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I received an email last week from a former intern, requesting advice about a job offer she recently accepted. Shortly after accepting the position, a better offer came along from a more desirable organisation.Spending 40 hours a week of your time focused on advancing a company or organisation is a huge undertaking, not to be taken lightly. Yes, it’s bad taste to renege on any commitment. It’s also incredibly inconvenient for the hiring manager, and company you are turning down, as well as disappointing for them to learn that you won’t be joining their staff.
However, it is well worth apologizing and explaining yourself over uncomfortable conversation, if the other offer presents valuable time invested in the right career path.
No one can fault you for wanting the chance to succeed at the best possible job you can find. At the end of the day, if you don’t feel a company is the right fit, then there is a candidate who is probably better suited for the position anyway.
However, turning down a position you’ve already accepted can be tough to do. Much of it boils down to etiquette, and full consideration of the repercussions of your decisions (for all involved parties.) The manner in which you turn down a job speaks volumes about your professional identity, and you certainly never want to burn bridges. The world is small, and smaller still, within industry spheres.
Chances are, you’ll run into these same professional peers in the (near) future. Keep it polished, professional and understanding of the inconvenience you’ve caused. Then move on, and excel at your new opportunity.
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