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Losing interest/2nd thoughts a week away from potential start

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  • Losing interest/2nd thoughts a week away from potential start

    What are potential consequences of declining job offer last minute? Been going back and forth with a small academic program for a faculty position over the past 10 months. I signed an offer letter several months ago and have been waiting on final contract and now still a week away from the start date listed on the offer letter, I still don't have a contract. I was asked that I need to complete credentialling before they give me a contract, which I have done. I sent an email 2 weeks ago reminding them I need to see the contract, for which they said they will send out ASAP and still haven't received it. I have also heard that a few faculty have "unexpectedly left" recently, which would explain why I was asked several weeks ago if I could start earlier than initially requested. I declined at that time again because I still had not seen the initial contract.

    I'm now getting calls about setting my work schedule and orientation etc, I have told them I won't proceed further until I have seen the contract and had time to review it.

    Even with that given all the rumors I am now hearing about this place, I'm now weary and losing interest in the job. Even If I was to take it my gut tells me I'd leave in a few months. After a search on the forum, it's only Vagabond that posted his own experience where he moved cross country for a new job and knew it was mistake after his 2nd day at work, and within 5 months he had left. I'm getting the same uneasy vibes he described he had then even before I start and now wondering what the damage would potentially be for me telling them a week from my start date that I no longer want the job. I don't even have the interest to press them for the contract anymore. All I have signed is an offer letter, no contract. Anyone else have similar experience or advice on how to proceed?

  • #2
    You could be right that it will be a disaster.  But would caution conflating MSO/HR ineptitude with happiness and fit of the actual job.

    Do you have a solid back up plan?

    Good luck.


    • #3
      You are a week away from the start date and you still don't have a contract?  Even for an academic HR department, thats really bad.  If they can't get their act together to get you a contract, not sure how the program is running....

      But what's the alternative?  Are you still working at your old job now?  If there is a reasonable alternative I personally would withdraw from this place, sounds like a dumpster fire.


      • #4
        I don't know, I'd at least look at the contract first. You will burn a bridge if you walk away now, but it sounds like you are fine with that? Will you really have to pack up and move cross country in the next week if you take the job? That sounds . . . intense.


        • #5
          I think the employer is taking a pretty big risk with no signed contract this close to your estimated start date. Seems to work both ways to me. But, as everyone else has said, what's your backup plan?
          Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087


          • #6
            The only damage will be with people who know that you backed out of the job.  Without a signed contract, there's really not much they can do about it and it sounds reasonable to back out of a job.   Just don't say your going to show up and not show up the first day (ghost) the employer, that is going around these days.  A short email stating your concerns about the job and lack of organization in getting you a contract have left you to look for another job should be sufficient.  If they call you upset about it, there's not much they can do and I don't think people would necessarily you were wrong about it.  Not having a signed contract/written out contract a week before you are supposed to start would be a red flag to me.  Even if it is an innocent oversight by someone in administration, it does speak to the strength of the organization when the physicians can't get the administrators to do their job.


            • #7
              You have not mentioned what your alternative is

              Do you have a current job. Have they given you send off parties and given the Rolex and now you can't hang in there any more.

              Can you stay in the current job till you find another job ? Do locums?

              Anyone else like a family dependent on your continued income

              All these will matter more than turning down your academic offer.


              • #8
                Assuming you have an E fund to float some expenses and other options, I would get a different job.


                • #9
                  They are in a pickle. If you still like the clinical job, negotiate better terms on the contract... provided you have a walk away alternative.


                  • #10
                    This was routine practice at what is now my former employer, where new docs would not get their contracts until within a week before starting.  I assumed this was to weaken their negotiating position, because who wants to negotiate that late in the game, especially if you've already uprooted your whole life and family across the country?  Well last year, one doc did and left the group on the altar.  She was from out of state so was okay with burning the bridge.  I assume now that this is more a problem with managerial incompetence.  Speaking only from my experience, your instincts about this organization may be spot on.


                    • #11
                      Reminds me of a former employer.  When our contracts were up for renewal they would keep giving us the run around when we asked to see the actual contracts.  Then, all of the sudden on a Friday afternoon, the week before our contracts were expired, they would say here are your contracts for review...if you don't want to experience a disruption in your paychecks, please sign and return by Monday morning at 9am.

                      And of course, because my group was full of new grads and other not so business savvy people, some of the docs signed it immediately before the weekend and didn't bother reviewing it much at all.  This results in zero negotiating power from anyone as soon as one person signs it they will just say..."well your partners are signing it already, what's your problem?"


                      • #12
                        My alternative would be locums to start while following up some other potential jobs that I recently came across. I do have an E fund that would hold me off comfortably for another 4 possible 5 months (I live extremely cheaply. A little too extreme by most people's standards).

                        I have a concern about burning bridges and reputation. To @nephron's point about ghosting the employer after saying you would show up, I had a reassured them at least twice recently that I definitely intended to join them, so I'd be that potential employee who promises they're going to show up but changes their mind at very last minute and doesn't show.

                        I am inclined to wait and see a contract and make sure it details all the things that I was verbally told about the position. But even if they were to suddenly produce the contract today, I still can't shake that "something doesn't feel right" feeling I'm getting about this job now.



                        • #13
                          I dont see why you wouldnt wait, then try, then decide.....


                          • #14
                            I would listen to your gut regardless if this issue is completely on HR or not. It sounds like they're certainly not being respectful of your part in the process.