Changing Jobs

 


Fantastic! You've decided to take the next step and look for a new job. Very scary and stressful, but also very rewarding. This is a chance for you to look at your career growth, a chance to learn new processes and a chance to develop new interpersonal skills. You have probably already interviewed and by using the interview tips effectively, are ready to receive your offer. Continue by clicking on the links below to take you through the process of starting your new job.

 

Accepting a Job Offer

How to Tactfully Resign

Counteroffers

 

Accepting a Job Offer

Will you recognize a good job offer-the best career opportunity for you-when it comes along? What if you get two or more offers? Should you just choose the one with the highest salary? If not, what other factors are equally important?

Since salary is an important consideration, let's deal with that first. Salary negotiation rarely, if ever,begins at the first interview. First and sometimes second interviews are usually devoted to determining which applicant is the best match for the job. You should wait for the employer to bring up the subject of salary. This is your best clue that he or she is interested in you.

Be prepared for an employer to ask you about your salary expectations. Well before you reach this stage of the interview process, do your research and know what your particular skills are worth.

Job experience, which is directly related to the position for which you are applying, should be worth an additional five percent or so per year's experience. An internship will often add either a hiring bonus at the time you begin employment or a higher starting salary.

Your salary does not represent your entire compensation package. Insurance coverage can vary considerably from one employer to another and the difference can amount to hundreds of dollars a year. Retirement benefits are important, even at the entry-level stage. How many vacation days are allowed the first year? For subsequent years? Does the company encourage its employees to pursue advanced degrees? Do they pay some or all of the tuition?

Advancement opportunity is an important consideration that is too often overlooked. A high entry-level salary and nice fringe benefits may look the best at first, but if there is no room for advancement, over time you're going to be disappointed in the job. Some employers may start you at a relatively low salary, but if they offer a career path that provides room for professional growth as well as personal satisfaction (including monetary rewards) then, in the long run, you will probably be happier. Questions about potential career paths are appropriate as early as the first interview, but don't give the impression that you expect to be made a vice president within the year.

When you feel confident that you are ready to accept a job, make sure that you fully understand all aspects of the offer. When You Are Ready to Accept an Offer, all job related stipulations should be put in writing to the employer. If this is not possible, your acceptance letter should stipulate all of the agreements that have been made. By doing so, you will avoid some of the practical and legal difficulties sometimes experienced with starting a new job.

The accepted thinking among employers and executive recruiters is that an employer can rightfully expect a response to their offer within 48 hours of a verbal presentation. This rule should be observed unless a different timetable had previously been discussed during the interview stage. Employers are looking for people who can recognize a good opportunity and decisively act in a reasonable time.

 

How to Tactfully Resign

The first thing you need to consider is the timing of your resignation. Since two weeks' notice is considered the norm, make sure your resignation properly coincides with your start date at the new company.

You should always try to avoid an extended start date. Even if your new job begins in 10 weeks, don't give 10 weeks' notice; wait eight weeks and then give two weeks' notice. This way, you'll protect yourself from disaster; in the unlikely event your new company announces a hiring freeze a month before you come on board.

And by staying at your old job for only two weeks after you've announced your resignation, you won't be subjected to the envy, scorn, or feelings of professional impotence that may result from your new role as a lame-duck employee.

Some companies will make your exit plans for you. I placed a candidate once whose employer had the security guard escort him out of the building the moment he announced his intention to go to work for a direct competitor. Fortunately, he was still given two weeks' pay.

Your resignation should be handled in person, preferably on a Friday afternoon. Ask your direct supervisor if you can speak with him privately in his office. When you announce your intention to resign, you should also hand your supervisor a letter that states your last date of employment with the company. Let him know that you've enjoyed working with him, but that an opportunity came along that you couldn't pass up, and that your decision to leave was made carefully, and doesn't reflect any negative feelings you have toward the company or the staff.

You should also add that your decision is final, and that you would prefer not to be made a counteroffer, since you wouldn't want your refusal to accept more money to appear as a personal affront.

Let your supervisor know that you appreciate all the company's done for you; and that you'll do everything in your power to make your departure as smooth and painless as possible.

Finally, ask if there's anything you can do during the transition period over the next two weeks, such as help train your successor, tie up loose ends, or delegate tasks.

Keep your resignation letter short, simple, and to the point. There's no need to go into detail about your new job, or what led to your decision to leave. If these issues are important to your old employer, he'll schedule an exit interview for you, at which time you can hash out your differences ad infinitum.

Make sure to provide a carbon copy or photocopy of your resignation letter for your company's personnel file. This way, the circumstances surrounding your resignation will be well documented for future reference.

In all likelihood, the human resource staff will want to meet with you to process your departure papers, or cover any questions you may have concerning the transfer of your medical insurance or retirement benefits.

Excerpts from Overcoming the Fear of Change
By Bill Radin
1998 Innovative Consulting, Inc.
Career Development Reports

 

 

Counteroffers
Your foot's out the door, but your boss wants you back

2001 Top Echelon Network, Inc.

 

You've just landed a new job, and the offer on the table looks tasty. But your current boss has other plans, and dangles in front of you a compelling incentive to stay where you are - perhaps a promotion, but usually cash. What do you do?

In recent years, conventional wisdom held that accepting such a counteroffer was equivalent to driving nails into one's career coffin; over 80 percent of candidates who accepted counteroffers were gone just a year later.

Employers have loosened up a bit during recent years, due largely to a shortage of good employees. Employers, desperate to hang onto top talent in this tight labor market, have been using counteroffers with increasing frequency. But despite a rise in employers using the tactic, employment experts around the country agree accepting counteroffers is usually a bad career move.

For starters, your boss may take your resignation personally. Or your boss might throw a guilt trip your way, questioning your loyalty and wondering aloud, "how you could do this to him." Keep in mind what your boss is really thinking: "If I lose this person I'll have to pick up his slack until a new person is found and trained - which could take weeks or months!" So bumping your salary is an easy way to buy your boss time to plot your replacement.

Employers attempting to keep a good person from leaving have been known to say, "We've got great plans for you, we just didn't share them with you yet." More obvious still is this angle' "We were just about to promote you and give you a hefty salary boost; what a coincidence."

And if your boss approaches you out of the blue and offers you a raise or promotion while you're in the midst of a job search, do a quick mental check: Did you make job hunting calls or write emails while at work? Did you tell co-workers your plans to leave? Your boss might have heard about your plans to split through the grapevine.

If faced with a counteroffer, remember salary is rarely the reason employees look for new jobs. Before accepting a fatter paycheck and staying on board with your current company, take a hard look at what's really bugging you. The largest raise won't fix issues such as environment, lack of advancement and lack of exposure to new skill sets.

There's another reason that often holds employees back, causing them to cling to counteroffers at the last moment: The comfort factor. Accepting a counteroffer is often the easy choice to make, since changing jobs means stress, a new routine, new challenges, etc. Don't be lulled into complacency by this way of thinking. Your career isn't a security blanket, it's a dynamic, constantly evolving play, and you are the lead actor.

Ideally, counteroffers wouldn't be made, as good managers recognize the need for talented employees to grow professionally - a process involving change. But being prepared for the worst will help ensure a smooth transition and departure when you make your next move.

So what do you do when presented with a counteroffer? Start by instantly taking command of the situation. Inform your boss in a cordial yet firm voice that your mind's made up, and you'll do all you can to make the transition process easier. Work out your notice fully, and be professional about your departure. You might still feel awkward during your last few weeks; that's just human nature. But by exiting in a graceful manner, you've hopefully left behind some solid references as well as some friends.


 

 

 

 



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