Dear Mentors / Seniors et all,

I have recently landed in sticky situation. I am currently working for a leading international infra & construction giant as a Manager (web & digital) - I primarily manage web & digital projects of the company.

I have never liked the environment here. There is no worklife balance (work on 1rd and 3rd Saturdays with 2nd and 4th Saturdays off - just like PSUs). People are narrow minded with really old schools of thought. Our office does not wifi but they have ego and politics all over the environment. The role is good but people and environment make is very difficult to work. I had been seeking out opportunities badly.The commute also takes over 2 hours everyday morning and 2 hours in the evening. They don't provide even a shuttle despite having some women employees coming from far off places.

I have recently completed a year here and secured an offer from a European IT company which is into ERP, BI and cloud IT solutions. I already put down my papers and May 1st will be my last day.

Of course this is a small company compared to my current one but a good player with over 25 years in market. They offered me a near about 30% hike but a lower title (Global Web Master). I initially expressed my concern to HR before signing the offer that I did not expect this title as I am currently a manager. He said this is European company and their standards are different from other companies and so titles are different, and that my role is managerial and has few bold line reports. I report to the director of digital marketing. I said but I am working in India and my career is all here. I however signed the offer in desperation to get back into IT field (I worked in IT and media companies earlier).

After signing the offer letter, HR took my original SSC certificate as security for joining (this was the first time I ever submitted my originals to a company). After some days I again asked HR about my concern of changing title. This time, he took it up with the management in Europe and they advised they could at best give me Associate Manager - Web. Their reasoning was that my previous experience (where I worked for a leading IT company as Associate Process Manager) was very much suitable for them and they were impressed by my track record, and that they don't consider my experience in current company at all.

In my current company, I managed 3 projects simultaneously with very close deadlines. One of the projects is the most prestigious for the entire state. I am the sole person responsible for the design which many stakeholders in my company liked. Am I not supposed to apply my skills and expertise into the new role in European company - just because it is not considered by them as worthwhile?

I took 2 days time from HR to think about it - this is because I thought meanwhile I will get a call from the HR of another big brand IT company which has been interviewing me in the same time but has been going slow as is the case with IT giants. Unfortunately, as the time I asked for was coming closer to an end, I said yes to European company and the HR of IT giant called later to inform me that I am through for the next round. :-(

With this IT giant, I still have 2 more rounds and an HR final round pending. So far so good. If I am to get an offer from this company, I will surely give up offer from the European one and this new company is interviewing me for Manager position.

Now my situation, how do I deny offer of the European company and get back my original certificate. Their policy is candidate will sign offer and submit original certificate only if he is interested to join. They take it as security so candidate does not jump to other companies.

Please help how do I go about.

Thanks a lot in advance for your advice,


From United States, Seattle
Dear Rishi,

Occasionally in one's personal or professional life one has to choose right choice. Over a period of time we come to the rightness of the option that we had chosen.

Choosing option cannot be described as sticky per se. Your case, if at all it is sticky, then the stickiness is owing to your unstable mind. Hardly you joined " leading international infra & construction giant", and you found that you were not suitable for the culture of that company. Why you did not find out beforehand what type of culture prevails in that giant like company? Why it was that difficult for you? After all it was not some obscure company. Going further you find it difficult to commute for two hours. But then this was your conscious decision notwithstanding the distance between home and office. Then why grumble now?

When a new company, that is 25 years in the market, offered you the job, you deposited your SSC Certificate but later had issues about the designation offered. After accepting the offer letter that to after giving SSC certificate as collateral, you discovered that "Am I not supposed to apply my skills and expertise into the new role in European company - just because it is not considered by them as worthwhile?". Why this thought did not cross before accepting the offer letter?

Now you have one more offer from IT giant. But then few interview rounds are pending. What is the guarantee that you will get selected? If get selected, what is the guarantee that you will find some flaw in the offer? After all you discover flaws in the offers always at a later stage!

Well gentleman, rather than taking my post as stinging criticism, I recommend you taking it as constructive criticism. A person who is aspiring to be manager is not expected to have dilemma like junior. After taking offer letter from the small company, you should have stopped attending any interview rounds thereafter. The cause of dilemma is forever something you find attractive.

As a policy, you should have applied for the jobs only in the IT MNCs and not small companies. If you had stuck to this policy, you would not have applied for the job in small company at all. When we do not decide proper direction for job selection, we end up dilemma like this.

Managership does not lie in mere acquiring that designation but exercising decisiveness. It is time for you to demonstrate this decisiveness!

