Hi everyone,

I'd love your advice on something:

I've been looking around for the next step in my career recently. I've talked informally to several organizations and I just received an offer from Organization A, who proactively approached me. It would be a lateral move, but into a functional area that moderately fits what I'm looking to work in.

Here's my dilemma: the co-owners of Organization B have indicated a strong interest, both face-to-face and via email, in exploring the possibility of hiring me. I spent several hours meeting with one of them last week, and have connected by email since then. The opportunity to work with this company is [b]very[/b] attractive to me in terms of culture and my role, but I don't yet have an offer from them. They're not available to meet for lunch until next week.

I hear Mark's voice in my head - "until you've got something, you've got nothing..." but I'm very excited about the chance to work for the second company.

I kept the first organization waiting for a week before meeting with them again today; is it ethical to keep them waiting for another week?

Would it be acceptable to tell the second company (that I would love to work for) that I have this other offer, and that I need to let the first company know this week?

I'd appreciate your advice.


asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Dave

Congrats (pre-emptively). I think we need to stop using the word ETHICAL so freely. This isn't an ethical situation (IMHO).

Are you depending on Company A to tell you every candidate they are looking at and keep you aprised of their status and candidacy? I think not.

If you have an offer in writing from A and you trust your relationship with B, give B the option of stepping up. If your relationship with B is so strong, they risk losing you as much as you risk losing them. Why do you have to meet for lunch? They are naive if they think you are going to sit around waiting for them. Set up a business meeting. They can adjust their schedules.

I know a person who was a CEO at a $200 Million company. He had a colleague he wanted to hire as a CFO (they had worked together at IBM). The CFO never pushed for an offer, the CEO never imagined the CFO would go anywhere else. Guess what. The CFO walked. Their relationship is now non-existant.

Call B and tell them what is happening. If they step up and make you an offer, you can tell A you don't think the fit is right, just the same way a company can tell you after six interviews that they don't think you are the fit. It is done all the time.

Good luck.


jhack's picture

Are you excited about A? Is this the opportunity you've been waiting for?

So often we just want to move on from where we are that we convince ourselves that the new situation is really great. It often isn't.

You have a reasonably good position now. Why take just another reasonably good position somwehere else? How about holding out for something that you're pumped up about? Something that'll make you want to celebrate!

Even if you don't get either A or B, you have time to find the one that really fits.

Maybe this is not about A vs. B at all.