Re: Job Offers

Subject: Re: Job Offers
From: "Race, Paul" <pdr -at- CCSPO -dot- DAYTONOH -dot- NCR -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 12:13:00 EST

Question from "Lee" about getting a job offer while your present job is
still pretty nice.

>Do I tell my present employer that I am exploring opportunities elsewhere?

He/she may take it as putting him/her on notice that you are planning on
leaving. A lof of bosses consider such a revelation to be the equivalent of
two weeks' notice.

What you can do is to schedule a private appointment with your "boss," tell
them your concerns as addressed above, and ask them if you are in any danger
of getting the promotion or lateral move or whatever would remove that sense
of being stifled in a dead-end position you have now. I wouldn't do this
just every week or so, but every couple years, it pays to have this
conversation anyway.

If your boss says, "Sorry, I didn't know you were dissatisfied. Why don't I
help you explore some of these other areas," and you have reason to trust
him/her, and he/she seems to have a sense of urgency about it, then you have
accomplished a whole lot more than you would by waving a job offer in
his/her face.

If your boss says, "Well, Lee, we've been watching you very carefully, and
we really think you need some more personal growth in your current position,
maybe another year or two before you're ready to move on," then you have
your answer.

The good side of this is that you can do it any time (though you don't want
to do it too often, or he/she will get suspicious or aggravated), WITHOUT
jeopardizing your present career. The only thing the job offer adds to the
equation is that it may give you a sense of urgency and the courage to
schedule the meeting. But don't wait until you have an offer in hand to
have this particular meeting, or you're being deceptive, and your boss will
take it as a personal affront. (If you by some chance get the offer before
you get to have this meeting, then you will have a different meeting

>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?

No, you need to have this talk with your boss now. Actually, you needed to
have it last month.

Also, DO NOT ASK if your current employer will match or exceed the offer.
If he/she really wants you to stay enough to offer more money, he/she will
ask you how much they're going to pay you. And you should have more to
throw in the till than money if that question gets asked, like, more freedom
to choose my own tools, better career growth potential, whatever it is that
you're really looking for. Best case, you should have already had your
little talk by the time this becomes an issue. Then if your boss was
unresponsive, and you get the better job offer, it may shock him/her into
realizing you were serious, and offering you the career growth potential or
the increased income you wanted in the first place.

On the other hand, if you blindside your employer, never tell him/her about
your frustration, then walk in with a job offer that you're effectively
challenging him/her to match, your boss is going to feel betrayed, and is
going to interpret your "offer" to stay if he/she offers you the same or a
better deal as blackmail, which it is.

>Do I accept the offer (when and if it comes in), turn in my two weeks
and never look back?

If you have your meeting and the boss has given you no hope of the career
advancement, etc. the other job is offering, why should you look back? On
the other hand, if your boss is responsive, then you have two GOOD options,
which is not a bad place to be in, either.

>Do I play each company off of the other (this seems a little sleazy)? 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?

You answered this question yourself. You will very quickly get a reputation
as a sleazeball if you try this tactic, and any employer with a sense of
self-respect will tell you exactly where to get off.

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

Yes and no. What have you seen in the office around you? When other people
leave, do they try to work with them to help them train the replacement, or
do they take a "get the heck out of here" approach? I've given two week's
notice and been asked not to come in the next day, and I've had other
employers try to stretch it out as long as they could, until they could
train my replacement. However, the short term is most common, and the
"training your replacement" approach is usually a myth, as a lot of
companies won't even start looking for your replacement until your job is
officially vacant.

If you have some vacation time built up or enough money to take a week or
two off, you might try to "accept" the new job, say, four weeks into the
future, then give your two weeks' notice. If they want to keep you around
as long as possible, this gives them an extra two weeks to play with. On
the other hand, if they want you out ASAP, you've got a couple weeks off.
You could even call back the new job and tell them you're available earlier
than you thought.

>Real Name withheld in case anyone knows me....Personal replies will
>receive personal answers, but if you just want to share your thoughts
>with the group that's okay, too. If any of you can share your experience
>with me I would very much appreciate it. -thanks, "Lee"

There's no way I can respond to you personally without your e-mail address
which doesn't show up on my Microsoft Mail system. So this is going to
everybody. No problem, it'll give everybody else something to compare their
own experiences to. (Ever notice it's a lot easier to get people's opinions
if you state yours first and wait for them to tell you you're wrong than it
is if you ask for theirs outright?)

Good luck with the career choices.

paul -dot- d -dot- race -at- daytonoh -dot- ncr -dot- com - who has held about 17 different positions
since high school, 10 of them with different divisions of the same company,
which is a lot like working for ten different companies, so I've seen every
approach, and tried several.

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