I have studied this case dispassionately and given my comments. My objective was not to rumple your feathers.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Thank you Dinesh for your advice. I totally agree with you about decisiveness. Well time does turn bad to equally to both best and not-best people. I also accept my mistake of being desperate but I couldn't help.

Coming to your point - "Going further you find it difficult to commute for two hours" - The construction company had a location reasonably close to my home which happens to be the IT hub. All my rounds were conducted there. I also asked HR guys if it was going to be my office location. They said yes. I put down my papers in my previous company and completely served the notice period. On the day before joining day, the appointment letter and the joining mail both featured a different location of the company which happens to be over 30 km from my home. When I asked they said - sorry we can't help it. What do you expect me to do? I already put down my papers in previous company and came out. That position was already filled by someone else.

About why I accepted offer at a small company. I say do not judge me by what I wrote here. You don't know what I have gone through. No point saying step into my shoes and you will know. The only way out to me is moving out of the company. If I don't like it why continue there and crib, I better move out.

I wonder if you really read my issue completely. Otherwise you would not have written the below comments. Please read it again if you want to.

"When a new company, that is 25 years in the market, offered you the job, you deposited your SSC Certificate but later had issues about the designation offered. After accepting the offer letter that to after giving SSC certificate as collateral, you discovered that "Am I not supposed to apply my skills and expertise into the new role in European company - just because it is not considered by them as worthwhile?". Why this thought did not cross before accepting the offer letter?"

If a job taxes on your health and mental condition so much so that you would not want to continue - you want me to wait until I get into an IT giant? No one of us can tell how long it will take.

I have stopped applying to jobs since I got that offer. The third company called me on its own. However since the brand is good - I had to proceed with interviews.

I see no solution from your end though?

Thanks again


From United States, Seattle
Dear Rishi,

You have three options at this stage.

First one is to continue in the same employment. However, you are so frustrated and because of this frustration, you started looking for a change. You have a alternate employment at hand. Therefore, whether you will opt for this choice is questionable. Nevertheless, continuation in existing the job has benefit too. Leaving job just after a year and leaving a job after 2-3 years is different. If you leave current job now, in the next round of job search, questions will be raised for your short stay and you will have to search hard for a credible answer!

Second one is to join small company. Merits of this option are that you will get 30% raise. On the demerit side, the challenges are about designation, under-utilisation of your skill set and your locked in SSC Certificate. Nevertheless, if you apply famous adage, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, this option is best. The other side is about ethical conduct. Not joining even after taking offer letter is leaving them in lurch. This is plain betrayal. If you betray them then be mentally prepared to get betrayed by someone also. That time you should not grumble. In case, if you lay them off at the last moment then they may not return your SSC certificate and you will have to acquire duplicate one.

Last option is joining IT major. However, it has it's own risk also as complete recruitment process is not over. Waiting for them to complete the recruitment process or even till you get offer letter at hand would demand buying out time from the company that has given you offer letter. What is the guarantee that you will be through in the remaining rounds? What is the guarantee that they will give you reasonable raise? You know the replies to these questions.

Common Risk: - A common risk that runs through all the three options arises from the churning that is happening in the IT industry. Because of automation, robotisation and cloud computing etc. large number of senior employees are being removed. Whatever option that you choose, you should not be victim of the technological disruptions that are happening in this industry. Therefore, how to secure your position that you would know best!


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Thank you Dinesh. Nice analysis. Well, I have no option but to continue with the second one. The role is very good but for the designation. Well like you advised there is no guarantee that the third option will work out. So, will wait and see, else continue with the second one.
If I am to continue with the second one, then I need to explain to the future employer about why I had to step down in terms of designation. :-(

From United States, Seattle
Dear Rishi,

While taking a new job in MNCs, one might have to work with lower designation. However, this need not be construed as demotion per se. You may explain that you had accepted this offer because there was job enlargement, increased remuneration and new learning opportunities. You may explain further that every company has their own way of working. For them I was suitable for ________ position. You may say that MNCs are very conservative while allotting designation to their employees. In fact, while allotting designations, IT industry itself is conservative. In other industries, one becomes manager within 7-8 years of service. In contrast, in IT industry, one slogs as team leader even after a decade of service!

However, in the next round of job search, when you show on your CV that you had left the present employment in year's time and joined MNC with lower designation, few smart may read between the lines and doubt may creep to their mind on whether you were told to quit the employment. Though you may disagree with this wrong interpretation, you will not have control over how they think. Therefore, be ready for the credible reply. You have sufficient time to search for a convincing answer.

All the best!

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

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