Is It Ethical To Take a Job — And Keep Looking?

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Dear Liz,

I got a job offer last week and I accepted it. However, I’m not confident in the company that hired me.

The recruiting process was completely disorganized. Once the position was put on hold. Another time the title and reporting relationship were changed. I waited through week of silence. I was surprised when I finally got the offer.

I am not in a financial position to turn down a job offer, but I’m not sure the company is solid. Their¬†Glassdoor reviews are mixed and the negative ones are extremely negative.

When I accept a job offer I normally shut down my job search activities but this time I’m not sure. My hiring manager has not been in contact with me at all since I signed the offer letter. I got a start date from the HR person only after three attempts. I want to keep my job search going. Is that unethical?

Thanks Liz,

Marcia

Dear Marcia,

Congratulations on the job offer.

Based on your observations and the guidance of your trusty gut I would definitely keep the door open to new opportunities.

Years ago when you got a job, it was real. It was solid. Nowadays we can’t be sure how solid or secure any job is.

Companies come and go. Your new employer could be on the brink of shutting its doors for all we know. The recruiting process you just experienced has not instilled confidence in you regarding the organization’s health, or perhaps even its viability.

Listen to your gut!

It is not unethical to keep your job search going after accepting a job offer.

Here in the US, we follow a doctrine called Employment at Will. You can be let go at any moment for any (non-discriminatory) reason, or for no reason.

No one can afford to take a new job and shut down their entire operation. A job search is not just an event now. Knowing your talent marketplace, understanding what kind of pain you solve, being aware of your market value, and cultivating your network are all critical activities now. They don’t stop just because we have a job. They go on!

You have to run your career like a business. If your trusty gut is telling you not to put too much weight on this particular lily pad, pay heed!

All the best,

Liz

 


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