How to let this employer down gently?

(9 Posts)
spangledboots Tue 02-Jul-13 16:56:02

This might be a long one, guys!

I currently have a job which I enjoy but felt that my company wasn't offering me the opportunities I need to progress. An opportunity for a new job at a very small company (just the owner basically, she uses a lot of contractors/freelancers) came up six weeks ago and I accepted it as I felt that it would be a good route for me to go down in terms of the type of work it would allow me to do. I handed in my notice at my current place and finish there this Friday.

However, today I've been offered another job. One which suits me even better than the one I've accepted. It's still with a small company but there's a team in place for me to work with. I need to take this job for a variety of reasons so need to let my first new employer down.

I feel absolutely terrible about it and realise that by doing so I'd be burning my bridges etc. etc. but I'd prefer to let her know as soon as possible. She's going on holiday this weekend (so wasn't even going to be there for my first two weeks) and I'm worried about ruining that for her with this bombshell but ultimately for my career it's something I need to do.

Has anyone else been in this situation? I'm not sure what to say to her.

flowery Tue 02-Jul-13 18:24:03

You can't do it gently. The kindest thing you can do is do it quickly to give her as long as possible to do something about it.

I hope you have already phoned her as it was before 5 when you posted, but if not, you need to pick up the phone first thing in the morning.

MistyB Tue 02-Jul-13 20:19:15

Be straight with her and honest about why you have made your decision, apologise and don't go into too much detail about why the other job is great. Is there any chance you could cover her holiday period before you start the other job?

spangledboots Wed 03-Jul-13 20:05:13

I've been trying to contact her since I posted last night and I'm not getting an answer. I've left a voicemail this morning asking for her to call me as it's urgent but I've heard nothing. This isn't good! I really want to tell her.

MistyB - I would have a client facing role so it's better for me to just never start with her rather than start, get involved with clients and then leave. Especially since the company I am going to is a competitor.

I was supposed to drop by last Friday to discuss my duties for the period she's on holiday but she cancelled saying she was busy and that she'd be in touch before Wednesday this week. I've heard absolutely nothing.

I'm wondering if I should drop her an email? I'd really prefer to speak o her on the phone.

stowsettler Thu 04-Jul-13 12:45:31

Hmm. Is there any chance she could already have heard on the grapevine? It seems a bit odd that she hasn't been in touch all week.
Don't envy your situation BTW, but congrats on the new job!

flowery Thu 04-Jul-13 13:20:40

Keep trying her on the phone but maybe if you haven't managed to speak to her by the end of the day email her.

Any chance she might be a MNer?

MistyB Thu 04-Jul-13 13:27:25

Or if she is having second thoughts? (Wishful thinking...)

You have tried to contact her by phone but you do need to inform her so I would email her explaining the situation.

Offer to work your notice period if this is practical for you explaining who you will be working for and that you understand that this may not work for her. She is unlikely to take you up on this.

Aetae Thu 04-Jul-13 13:32:17

Have you formally signed a contract or is it only a verbal acceptance at this point? If the latter then you can just write a letter saying that your circumstances have changed and you have to regretfully turn down the offer. If the former then you need to resign I would think and serve your notice period (since you're actually now employed by them). Better to talk to her in person obviously, but you can send the letter while you keep trying to contact her.

By the way, in career terms "I got a better offer" is entirely legitimate as an explanation. It's only in your social life that it's considered rude!

spangledboots Thu 04-Jul-13 19:38:00

A wee update on this:

I called again this morning and still couldn't get through so I had to email her because I didn't want to hold off telling her any longer. I very quickly got a call back. She was very angry, understandably. Proceeded to tell me that I'm unprofessional and disgusting. I explained that it was an offer I couldn't turn down and that I was extremely sorry.

She's not on MN and the offer to me was only made on Tuesday afternoon so she couldn't have found out on the grapevine.

I really hate that things turned out this way; it wasn't my intention to let her down at all and in the past few weeks I've had three other offers (two of which weren't 'better' enough to take up) despite the fact I wasn't looking.

Thanks for the advice everyone! Start my new job on Monday and absolutely can not wait!

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