Friday, November 11, 2011

Question #2: Choosing Between Opportunities


The job titles and locations have been changed to protect the reader's identity, but the changes don't affect the subject matter.

Question 2:

I wanted to get your professional feedback on a potential situation I may face, in the next month or two. Recently two companies called about interviewing me for a temporary contract QA-related position in Los Angeles and a Production-related position in San Francisco. I was offered the position in Los Angeles today and accepted to start two weeks from this upcoming Monday. However, The San Francisco interviews were supposed to have begun by now, but they were delayed. So hypothetically if in a month or so, the other company in San Francisco offers me the job, with equivalent money to Los Angeles and a job in Production, how should I approach that?

Personally, I would say move to Los Angeles, start working and see how things go with the San Francisco interviews. And if they offered me a better opportunity and position, put in my two weeks and go from there. Then again, I am not sure if that is proper etiquette as a professional within the gaming industry and if it would look bad on me for future positions.

My response:

That's kind of a sticky situation, but since you already accepted the Los Angeles position, it makes sense to honor it. If you do get a job offer from the company in San Francisco, you'll need to weigh your options very carefully. For instance, you may be required to pay back any relocation costs to the Los Angeles company if you leave before your contract is up. Also, if it is truly a contracted position and not just temporary employment, you may not be able to get out at all. At that point you might have to seek legal advice from an attorney. Read your job offer and paperwork carefully and make sure you know what you are getting into.

If you do leave a position long before its end date, you absolutely risk burning bridges permanently. They may be the type of people who will be super understanding of your desire for more stable employment and a loftier title. They may even say, go for it. Or, they may not be empathetic to that at all. They may be left in a bind if you go, there may have been other people they could have hired who have now accepted other jobs, they may lose money that they invested in you in terms of your relocation and any flights for interviews, etc.

But at the end of the day, it's your life! If you do get an offer from the San Francisco company and it's an opportunity that you can't pass up, that is your decision to make. Just make sure that you understand how binding your contract is. If you are tied to it, you may have to see it all the way through, and hopefully the other company will consider you for opportunities once your contract is up. 

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