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Cashew Lou's Yukon Annex

I've got Pop-Pop in the attic.

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Advice Needed--Job Search Dilemma
It never rains, but it pours; I have had some developments take place very quickly over the past couple of days. So quickly, in fact, that I have a little bit of a quandary, and am seeking any advice and/or suggestions I can get. Here's how things stack up:

Option A: A recruiter contacted me on behalf of Company A, and after interviewing I have been given a job offer. I could be starting at Company A as soon as sometime next week, and they want my response to their offer by the end of the business day on Thursday (tomorrow). The work at Company A would be a one- to three-year contract, with no health benefits or paid time off--but decent enough pay.

Option B: I went to a two-and-a-half hour interview today at Company B. The gentleman who interviewed me, after I told him about my situation with Company A, told me he thought I did very well at the interview, and would like to pass me along to a second interview; unfortunately, that could not possibly take place until sometime next week. He told me he was only interviewing three candidates, and that only two would be moved forward to the next round of interviews. That makes my chances of landing this position at 50%. This would be a full-time, permanent direct-hire position, with excellent benefits and somewhat better pay.

Option C: I accept the position at Company A, yet clandestinely continue the interview process at Company B. Should Company B hire me, I give my notice at Company A and move on, having only worked there a very short period of time. This seems like an ethically sleazy option to me.

Option D: I do not accept the position at Company A, and take my chances with Company B. This seems the riskiest option, since there is also a 50% chance I will not get the position there.

I really would like the job at Company B, but Company A is a sure thing. Please, anyone out there, any suggestions or advice?

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It is just not a very professional way to do things. In this example, if I sign a contract with Company A, I am reasonably expected to be under their employ for the amount of time stipulated in the contract--in this case, one to three years. In the perfect world of business ethics, it is not considered kosher for an employee to accept a position, and then jump ship shortly afterward to take an even better job at another company.

HOWEVER. This is not a perfect world, and right now it is an employer's market; they are free to act as cavalierly and draconically as they please, slashing payrolls and terminating employees without a moment's notice. As I mentioned elsewhere, my offer letter from Company A includes--twice--the stipulation that I can be "released" from my contract at any time before the contracted period of time ends. It also says, although it is unlikely, that I can be let go before the contracted period even begins.

So, in the real world, what business ethics dictate and what is actually practiced by the businesses themselves are two completely different things; employee loyalty is expected to be 100%, whereas businesses more often than not look after their bottom lines and not their employees. It is one of the many, many reasons the American job market is in the tank right now.

So, in a nutshell, my response to your question is: it is technically considered wrong for me to do what I am planning to do. But in a cutthroat job market like this one, I would be crazy not to do it if the opportunity came along.

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