Changing mind after signing contract

Job offer offer
New answer on Feb 15, 2021
10 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 11, 2021

Hi all, I'm in a little tricky situation. I've just signed a contract with one company but have made it through to the final round interview stage with a different company which I would prefer to work for. My start date isn't for a few weeks, so was just wondering if I'd be able to join my preferred company (if successful) and turn down the offer that I have, after already signing the contract? Are there any legal repercussions I should be aware of, or minimum notice periods, even if I haven't actually started yet? I'm aware this is difficult to say without seeing the terms of the contract, but they all seem standard to me. For context, I'm joining at undergraduate level. Thanks!

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 12, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

It is not an ideal situation, but it happens, in particular if you have Tier 2 interviews before MBB.

You will be able to turn down the offer. Most of the time you don’t have penalties, however it depends on the law in your country and the contract you signed. I know some cases in China where there was an explicit penalty in the contract if someone signed and then did not join.

If you check the law in your country and your contract and there is nothing about penalties, you are good to go. As Vlad said, the sooner you notify the better, simply because it helps the company to find a replacement.

You are unlikely to be able to join that company in the future, but I guess that’s something you were already expecting.

Best,
Francesco

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Vlad
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updated an answer on Feb 11, 2021
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

There should be no penalty. Please keep in mind the following:

  • If you got the job via on-campus recruiting you might have issues with your school. Make sure the move is aligned with your school reps
  • The sooner you notify - the better
  • Make sure you are transparent in your communication and write a personal note to the hiring manager if you have some connection

Best

(edited)

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Florian
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replied on Feb 12, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

In the end, you need to choose the offer that works out better for you. The power balance between you and potential employers is anyway skewed in their favor.

However, be prepared for potential issues. In my country of residence (Austria) this could be a one-month gross salary penalty payment I believe (regardless if it is stated in the contract or not). This is mostly not enforced though and even if you had to pay it the lifetime impact of the better role more than compensates for it...

Cheers,

Florian

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Ken
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replied on Feb 12, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

My advice would be to flag that you have a "cross offer" from a different firm so that your preferred firm can try to get you an answer ASAP. Vlad and Francesco have covered it well where the earlier the better. It will be an awkward and unpleasant interaction but I am sure you are not the first person ever to do so and at least you come out with what you want!

Good luck!

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Henning
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replied on Feb 12, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Don't take any of this as legal advice. But typically you can get away with this. It's not ideal and you'll be burning bridges, but companies typically don't follow through with legal processes - they don't want to scare off future candidates.

But do check with a legal expert in your local country!

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Antonello
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replied on Feb 15, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I confirm it is classical, especially in this period

Best,
Antonello

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Luca
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replied on Feb 13, 2021
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

This is obviously not the best position to be but you are not the first one and you won't be the last. They know that candidates apply for several companies at the same time and that this could happen, especially if you are not an MBB.
There shouldn't be any repercussion, also considering that they want people very motivated and that you are clearly not one of them. Anyway be sure that it's the right decision because they will put your profile in a black list after this.

Best,
Luca

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Clara
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replied on Feb 13, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Not ideal, but it does happen. All the time, actually.

Can you not accelerate the interviewing process with the preferred company, explaining htem the situation? Usually this speed things very much.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Ian
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replied on Feb 12, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Broadly agree with the other coaches.

  1. You can reneg on this contract, most likely without penalties
  2. This is not ideal, and you should not make a habit of it
  3. Only do this when you have the other offer, firm in hand, signed
  4. Make sure to minimize bridges being burned...it's probably unaviodable as you've given them very little notice, but try to go about this in the best way possible
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Gaurav
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updated an answer on Feb 15, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

I agree with Vlad, you can contact the HR team and follow up on the joining date. Besides, notify them that you are in touch with another company.

Cheers,

GB

(edited)

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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