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I need some job/career advice - thanks in advance
Old 07-03-2009, 01:42 PM   #1
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I need some job/career advice - thanks in advance

It's been a while since I posted, but I read often. Here is my scenario - I really appreciate any advice you have.

I was laid off from my job effective mid-May as they got rid of our entire department at my company. I was very aggressive in my job search and was fortunate to have a couple of offers within three weeks. Of all the companies that I interviewed with, two stood out more than the others. I was lucky to get an offer from one of those two and it was a very attractive offer. I accepted it and started it two weeks ago.

At the same time, the other job that stood out as much as the one I accepted was a week or two behind in the interviewing process. Part of me views the second one a bit more positively and am probably a tad more excited about it. I was fortunate to get an offer from this second company today. The salary is modestly more per year at this second job(not enough to make a difference) but some of the other benefits make this pretty much equal on a benefit vs. benefit comparison.

The second job is with a company that I would be more excited to work for and there are some quality of life benefits that definitely side with the second job - the commute is 10 minutes vs. 25 minutes, we have two young kids and my potential boss has two young kids and she told me how she totally understands what it takes to raise kids and that if one is sick that I don't need to count that as vacation; my current boss at my new company is in her late 40s, has no kids and said that if you are home sick with a child that it counts as a vacation day (not a huge deal for vacation but it does show a difference in mentality).

If I would have received both offers on the same day I probably would have chosen job #2, but here I am two weeks into job #1 and am left with a difficult decision. Do I risk leaving job #1 knowing that I may be burning a bridge and take a job that I will probably be happier at; or do I stick with job #1 and not burn any bridges?

Also, has anyone pre-negotiated a severance package or ever heard of that? One of my concerns is that job #2 that the company could get bought out at some point or I could be a victim of corporate downsizing like I was at my previous job. I was fortunate to get 4 months severance at my previous job and if I were to take job #2, I would like to have a guaranteed severance should one of those two scenarios happen. With a young family, knowing that I would have a healthy severance lets me sleep at night better (yes, we do have six months savings as well) - but I would like to ask job #2 for 4-6 months severance should that happen. It's something that I would negotiate that is not salary and if they are confident in their business it's a benefit they would never have to pay out, but it would be something that I would highly value. I'd take this guaranteed severance over more money.

Any thougts on any of this is much appreciated.
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Old 07-03-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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My initial reaction was to go with job #2 since you feel as if you would be happier there. However, in this job market the defining factor for me would be which company is the most stable. IOW, which company would I feel I would have a better "survival" rate. Of course there are no guarantees with any company...

As far as the severance goes, I don't have any experience negotiating in that area. My jobs have always paid out by number of years of my employment. I suppose in higher management positions there could be some negotiation. Perhaps you could ask employer #2 for copies of employee handouts and see if there is anything mentioned about severance before you bring this question to their attention.

Good luck.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:34 PM   #3
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My initial reaction was job 2, but on further thought, I would stay at job 1. Reason is that there is a lot of instability out there right now, and I doubt that at a young age and at a level not too high on the totem pole, you would not get far in negotiating severence...in fact, it may anger the hiring mgrs at job 2. Also, having been in the position to hire many people over the years, I would say that leaving after 2-4 weeks on the job is a definite turnoff for hiring mgrs down the road. If that was on your resume, I would not hire you. ...and remember, if you do this, you must put it on your resume. If you don't, and some company down the road hires you, and finds out later, it would be considered lying on your resume, which is usually grounds for immediate dismissal (you don't want that...it would then be 2 MAJOR negatives on your future resume).

Worst case, you stick it out with job 1 for 2-3 years and change again to something better when the economy improves.

Good luck!

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Old 07-03-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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One thing you have not mentioned is how have you found job #1 in the 2 weeks you have been working there? Sometimes it is better to stick with what you know rather than go with the fantasy of what you think something would be.
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:08 PM   #5
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One thing you have not mentioned is how have you found job #1 in the 2 weeks you have been working there? Sometimes it is better to stick with what you know rather than go with the fantasy of what you think something would be.
I have found job #1 to be good, but not great, although part of it is possibly looking for negatives knowing that I may have something to compare it to. I talked to some former employees who worked in this department before at job #1 (they left for various reasons over the years) and they raised a few red flags and I have noticed those items immediately. But I always say that the crap at one job is no better or worse than the unknown crap at another. Every job will have something.

