be in a different environment; and be involved in a more established and successful organisation. Cons: job won’t be as interesting or satisfying, yet (should get better over the years).

Please help! What do I do if I get the first job? Accept? Ask them to wait (ha.)? What would you do? Which job do you think sounds better?

It’s crazy, before last week I was stressing about finding a job when I graduate, and now I’m stressing about having too much choice!

Ethically you’re clean as new-fallen snow.

From the sound of things the bosses are trying to generate a full-time slot for you. That’s good. And you sound happy there. This is also good.

On the other hand you’re getting a commitment from the other place sooner.

What you should do is wait for the offer on job2. Who knows…it may not be as nice as you thought it would be.

When that is in hand go and talk to your boss about it. If they’re serious about finding space for you they’ll up the ante or commit somehow at that point.

Point of order: If job2 makes the offer you can ask them to wait ONE day, pretty much, to make up your mind to ‘consult’ with a fiancee or spouse or whatever. You can’t make them wait much longer or that offer will move on.

I don’t know how your current boss is…but he could also be screwing you.

“Oooh…don’t take job2 because we’ve got a really good new position (job1) coming down the pike…”

(a couple weeks later)

“Oh, yeah, about job1…I’m sorry but corporate decided not to do that…too bad you passed on job2…maybe next time…now, about those TPS reports…”

Having been shafted by more than one boss I tend to trust none of them unless I’ve got some major leverage. Like I do at my current place of employment, which I could pretty much bring to its knees by leaving.


Mr. Chance has the scenario down pat. And its basically for the reasons Merjeek came up with.

But don’t count chickens yet.

I agree with the above, except for the “one day” thing. I have asked for longer (up to 2 weeks, IIRC) to “think about it” and received it. Of course, if you ask for longer, they can say that you only have one day or whatever. However, once you have the offer, it can’t hurt to ask when they need your decision and to ask for more time if needed. Then go to job1 boss and proceed as above.

It sounds like you have a good relationship with job1 boss. If you are offered job2, I’d be honest with job1 boss about the offer and see if he has an update or a more precise timeline when you’ll know about going full time at job1.

If job1 boss hedges, I’d accept job2.

Also, say stuff like, “I need to respond to the Job2 offer by 3:30 this Tuesday, so I need an offer from you before then”. If they can’t give you a job offer before your deadline for Job2, take Job2 even if they claim they need a little more time.

Good advice. It there’s restructuring going on and they’ve told you about it, they likely know what’s going to happen and are just fine tuning the plans and filling out the paperwork. They can give you a definitive offer. They may want you to keep it quiet for a while (because they’ve got a firm-wide announcement plan), but they should be able to give you a written offer.

If you get two offers, it seems like you’d be happier in job 1. A shorter commute is great, but you spend longer in the office than you do commuting. If job 1 gives you better satisfaction, go for it. There’s no guarantee job 2 will get any better as time goes on (even though they may have promised you it would).

Bird in the hand.

If you’ve got a firm offer from job2, and job1 isn’t sure yet what they can offer you, then you go to job2, with thanks for the opportunities from job1.

You can definitely request some time to think it over. Job2 should realize that as a student getting ready to graduate, you might have some other options. You can always say that you need some time to think over the offer. I would be very surprised if either job demanded an immediate answer. (Maybe things are done differently where you live, but would you want to work in a place that wasn’t understanding when you request some time to think it over?) Explain that you’re getting ready to graduate. If you’re waiting on the job offer from the other company, that will give you some more time. Neither company is going to want to give the impression that it doesn’t want you to focus on completing your studies.

If you live in a “right to work” state where you can be fired at any time for any reason, you owe no employer anything except the work you’ve contracted to do for your wages. You can quit any time you like for any reason you like. No notice, no nothing.

Now, you may have an emotional attachment to the people you work with and for, but that’s strictly your thing. No one will blame you for leaving under any circumstances you care to, except you. Well, one of the other employer migth blame you, but they’d be wrong to.

There is no ethical or moral problem here that I can see. Either way is clear- your choice.

But I agree with Dignan- ask if you can have a few days to think over Job #2’s offer.

If they say ‘no", then go with the ‘bird in hand’, which is Job #2. If then Job #1 make you a counter offer when you give your "notice’, then accept #1, and tell #2 that your current postion made you a counter offer. That happens fairly often.

Hmmm… it looks like “request more time from Job2” is the key at the moment. It may work, actually, because I don’t graduate until the end of November, and I’ve told Job2 as such. (The long wait is one reason they may not want me - they were iffy on it, understandably, but they did say “we’re willing to wait for the right person”.)

RE asking for a concrete offer from my current boss, he’s already told me that protocol says he has to advertise the position - which means it may be a 3 or 4 weeks until the decision is made (what with interviewing and whathaveyou). And that’s way too long to ask them to wait. (Sorry, you are getting my train of thought here.)

I do understand the “bird in the hand” mentality, but I wanna have my cake and eat it too, you know? Whinge whinge.

Does it? That seems unethical to me. Does it to anyone else? Why do I even care? But I do.

No matter how much time you’ve got on your current job, or how nice the people have been to you over that time, don’t allow that to cloud your judgment. I’ve heeard of too many people getting screwed in similar situations. Make sure that you do what’s best for you.

Well, if you get a firm offer for job2, you should take it. You have, as you said, been with the job1 company for 6 years, and they should know by now whether or not you can do the job. You shouldn’t leave yourself at their disposal just because they’ve taken this long to decide to make a permanent position.

Well, there may be legal reasons why they have to post the job.

I wouldn’t string job2 along, hoping job1 will come up with something. If you get an offer from job2 and it suits you, go for it.

Sure, i appreciate that. It just seems a little too convenient that the possibility of a full-time job1 came up right after Burnt Sugar mentioned that s/he might be leaving.

Completely agree.

Thanks for all your advice, guys. I think my plan of attack will be:

  1. Wait to see if Job2 offers me the job (obviously), and then evaluate the conditions of the offer. (I’ve worked out I need $35,000 to stay in the black next year (I want to buy a house.). This is fair - it’s the average salary of a business graduate.)
  2. Ask for a bit of time in which to make my decision.
  3. Go to my current boss and give him an ultimatum (!!).
  4. See what happens. If my boss can’t guarantee anything in the time needed, take Job2 (depending on its conditions). If he does, well and good.

Thanks again, guys. If you have any other thoughts to add, thanks in advance.

No, not as an “ulimatum”. Just your “respectful regrets but you’ll have to take this other offer unless…”. Something like “I really love working here, but they are offering me quite a bit more, so despite my personal feelings, I have to go with the better offer. Sorry.”

I agree with DrDeth. An ultimatum is “do this or else.” What you’re doing is letting them know that you have a job offer in hand and unless they can give you a reason to stay by such and such a time, you’ll be on your way, with much thanks.

I hope job2 comes through!!