How do I handle a job offer?

By MrNemo
Sep 9, 2006
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  1. I have an interesting dilemma. My experience in technology is still pretty limited (only about a year and a half). I do think I am smart and am very confident about the skills I have, though. Anyway, I was working for the DoD in Korea and recently got back in the States. When I got back, I was having difficulty getting a position until a friend of mine at Merrill hooked me up with a small consulting firm. I have only been working there TWO months, and my boss has been like a father to me- taking me to Sushi dinners, introducing me to all of his friends and connections, and even paying for my car repair when I broke down. Obviously, the guy is already like family to me. Anyway, last night, a Sys Admin friend of mine was pulling out of my driveway when I got home and said "Hey, I'm glad I didn't miss you- I need you to take my position as I'm going regional. I need to know this week." Basically, the pay is better, I'd have a nice office, they pay for any certifications or school you want, the benefits are better, the perks are better, and the stress level will be like a 10th of this consulting/support job. He said, "Your job will basically be learning the skills you need for your NEXT job, and once in a while actually doing support." But I feel like this guy I am working for taught me all of the higher level skills that I'd be using on the new job. Other considerations- the guy has like 180/150 blood pressure, one of his employees just quit and the other went back to school, so it is basically just us right now. Basically, we were way overworked (usually over 60 hours a week) when we had THOSE two people helping. I know I am using a logical fallacy of appeal to emotion on myself, but are there any ethical dilemmas? Should I give him the opportunity to buy me out (even though I know he couldn't afford to match it and honestly the stress is so high I'd rather do the other job) or will that just be even worse? "Hey, thanks for teaching me this stuff. Now pay me more for doing it."

    Anyway, any advice would be much appreciated. Also, I don't want to get blacklisted either. Any ideas?
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    One of the benefits of being a "employee", that is, working for someone else and getting a paycheck, is that you can go get any job you want.
    One of the disadvantages of being an employer, is you can't control when your employees come and go.

    These are perfectly normal parts of living life. You don't want to pass up a better opportunity for relational reasons. And your boss aught to be prepared to loose employees. Obviously he lost two already, it's part of running a business.

    The fact is, if you think the new position is solid, and gives you more, and has more future, you should take it. But it is likewise very rude of the new people to demand you to come over with a week notice. That's like the big guys squashing the little guys. If they needed a new person, THEY should have been looking for one for weeks now, not stealing someone else's emplyees days before they are needed.

    What should happen is that you should consider the new job carefully for a while, talk to family and friends, etc... And if you want it, it is common curtesy to give your current boss at least 2 weeks notice so they can find somebody else. This is extremely important if you want your current boss to be a good reference on your resume. Otherwise he'll say, "ya well he showed up for two months, then left me with 3 days to find someone else." Which is not a good report!

    Lastly, when you send in your two week notice, or whatever, you say specifically that you WILL be leaving on XYZ date. A resignation letter is a matter-of-fact record of your plans. This doesn't leave room for negotiation. That way it won't appear to your boss that you are just scaring him into giving you more money. If you want the new job, there is NO negotiating! And you must be prepared to do as you plan.

    If you write a letter, do not give many details of "whys" and so forth. Don't say "I'm leaving BECAUSE...". Just say, "thanks for this and that...was an honor to work here....I'm leaving full time on x/y/z...."
    Doesn't need to be more then that. It's just for his records, and shows you are responsible and not just wanting to sneak out at the last minute.

    However, if you walk in to work one day and say to your boss, "hey I got a new job, I'm leaving in 3 days to start". That is uncouth on your part. But with a proper letter and enough time, you aught to be able to part ways and still be friends. And get a good reference.

    If you DO leave, it's important to work your HARDEST during this time! Don't get lazy towards the end, it won't settle well with your boss, and he'll remember. Don't start getting short with customers and giving the company a bad rap. Make your boss miss you and wish you weren't going, leave on a good note.