I appreciate everyone's feedback and welcome anyone else to chime in as well. I need to have this figured out by Wednesday - certainly a lot to think about.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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I would go for which ever job turns you on the most. Although I spent 34 years with the same company (GM), I have no loyalty anymore. It's just like insurance. It does you no good to stay with the same company. They will drop you in a heart beat regardless of how long you've been with them. If you can get a better deal somewhere else, go for it. Of course, you need to search out the companies. If #2 looks stable, go for it.
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:09 PM   #7
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If you decide to go with Job #2, I would be honest with your boss at Job #1 and explain that your initial decision was driven by the timing of the offer. When I was w*rking, I had one employee who quit after a week to accept another job and once he explained the situation, I wished him well and went to the next person on the list (who turned out to be an excellent choice, BTW.) And, yes, I agree that you will need to include the job on your resume -- and be prepared to explain why the short tenure.

As for negotiating severance BEFORE taking the job, unless you are in a VERY senior position, I wouldn't even try it. It's one thing to inquire about the business conditions of the firm or asking to see a copy of the employment policies/benefits while making up your mind; but if a potential employee (not at the VP or above level) tried to negotiate some form of severance as part of their pre-employment, I would definitely think that this is a person who is not fully committed to this new job.
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:41 PM   #8
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I'd carefully explore Job#2 a bit more and see if you can buy just a little time before giving an answer. Be careful...you don't want to end up with nothing. Try to be as objective as you can re: job #1. Evaluate carefully and don't rock the boat with too many questions that might label you as not being loyal in your new position despite the fact you and only you know how you are trying to weigh one vs. the other. In regards to severance I've had the good fortune of having this as part of my job benefits on my last 3 positions. One was ok and better than nothing to start, one was much better, and now it is ok but still in today's economy is something I'm carefully working on making even stronger. If you have a special skill set and you think offer some unique talents you could always pose it as a question to Job #2 just to test the reaction....it is very good piece of mind with all the instability in the world as we now know it.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:09 AM   #9
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How is not including something lying on your resume? If a person included every job that they had ever worked, however trivial, resume's would end up being ten pages over a lengthy career. Should a consultant give every customer they've ever done work for?

If I went with job #2, I would leave job #1 off of the resume in the future with no qualms or worries.

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...and remember, if you do this, you must put it on your resume. If you don't, and some company down the road hires you, and finds out later, it would be considered lying on your resume, which is usually grounds for immediate dismissal (you don't want that...it would then be 2 MAJOR negatives on your future resume).
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:19 AM   #10
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How is not including something lying on your resume? If a person included every job that they had ever worked, however trivial, resume's would end up being ten pages over a lengthy career. Should a consultant give every customer they've ever done work for?

If I went with job #2, I would leave job #1 off of the resume in the future with no qualms or worries.
Its dishonesty. I would understand if someone left off specifics of an early career job or PT jobs in college, so long as they explained in the resume that those things were left out intentionally, and explained when and if questioned about them.

A job, any job, left off within the past 10 years or so, however, would not be to my liking, and in my company (and others I've worked with) would be potentially dismissable offenses. A resume is your work history...you cannot be dishonest about that. Saying you were looking for a job, when in fact you were working, even if for a short while, would call into question the integrity of the candidate.

If you were a consultant, you would list your employer, or if self employed, you would list it that way. You may not necessarily list every client, but you would have to account for that time, honestly. If you were working as a temp, you would list the temp company(s) you worked for.

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Old 07-06-2009, 09:28 AM   #11
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How is not including something lying on your resume? If a person included every job that they had ever worked, however trivial, resume's would end up being ten pages over a lengthy career. Should a consultant give every customer they've ever done work for?

If I went with job #2, I would leave job #1 off of the resume in the future with no qualms or worries.
Nowadays, it is EASY to check backgrounds on resumes to see if people are lying. It doesn't look bad to a potential employer as long as you can eloquently state why the job was so short-term. ANY good interviewing book can handle that one.

Just don't do what I did, tell employers you were let go two months after being Employee of the Month, and you still wonder why that happened..........
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:36 AM   #12
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I wouldn't worry too much about hopping from job 1 to job 2 if you feel that job 2 is where you want to really be. Otherwise you may be playing "what could have been" scenarios over and over in your head.

Look...its not like employers always have your best interests at the top of their minds these days. Your responsibility is to take care of yourself and your family first and foremost.

Job 1 is likely to do one of two things...they'll tell you to pack up and get out or they might even make you a more lucrative offer to stay.

