When I was offered a job at the current company I am working for, I received another job offer two days later. But I already had accepted the first job offer.
The second offer was for more money, although the commute would be longer and require me to use public transit if I wanted to keep my sanity. It was also a permanent hire position rather than a contract to hire position.
While it was definitely a better offer overall, I had already accepted the other offer and told them I would be working for them. Despite talking with both a recruiter and a person in HR, I had to ultimately decline the second offer on a matter of principle.
I had given my word already that I would work for the first company. What good am I as an employee or a man, if I ultimately waffle on my obligations or promises at the last minute?
This is not meant as a boast about my character but rather to hopefully convict others to maintain good integrity. When I was talking with various recruiters, I found that they have had issues in the past where a client would accept a job offer and then break the agreement at the last minute. While in the short-term, it may seem like a good idea, but long-term it may not work out.
Maybe this is pie-in-the-sky thinking but I try to hold myself to a higher standard. No, I don't expect some kind of reward for this, but I think that if everyone behaved with more integrity, meant what they said, and followed through with their declarations, our society probably wouldn't be collapsing around us in riots and debt.
I know, I don't owe the current company anything really. And I could have backed out of the obligation and faced no serious legal repercussions. Hell, the company I work for now may cancel my contract early and I may end up on the job market again rather quickly.
But utility isn't morality. Morality comes from God and while we are called to be shrewd, we are also called to ensure that our "yes" means "yes" and our "no" means "no".
And that is really what integrity comes down to. It's about saying what you mean and meaning what you say.