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Your dream job called but you just started a new role

This LEVO career advice post showed up in our feed recently. It’s a heartache situation we hear about from time to time, so we decided to publish here: “I Just Started a New Job, But Now My Dream Company Wants to Interview Me.” Ah, the agony! What would you do?

My first instinct is to resist entirely. You made a commitment to your new company, and you should honor it. Especially early in the relationship. They’ve passed over other candidates to get you, onboarded you, introduced you to the team and clients. They’re relying on you. Politely explain this to the dream job and convey your desire to stay in touch. Hopefully they appreciate your integrity and you can start a pen pal relationship. See the first job through. It would be unfair to start dating so early in a marriage!

Erica Murphy from LEVO has a different take. She suggests going on the interview but strictly on an informational basis. She recommends being upfront with the dream job — letting them know you just started a new role but would be interested in learning more and being considered for opportunities down the road.

Taking an informational interview gives you a window into the company, to see if it’s all you imagined. It will also connect you with the hiring manager, allowing you to follow-up and be open to future opportunities.

The key, says Murphy, is honesty and loyalty: You’ve made a commitment to your new company and you must honor that, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make new connections.

The issue I have with Murphy’s advice is the slippery slope it creates. It gives false hope to the dream job or recruiter that you’ll be persuaded to change your mind. And if you are, then you’ll likely need to burn a bridge with your current employer. What happens when somebody calls them for a reference?

Why not say something like, “I have long admired your company, but I just started an important new role and am doing exciting things here. I’d be happy to have coffee at some future date, but I’m not in a position to consider new roles right now.”

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