Guilt about knowingly starting at and leaving a company
March 26, 2014 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever started at a company and knew you would leave after a month or two? Did you regret it? I might do this and have a guilty feeling about it, but I wanted to get the hive mind's opinion on it.

A little back story: I am a freelance web developer. Recently I have been looking for a more stable, full-time position. The companies I have been targeting have predominantly been startups.

I have met with one startup in particular that sounds like a good fit. I went through two rounds of interviews that went well, and I will start a short trial period with them to see if it's a good fit.

Coincidently, I also landed an interview with a tech giant in the coming weeks. I have no doubts it would be an awesome resume booster working for this tech giant, and I would enjoy what I am working on. The catch is I have no idea when I will hear back on whether I am hired or not. Their HR department seems to take their time on correspondence.

The reason for my question is I am broke and in dire straits. I feel like a good immediate solution is work at the start-up to cover my bills. However, I feel very compelled to work for the tech giant — if and when they come around. If the tech giant doesn't think I'm a good fit, then no problem, I'll be working for a start up I feel is a good fit for me.

posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Start at the start up for the "trial period". Trials work both ways you know. If you get a better offer, take it. There's no guarantee that the start up will keep you beyond the trial, or that it will convert in to a job you actually want to do.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:32 PM on March 26, 2014 [7 favorites]

Tech giants have long and inscrutable hiring processes. Don't get ahead of yourself.
posted by rhizome at 2:35 PM on March 26, 2014 [12 favorites]

In this day and age I would not be hard on yourself over something like this. In the startup world people come and go @ the speed of thought.
posted by steinsaltz at 2:40 PM on March 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

People come and go quickly quite often..."fit" is difficult to determine. Heck, you may get to the startup and get an offer from tech giant and not take it because you love the startup so much.
posted by xingcat at 2:45 PM on March 26, 2014

Don't sweat this one bit. If you're not contracted, you can leave and they can fire you at any time. That's the deal. Do always what is best for you because the company is always going to do what is best for them.
posted by inturnaround at 2:48 PM on March 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

Take the first job, since you have no idea whether you will be offered the second job.
posted by Sara C. at 2:55 PM on March 26, 2014

if you don't act in your own best interests, who else will? companies these days don't offer graduation-to-grave sinecures, and you aren't indentured to serve them, hooray for capitalism! i would take the first job and dump it like a hot rock if the tech giant beckoned. i absolve you of any sins you imagine you are committing.
posted by bruce at 3:07 PM on March 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

Have you ever started at a company and knew you would leave after a month or two?
Yes. Well, sort of. I took a job during the initial stages of the interview process at a place I wanted to work at more... so similar to your situation.

Did you regret it?
Nope. I mean, I felt guilty when I gave notice at the first company but that's more about my issues with not wanting to let anybody down than about it being a better fit (it wasn't) or a better opportunity (it wasn't) or my being irreplaceable (I don't think they ever stop hiring for that position, really).

It also really helped that I absolutely loathed that job.
posted by sm1tten at 3:55 PM on March 26, 2014

Twice on purpose. Once sort of on accident.

First one was serving tables over the summer. I told them I was going back to school in a few months. They forgot. I left when I needed to leave, not my problem.

Next came the accident. I was hired at Best Buy and after starting learned I was seasonal. I took those days off to look for another job. Still would have taken the job though.

Finally I went to a furniture store. Part time, again used days off to find another job. Didn't feel bad at all about leaving other than the short notice. But when a full time place wants you to start soon you gotta go.

Don't feel bad about it. Take care of yourself. Don't worry about the Tech Giant job until you actually have an offer.
posted by theichibun at 8:03 PM on March 26, 2014

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