In April 2000 I found myself in the position of having multiple job offers: two with startup companies and one with an existing firm (Epitome.com) in the United States. After considerable introspection, I decided to join Epitome.com and move to America. My visa arrived and I resigned from my position at Chase Financial.
My plan was to enjoy fifteen days of vacation before flying to the US. After the first week, I received a letter from Epitome.com stating, "because of management problems, your start date has been delayed by two weeks". I was happy to enjoy the additional quality time. Yet after two weeks, I received another letter stating, "since the placement officer is going on vacation, your start date has again been pushed back by one more week". I was now a bit concerned. When I called the HR manager at the Singapore office, he was evasive and non-committal.
I was torn about what to do. Should I join one of the two startup companies in the interim or wait for further confirmation from Epitome.com? If I joined a startup, what should I tell them about my possible plans to leave for the US? I approached the first of my other job offers and mentioned my future plans. They immediately withdrew their offer. After another week passed without word from Epitome.com, I was desperate. To avoid a second job search, I decided to join the second company at any cost. I was tempted not to tell the second company about my future plans before joining them, but decided against it. I explained my dilemma and offered to work at a temporary position for virtually nothing. Although they looked skeptical, they offered me a job in the support department beginning on 15 June. I immediately grabbed the offer.
My decision to be honest with the second firm saved me from considerable embarrassment. The following week, I got a call from the US manager at Epitome.com, who apologized for the delay and invited me to join them on 13 June. The second startup firm wished me well and thanked me for my honesty. I am glad that I declined the position with them on good terms.