Re: Job Offers

Subject: Re: Job Offers
From: "Doug, Data Librarian at Ext 4225" <engstromdd -at- PHIBRED -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 1994 09:29:26 -0500

"Lee" writes about recieving a job offer while employed at another

Do I tell my present employer that I am exploring opportunities elsewhere?
Do I wait until I receive an offer from the other company and then ask if
my current employer can match or exceed the offer? Do I accept the offer
(when and if it comes in), turn in my two weeks notice, and never look
back? Do I play each company off of the other (this seems a little

A tough call, and it really comes down to the relationship with your
supervisor. I've done it both ways.

In one situation, I was working for a small and financially-troubled
company. I informed my supervisor (who happened to be the President; like
I said, it was a small company.) That my family could no longer handle the
financial insecurity (new baby, unemployed spouse) and that I needed to
find something more stable. He was very understanding and we agreed we
would not inform others until I had an offer, in order to avoid disrupting
work. This allowed him to quietly begin making contacts for my
replacement, and for me to job hunt more-or-less openly. I even used him
as a reference. Early notification resulted in a much smoother and easier
transition for both of us.

In the other situation, I did not trust my supervisor (for good reasons
that are not relevant here.) When I decided to leave that position, I had
to do my job hunting on evenings and weekends, attend interviews during
"lunch" or by leaving early (flextime). This was far more stressful for
me, and despite sincere efforts on my part to leave things in a
semi-organized state, there was a gap in my position, and I think it
caused some problems for the company. However, because of his previous
behavior, the supervisor did not deserve my trust and I was not willing to
expose myself and my family to the risks of unemployment for the sake of
making things easier for the company. (Tales from the Real World: Some
companies routinely fire employees found to be job hunting. This is
usually stupid, but there's no law against being stupid and owning a

My present company has been a good employer for almost three years, so I
want to handle this ethically, burn no bridges, but want the best situation
for myself. How are these things handled?

An entirely reasonable plan. Burning no bridges is smart, even if you're
deeply unhappy and would never consider working for the organization again.
The world is a small place, and even if you never re-enter the
organization, the chances of meeting some of the people in other
circumstances are very high. Leaving things organized and labeled, with
summaries of ongoing projects to make it easy for someone else to pick
things up will go a long way toward improving and maintaining your
reputation as a professional.

However, I don't think informing your supervisor that you're job-hunting
is considered a reasonable expectation at this point. I made the decision
to wait until I'd actually accepted the competing offer; that way, I was
simply making an announcement, not a threat.

Another strategy I've heard about is to wait until another offer is made,
and then discuss it with your supervisor. Again, the relationship with the
supervisor is critical, as is your own finess. Handled correctly, it will
be perceived as seeking the advice of another professional on an important
career decision. Handled incorrectly, it will come across as threatening
or trying to "jack up" your present employer, which is a losing strategy,
even if you get what you want in the short term.

For that matter, is two weeks an acceptable amount of notice?

I've always heard it described as the minimum professional notice. Your
present employer will probably appreciate a longer transition to make
things work better, although not necessarily. Some employers regard
employees with an announced transition date as a walking security risk and
morale problem, and want to get you out of the building as fast as

During my "stealth" job hunt, I offered my supervisor an transition of up
to four weeks when I told him I was leaving, even though it would have
complicated benefit arrangements for me. He said he didn't care, (there's
a clue there on my departure) so I opted for two week's notice.

Doug "There are no small projects,
ENGSTROMDD -at- phibred -dot- com just incredibly bad initial

PS "Lee:" My mail system does not show the original source of mail
forwarded through the list, but I am interested in finding out how things
go for you. Send me a private message if you are interested in

Previous by Author: Re: documentation software
Next by Author: Re: Help File Resumes
Previous by Thread: Job Offers
Next by Thread: Re: Job Offers

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads