Q: In May of 2013, I applied for a job and was a finalist. I was disappointed that I did not receive an offer but I kept searching and accepted a new role in September of 2013. I am really happy in my new role. My new role offers upward mobility and the opportunity to fine tune some of my skills. Plus I can return to school in a few months because my employer has a very generous tuition aid program. Sounds perfect right? I just received a phone call from the company who didn’t offer me the role in May. They have a similar position, much like the one I did not get in May. I am not sure what to do. I would rate my current job as a 9 out of 10. It is great but not perfect. I have one annoying co-worker. What should I do? Should I talk to the other company?
A: You are in a fortunate position. You must have left a very positive impression on the company with whom you interviewed in May of 2013. Many job seekers don’t realize that often companies will re-contact a strong candidate at a later date. This is one of the reasons why I suggest never to “burn a bridge.” Often times how you handle rejection is just as important as how you handle an acceptance. Had you been angry, nasty or bitter when you didn’t receive an offer in May, you probably would not have heard from that company again. Kudos to you for your professionalism and poise.
Now, to address your current dilemma. I would talk to the first company again and thank them for their interest. Be gracious and listen to the opportunity being discussed. Remember you don’t have a solid job offer from them. They are simply reaching out. You may hear some details that are not ideal – maybe the job responsibilities are not as appealing as the ones in your current role or the benefits don’t include a generous tuition package. You rate your current role a 9 out of 10 — a pretty high rating! Few jobs are a 10 out of 10. Taking a new role would be an unknown. Your current company has invested time and money in training you and on-boarding you. I would, however, suggest always maintaining a positive relationship with the first company. Employers and careers will have ups and downs. It’s wise to have strong professional relationships with others if and when needed.