    If you decide to stay, NO mention whatsoever needs to be said about the other job. Or that you were even thinking about leaving. This gives the impression that you aren't happy and are wanting to leave, which will change the mood between you two. A boss doesn't need to know if his employees are looking elsewhere. A boss should recognize skill and treat their employees right, and pay right, otherwise they will walk.
    It should not come down to threatening to leave in order to get a raise, is what I'm saying. And that won't be good as a reference, for them to say you scare him into raises.

    So anyway, hope that helps, and good luck!
  3. MrNemo

    MrNemo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    Phenomenal response. Thank you SO much for your advice. I am just amazed there are people out there that will respond with such great advice for a complete stranger.

    The other company said I can take the time I need (like the two weeks notice), but they just need to know that I am committing to their position within a week, so that isn't so bad.

    But honestly, I do want to leave on a good note. You think it is ok to leave a letter with him? How would you advise approaching him? Just walk up and say "Hey, I have found a position I think I would be more comfortable doing." Blah blah.

    Again, thank you very much. Apparently, tech skills are still in demand in this country, aside from what the naysayers would have you think.
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    No problem!

    Reason being, I just went through a similar situation myself and changed jobs.

    When it comes time to tell your current boss you're leaving, you need to play it right, of course.
    Obviously you don't want to say anything like "I'm leaving because stuff HERE is this that and the other". You don't want to sound like you're complaining about your current job.
    Nor do you really want to make it sound like the other place just blows this out of the water in terms of comfort etc...

    It is proper editcate to leave a letter of resignation. If you "talk" first, that leaves room for negotiation and questioning, which you don't want to go through. Leaving a letter first, sets some things in stone as far as when your leaving and so forth. And stops him from negotiating, to a degree.

    The rest is up to you. Obviously you guys have a relationship and can talk comfortably to each other, so you don't have to be cold about the whole thing. Just don't make him seem like he didn't treat you good, or is inadequate, or that you were unhappy there, etc...
    If he continues to probe WHY you must leave, speak in general terms about opportunity and benefits and "learning something new" and so on.

    Lastly, as for the very timing you tell him, it's probobly best to do it first thing when you get in. Don't do it just after a hardship or agument or a bad customer comes through. Then it would seem like you're holding the letter as ammo to "shoot" when you feel upset. But I say just do it first thing in the morning. If you do it at the end of the day, he'll know you've been carrying it around all day and thinking about it. In other words, as SOON as you make a for-sure commitment somewhere else, you should turn in your letter. It's responsible.
    That way when your boss probes you, you can say you've already commited to it.

    All I can really say is that you want a good reference on your resume, and you don't want to make enemies. So whatever you do, just don't make it sound like you don't LIKE his business or him personaly, or that you are unhappy there. Just say you are moving on to something else, something new maybe. After all you were only there 2 months I guess, don't let him think you get bored of a job after only 2 months!
    You could even tell him you wish it wasn't happening right now, but the opportunity jumped in your lap and you had to take it. Let him know you weren't "looking" for a job, it just came to you.

    I did all this stuff here at my place. I left on a VERY good note, and they were happy for me! And now I'm even working some hours for them still each month.

    Then again, if your boss happens to be an irrational pig, and he gets pissed at you, nothing you can do about it. If he's responsible and mature, he'll see it and appritiate it. It would be very immature for him to blow up just because an employee is leaving. So don't let that attitude rest on your shoulders.
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    And as a footnote: if for some reason your current boss gets mad at you, and gives you a bad reference, just leave that job out of your resume altogether.
    You could have been on extended holidays or whatever, during that time.

    Your new boss is not worrying too much about a reference anyway, after all he wants to hire you away from where you are now, either because he likes your face, or your sys-admin mate 'sold' you well to him (your new boss).

    Don't forget to thank your mate for the good 'plugging'.
  6. tomrca

    tomrca TS Rookie Posts: 1,000

    these days loyalty seems to be a one way street in the world of business. how do you think your present boss would respond to an offer like that? would he stand by you? if he is a genuine boss, he should understand, that your progress in life is important too. again, if he is a nice bloke, be fare to him and and face him with the reasons why you feel that you need to move on.

    if you feel that none of the above is relevant. move on!!

    whatever the outcome is 50/50

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