Can I back out after I have signed the offer letter?

I realized I haven’t been updating about my career switch when this blog is supposed to be about my career switch. Sorry, got carried away by my No Poo hair experiment.

Well, I have been very blessed. I received an offer from my internship company recently. However that is after I have already signed the offer letter with another company. Initially, there was no vacancy at my internship company, that’s why I started my job search. However, someone quit recently and the management decided to make some changes in the team and suddenly there’s a vacancy. It was a really attractive offer, better pay and better position.

So what to do when you receive another offer after you already signed the offer letter with a company?

1. Follow your gut

Contrary to what people tell you about how it’s really bad to back out of an offer after you signed, I think following your gut is more important. Ultimately, this is gonna be your career and where you will spend a significant amount of your time each day.

Only you can decide what you want out of your career and don’t let others influence your decision. If your heart is telling you to take up the offer, go with it, because when you reject the offer, you may be stuck with “what ifs” all your life.

2. Take a step back and analyze the offer

Don’t agree to another offer on the spot no matter how good it sounds. Take a step back and rationally analyze the offer. I asked for some time to consider and analyze both offers again.

I asked myself ultimately what will I learn from the job?

While money is an attractive factor, but like what my sis reminded me, I have already given up a high paying job to make the career switch, so money shouldn’t be my biggest factor to take up the job. Because if I really want a high pay, I might as well go back to my old job.

I went back to listing and scoring the Pros and Cons of both jobs ( you can read more about how to analyze the job offer in my earlier post here)
And I also added one more requirement which was listing at least 5 Pros and 5 cons about the offers to get a fairer judgement. It did give me a clearer analysis of both offers, but I still couldn’t come to a conclusion.

In the end, I decided to stick with my original decision, which is to go with the company that I have signed the offer letter with. The main reason is that the fashion industry in Singapore is really small and I don’t want to burn any bridges. I can always apply at my internship company in future, but if I back out of my offer now, I know I will forever be blacklisted at the company and I don’t want that to happen.

Once you make the decision, always make a point to notify the parties immediately. It may be terrifying to call up the company that you are gonna back out of, but I think it’s only the right thing to do. After all, they did spend a considerable amount of their time to hire you and the least you can do is inform them that you are backing out of the offer.

Be sincere, outline your reasons, apologize and make it short. It’s good to write a script if you feel you will get cold feet and stick to it.

Then call up the other company to accept the offer. For my case, since I’m sticking to my original offer, I just politely decline the internship company HR’s offer. She is understanding and even told me that I can apply with them in future 🙂

And finally I read something that puts me at peace. If you find yourself unable to make a decision between both offers, it’s probably because both offers are just as good. Thus, which ever offer you decide to take up, it will be a good decision so just go for it!

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