Advice on leaving freelance job for larger company


I recently applied to a new startup in Washington that is offering good pay, benefits and work environment. I made it past the phone screening and now I’m at the part where they’ve given me a coding assignment to do.

I also just got offered an hourly position for another much smaller startup and they’d like me to start as soon as possible. The pay is much less and they have no benefits. It’s a remote position

The Problem

Would it be wrong for me to start working for the smaller company and then if I get an offer from the big one, I just quit.

I prefer to work for the one in Washington but if I don’t get it (realistically I most likely wont but MAYBE) I’d like a backup plan. Is it immoral or wrong to treat the smaller one like a backup? Should I tell the small company my plans up front?

This is my first development job.
Thank you.

I’m far from an expert, but this is what I would do:

  • Ask the less desirable job how soon they need an answer. If they’re not giving me a helpful response tell them “To be frank, I’ve received a competing offer. I was really impressed by my conversations with you, but this other company has a lot to offer too and I’d like a chance to consider.”
  • After submitting my coding assignment to the preferred company, I would ask what timeline is. Again, I would say something along the lines of “In the interest of transparency, I do have a time sensitive offer on the table. <your company > is my first choice, but I’m sure you can understand.”
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I agree with Ariel, it is always best to be honest. I am sure the smaller company will understand if you have a more promising job on the line. If the smaller company cannot wait for your decision its always fairly easy to find a smaller start up job. Good luck!

Thank you for the advice. Being honest is the best policy. It may hurt now but its the right thing to do and it won’t jeopardize my future career.

smart answer. It even helps with negotiations…

Just an update, I was honest with the startup and they said its fine. I could work with them until I find another job so long as I give notice. They even asked if I could work both jobs at the same time.

Thanks for the advice. Honesty was the best option.