As to severance most companies have a standard policy (2 weeks to 1 month severance/separation pay for every year worked, etc) that is pretty much evenly applied to all employees. So unless you are negotiating a severance type payment as part of a larger employment contract my guess is that this will be tough. If it is part of a larger employment contract let me know and I can give you a few tips having lived under employment agreements for 20 years.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:46 PM   #13
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I'd be worried that if job 2 doesn't turn out to be as good as you expected, or you got laid off from that company later, it would really put you in a bad spot because you couldn't go back to job 1. If job 1 looked decent, no bad surprises, I'd probably stick with it. If job 1 goes away for any reason, or at any time you are really certain you want job 2, you can go there.

If you really think right now that you are certain, go ahead to job 2. I think you can turn it into a positive in a future interview. You made a decision, then a factor changed and you re-evaluated carefully and decided it would be best to make a new decision, so you did. You didn't feel like you had to stick with an old decision with new information available to you.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:05 PM   #14
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One of my concerns is that job #2 that the company could get bought out at some point or I could be a victim of corporate downsizing like I was at my previous job.
If you think company 2 is a candidate for buyout or shrinkage, why would you gamble on them. They'd be the last on my list (positives aside).
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:04 AM   #15
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If you are feeling comfortable about Company # 2 enough to switch I would take job # 2.

But I would not take the paycheck for the first two weeks at job # 1.

Be creative

I would explain the situation honestly to boss #1 and indicate you feel that you would rather forgoe any compensation for the 2 weeks of "training" received. That takes care of the resume issue. If you do not accept the pay then really you were not employed. Call it an internship if you want.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:18 PM   #16
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If you have ANY doubts about the viability of company #2, I would stick with job#1, but that's just me. If you are so enamored with job#2, you can keep in touch with them and see where things are in a year or two. From my experience, after working in a place for a couple of years, the novelty wears off, and a job is just a job (unless there is boss from hell, which is another story). Plus, you will probably be more valuable to company #2 then with your new experience.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:19 PM   #17
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If you are feeling comfortable about Company # 2 enough to switch I would take job # 2.

But I would not take the paycheck for the first two weeks at job # 1.

Be creative

I would explain the situation honestly to boss #1 and indicate you feel that you would rather forgoe any compensation for the 2 weeks of "training" received. That takes care of the resume issue. If you do not accept the pay then really you were not employed. Call it an internship if you want.
I am inclined to agree with this. If the second job is really a more desirable than the current one you should take if. Life is too short to spend 8+ hours in a job that you known isn't what you really want. I've known people who done the same thing you've done for the same reason. Their first choice job was the second company to make an offer. This stuff happens.

The problem is that it will make you appear flaky. It is not hard to imagine that your current boss, in a moment of frustration. Makes a a tweet or a Facebook entry along the lines.

"What was wrong with people, this guy seemed pretty good, so I hire him, then 2 weeks later he takes another job what a flaky moron. Now my req is frozen and I am screwed." The next thing you know your name is out there on the net just waiting to be Googled. So you can do this once or maybe twice and get away with this but eventually it will reflect badly on you.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:27 PM   #18
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My gut reaction when I read your initial post is to stick with job #1. If you left after two weeks, it is unlikely company #1 would ever rehire you again. Plus it is a small world and you may run into people from job #1 down the line at other companies, and leaving after 2 weeks might label you as a bit of a flake with all of your current coworkers.

When I was working as the department hiring manager at my last job, I had resumes cross my desk from people I'd worked with years earlier in another state when I was right out of college. I'm sure the people behind the resumes never considered back then that the impression they had made on a junior coworker would impact their job options a decade into the future, but it did.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:23 PM   #19
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Well at least some of the later posts are in the 'stay' camp...

But I will ask a few questions... is this a job where there are many companies? Is this a specialized skill? How are the finances of both companies... which are takeover candidates and which are downsizing candidates...


Now, you said both companies were about the same... only the boss seems to be different... well, I have had over 50 bosses in my career... when I first started, I had about 20 while doing the same job... bosses come and go, so I do not put much weight in a decision unless it is a small company and you know they will not go soon..

Second, unless you skills are specialized, I would not ask for a severence package at the beginning in THIS market... as someone pointed out, I would move to the next candidate...

What is the possibility of the two companies knowing each other... my company only has a few major competitors and the boss knows them all... and different people who work at them... and he is not alone... if you get a rep as someone who will leave just for a few $$$s more for basically the same job... not good..

The saving in commute is a non-factor... just not enough time to worry about..


So my thinking... changing jobs has a lot more potential negatives than positives.... I would stay put and keep in touch with job 2 if they every have an opening for the next level up... so when you moved it was for a promotion...
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:43 PM   #20
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Your current employer would fire your a$$ (fire is bad in this context) if it had too. You do what is best for you.

Job #2 is the only choice IMO
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