If you recently started a new job, there’s a good chance that you were talking to a few different companies during your search process.
And when you’re talking to different companies and evaluating multiple opportunities, it can be challenging to get the timing of potential offers to align.
And that’s true even if you’re doing the right things in managing the different opportunities like asking for additional time to consider a job offer or following up on the status of pending job offers.
With that being the case, you may run into a situation where you started a new job but got a better offer. While exciting to have another job offer, the situation is tricky to navigate. And this article is going to offer advice and recommendations on what to do if you’re in that situation.
What If You Get a Better Offer After Starting a New Job?
If you recently started a new job but got a better offer, (i.e., started the job within the last 90 days), then the first thing that I would recommend is to step back and ensure that you’re really confident that the new offer is significantly better, based upon what you prioritize in a job.
The reason that I say significantly better is that leaving a job after you just started one is a big deal. It is damaging to the company that just hired you, as they rejected a variety of other candidates in favor of you, invested in onboarding you, sent you equipment, etc.
With that being the case, a quick departure could leave you on bad terms with your new employer, which is something that could come back to you later down your career for anyone that is connected to the employer that you spurned.
The point that I’m trying to make is that a decision to jump ship quickly should not be taken lightly. And my advice is to make sure that you’re really confident that the other offer is significantly better for you, to the extent that it’s worth the damage of the fall out.
To help you make that evaluation of the new job offer, and how much better it might be than your other new role, we have a complete article breaking down how to evaluate a job offer.
Is It Ok to Leave a New Job For a Better One?
Technically, it is ok to leave a new job for a better one. In fact, a study by the management consulting company Korn Ferry showed that 10 to 25 percent of new hires leave within the first six months of their new job.
Additionally, being that most employment relationships are at-will, the employer or the employee can sever the relationship at any time without any negative legal consequences.
That said, even though you can technically leave a new job for a better one, I personally don’t think it’s something that you should be doing frequently. And, in general, that should only be done in a situation where you have a clear cut substantially better opportunity, based upon what is important to you in a job.
When you read other articles and forums discussing this topic, you’ll see people talk about things like employers laying people off all of the time without any recourse. They’ll say that you can get more money by jumping jobs. And that there’s no loyalty in a capitalist economy. While I believe that there’s truth to all of that, I also think that there’s value in following through on your word and your commitment.
And when you accept a job offer from a company, they are choosing you over a variety of other people that also applied and interviewed for that same job. They’re putting trust in you that you’re going to follow through. So backing out of that after a limited amount of times hurts the people that could have taken that job, and the company that put its trust in you.
With that being the case, I would generally avoid quickly leaving jobs for new ones. However, I do recognize that there are certain opportunities that are too good to pass up or situations where your new gig is not at all what you expected it to be so, when that happens, use your judgment and be sure to make the move professionally.
How to Quit a Job You Just Started for a Better One
When it comes to quitting a job that you just started, most of the normal rules and best practices for resigning professionally apply to this situation as well.
However, when it comes to quitting a job that you just started, that are a couple of specific caveats that may apply:
You May Not Need to Give a Full Two-weeks Notice
If you’re quitting a job very soon after you started (i.e., within less than a month or so), then working a full two weeks after your resignation date may not make sense. The reason is that you may not have many projects in motion that you need to transition.
I would suggest offering to do a standard two-weeks notice, but positioning it in a such a way that you acknowledge that it may make sense for you to leave prior to that as you don’t have much to transition. Most likely, they’ll say that it’s fine for you to leave in short order (potentially within the next couple of business days).
Be Honest and Direct About Why You’re Leaving
While it does happen, quitting a job right after you started is unusual. With that being the case, I recommend that you’re honest and direct with your current employer about why you’re leaving. It will be helpful to them to understand how they can tighten up their interviewing and onboarding process to find candidates that are a better long term fit.
Also, as with a normal resignation, be sure to express gratitude about the opportunity and what they invested in you from an onboarding perspective.
Is It Ok to Decline an Offer After Accepting?
Outside of being in a situation where you started a new job but got a better offer, you may also find yourself in a situation where you accepted a job offer but then got a better one before you started. In my experience, the latter situation is actually the more common one and I’ve come across a variety of situations where people will accept a job offer, only to back out prior to their official start date.
As far as how to handle the situation of declining an offer after accepting, we have a whole separate article that covers how to decline a job offer after you accepted it.
Navigating a situation where you started a new job but got a better offer can be both exciting and tricky at the same time. Hopefully, the recommendations in this articles have given you some good tips and best practices for how to think about, and handle the situation, professionally.