Topic ID #23673 - posted 10/5/2012 6:39 PM

Withdrawing acceptance of a job offer...


Hello everyone,

I am a long-time lurker, and first-time poster. (This site has been an amazing resource!)  I am just wanting opinions on whether or not it is acceptable to withdraw your acceptance of a temporary field tech job if something much better comes along before said job starts. (I did try to search to see if anyone has already discussed this, and apologize if I missed it.)

For instance, say you accept a three week gig two states away, and then the next day you are offered a six week job with higher pay that is only two hours it considered acceptable to take the second job instead? Or is this considered highly unprofessional and a big no-no?

I am really interested in what other field techs have to say, as well as anyone on the hiring end of things.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. :)

Post ID#19787 - replied 10/6/2012 10:29 AM


No big deal. It happens all the time. You could try explaining to the first company that you are having a hard time making ends meet, so you are looking for the longest term employment. Some project directors/companies might take it personally. Some may choose not to hire you for future projects. Or they may try to find work for you immediately after the field project is up.  Bottom line--you have to look out for your best interests, and companies that hire field techs on a temporary basis know that's how it is.

Post ID#19788 - replied 10/7/2012 11:48 AM


On the rare occasions that this has happened, I simply say that "something unexpected has come up" - thus, you neither have to give compromising info, nor lie - "and you are no longer able to take the gig. Please keep my resume for future projects."

Post ID#19789 - replied 10/7/2012 7:35 PM


I have turned down jobs and the employers have always been understanding. For a field tech job they will be able to fill it no problem. I would take the six week job.

Mary Ann

Post ID#19790 - replied 10/8/2012 3:10 AM


Just make sure you give as much notice as possible. The next day after being offered a job is probably no problem for most employers, they will still have the stack of resumes on hand. However, I have been on projects were someone dropped out the day before the project was going to start to go to another project. That pissed off the bosses and hurt everyone else as we were down one crew member. Needless to say they never got hired there again while I was there.

Most people understand better job opportunities but no one likes short notice. 

Post ID#19791 - replied 10/11/2012 1:04 PM


I am involved in the hiring end of things and generally a field tech who backs out for a better offer is no big deal.  Most projects are planned in advance so backing out within a reasonable time period poses little problems in finding a replacement.  However I have had those who back out at the very last minute or who simply do not show up to the project at all with no call or anything and that really pisses me off.  Those who do that I do not even consider for positions ever again.

Recently we had to hire field techs for a few projects that suddenly cropped up on very short notice.  Within less than 24 hours after receiving a batch of resumes we were calling the best qualified techs and the first 5 we called had already taken other positions in that short time period between sending in their resumes and our calling.  On the one hand I can understand that but on the other, I felt we had wasted our time going through the resumes, contacting refs, and then calling the applicants---all in less than 24 hours.  It seemed to me those applicants had no intention of accepting the positions and if that is the case those people really need apply only for those positions they truly would accept.  That situation too torqued me off a bit.

AND.....for those applying, it really does make a difference if you have your own transportation.  Twice this field season we have hired people who then called back and said they had no car and then expected us to somehow pick them up and drive them to the project motel.  In one case in particular the person wanted us to drive nearly 4 hours to do that.  That is unacceptable in my book and as a result we hired others who could get themselves to the project (from the motel to the project I might add, we provide the transportation).  We are an archaeology company not an archaeology and cab company. 

Post ID#19792 - replied 10/11/2012 2:44 PM


    scottyj432, you say you were a bit irritated that those people had taken jobs in the short interval between sending you their reseume and you calling them. I have to say this seems unreasonable. You mention you called the best of the stack, well those kind of techs always have multiple feelers out to many companies. You can't expect a full time, experienced and desirable tech no only be applying to your particular, last minute, project. If  we did that we would starve. Be irked for your loss of time and the hassle it causes your project, but don't direct it at the tech's. The best people are usual only on the market for a matter of a few days, more likely a few hours.
    This business offers almost nothing in the ways of support to its tech level employee's, and it bugs me when companies get mad at us for playing the game they started. 

Post ID#19793 - replied 10/11/2012 4:25 PM


Bonetech:  Receiving a batch of resumes at 4pm and calling them to offer a position by 11am the next morning to be specific.  3 of the 5 had taken positions for less money and a shorter duration of time than what we offered.  There were 5 with good experience the rest were mostly newbies.  We ended up hiring the lesser experienced newbies.

Post ID#19795 - replied 10/12/2012 5:10 AM


I've done a great deal of hiring and I don't think withdrawing a job offer is a big deal, at least for a temporary/non-permanent position.  Things are a little hairier for permanent jobs that have a more elaborate and longer vetting process.

Just give advanced notice and you'll be fine.  The only time I think it might be an issue is if the employer goes out of their way to be accommodating (providing transportation, finding a hotel that allows dogs, bending rules to maximize drive time or per diem, etc.).

The real issues are not showing up to the project at all, going incommunicado, or leaving the project after it starts with little or no advanced notice.

Post ID#19796 - replied 10/12/2012 10:25 AM


While we're on the subject of irksome behavior, I find it very irritating when crew members fail to mention that they need to take a week or two off until after the fieldwork starts. This is not really an issue for a long term project, but when the project is only scheduled for a few weeks, it can be extremely disruptive when you have to scramble to make up for those lost person-days. 

Post ID#19825 - replied 10/22/2012 4:56 PM


Thank you to everyone for all of your input! I had faced a situation sort of like this one awhile back, and went with the better job, but still wasn't feeling sure I'd make the right choice because my contact with the company did not react very favorably even though I hadn't even submitted my new hire paperwork yet! I feel much better about it now.

Thanks again!


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