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Author Topic: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?  (Read 8920 times)

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Surianne

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Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« on: July 11, 2014, 05:26:25 PM »
My friend Helena has been a private music teacher for many years.  With the upcoming birth of her daughter, she wanted something more stable.  She took classes in using MS Office software and applied for admin assistant jobs, which she's wanted to do for a long time. 

She got a job quickly through a friend of hers, Marie, who also worked for the same company (Marie is not the boss, not in charge of hiring).  Marie sent her the job posting and recommended her, but I believe others were interviewed and Helena got it on her own merits -- she's smart, did extremely well in her MS Office classes, and my guess is she interviews well (she's very well-spoken and personable).  Helena started her new job and absolutely loved it.

A month or so in, one of her other friends sent Helena a few other job postings for very similar admin assistant work.  They paid from $15,000 - 20,000 more.  With a new baby, Helena felt she had to try for these other jobs -- it's a very substantial salary increase in our city (relatively low cost of living).

Helena felt that since Marie helped her get the first job, she owed it to her to give a heads up that she was applying for other jobs, even though she didn't know if she would get interviews.  Helena was promptly fired from her new job because of this and is now unemployed.

What I'm curious about is this:  Do you think Helena owe Marie and the company a heads up that she was applying for other work?  If so, did she need to do it right away, or could she have waited until she was offered an interview?  Was Helena wrong to apply for new jobs only a month in to her current job, even if they paid substantially more? 

I was tempted to advise her to keep her mouth shut next time and look out for herself...but I'm not sure if I'm just cynical.  I do admire Helena's instinct to be fair to her employer.  I'm not going to give Helena advice unless she asks for it, but I'm curious to see what you all have to say.
 

turnip

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 05:36:56 PM »
>Do you think Helena owe Marie and the company a heads up that she was applying for other work?

No.  In fact it's likely to get her fired - hey, look at that!

> Was Helena wrong to apply for new jobs only a month in to her current job, even if they paid substantially more? 

Never.

Helena was wrong in _informing_ her employeer that she wasn't committed to her new job.  I would have fired her too  - what is the point of keeping someone who is already looking for their way out?  I might as take the time to hire and train up someone else now!

Now Helena has every right to look for and take a higher paying job.  But there is absolutely no good and ( as we've seen )  much bad in telling her current employer.  It's like being on a first date with someone and saying "By the way, I met someone more charming and handsome than you earlier today and we've got a date next week."    Only do it if you've are already done with the first job/date.

GreenBird

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 05:46:39 PM »
I don't think she owed them a heads-up at all - a job is a business transaction.  The company will do what's best for the company, and the employee needs to do what's best for the employee.  It would likely be burning a bridge to leave a job within the first month, but it's not inappropriate, particularly for a 15-20k pay raise.  After she had secured a new position, I'd say it would be appropriate to try to make the transition as smooth as possible - give proper notice, train a replacement if possible, document projects, etc.  But I would not tell an employer I was looking for another job because of the possibility that they'd do exactly what her employer did and fire me outright.  I hope she finds a replacement position quickly!

TootsNYC

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 08:59:02 PM »
>Do you think Helena owe Marie and the company a heads up that she was applying for other work?

No.  In fact it's likely to get her fired - hey, look at that!

> Was Helena wrong to apply for new jobs only a month in to her current job, even if they paid substantially more? 

Never.

Helena was wrong in _informing_ her employeer that she wasn't committed to her new job.  I would have fired her too  - what is the point of keeping someone who is already looking for their way out?  I might as take the time to hire and train up someone else now!

Now Helena has every right to look for and take a higher paying job.  But there is absolutely no good and ( as we've seen )  much bad in telling her current employer.  It's like being on a first date with someone and saying "By the way, I met someone more charming and handsome than you earlier today and we've got a date next week."    Only do it if you've are already done with the first job/date.

And Maria was wrong in telling her employer what her friend had told her.



Quote
The company will do what's best for the company, and the employee needs to do what's best for the employee.

Yep! And if they'd decided that they needed to cut the budget, they'd have laid her off in a flash! (most companies go LIFO: Last In, First Out--unless they're going for huge savings, in which case they look for high earners who can be replaced by people who'll ask for less, or for duplicated duties)

shhh its me

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 09:13:56 PM »
>Do you think Helena owe Marie and the company a heads up that she was applying for other work?

No.  In fact it's likely to get her fired - hey, look at that!

> Was Helena wrong to apply for new jobs only a month in to her current job, even if they paid substantially more? 

Never.

Helena was wrong in _informing_ her employeer that she wasn't committed to her new job.  I would have fired her too  - what is the point of keeping someone who is already looking for their way out?  I might as take the time to hire and train up someone else now!

Now Helena has every right to look for and take a higher paying job.  But there is absolutely no good and ( as we've seen )  much bad in telling her current employer.  It's like being on a first date with someone and saying "By the way, I met someone more charming and handsome than you earlier today and we've got a date next week."    Only do it if you've are already done with the first job/date.

And Maria was wrong in telling her employer what her friend had told her.



I'm not sure Maria was wrong , she helped Helena get the job. I know if I recommend someone and they quit in 6 weeks or 3 months I get a little ding that will be forgotten eventually.  If it came out I knew that person was actively looking and I didn't let the higher ups know I get a major ding in my permanent record.  Or Maria may have been the person to make the decision.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2014, 08:24:43 AM »
You never tell an employer that you are looking for another job. 

When you have to resign, in your case, you just say, that you sorry, but a position has become available that has been offered to you at a hgher salary increase than what you are currently receiving.  Sometimes, that business might offer you the same salary if they want to keep you.  (this has happened to me before).

peaches

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2014, 09:33:32 AM »
Wow, that was a learning experience!

I agree with everyone else; don't let your employer know you're job hunting, unless you don't care about losing your job. And telling Marie was the same thing as letting the employer know. Marie works for that employer and has a loyalty to them. Plus, she has her own job to protect.

There's something that bothers me about this. Marie stuck her neck out for Helene by recommending her for the job. It reflects on you, and your judgment, when you put someone's name forward to your employer. After only a month, Helene is restless and looking elsewhere. If the job paid less than Helene needed, or a lot less than the market, perhaps she should have kept looking. Job hopping can be a red flag on a resume. Most companies don't want to invest in people unless they can reasonably expect them to be around awhile.

Hopefully, Helene will secure a new job. She seems to have the skills for it. I hope it works out for her.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 11:29:45 AM by peaches »

TootsNYC

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2014, 11:20:17 AM »
Helena wasn't restless and looking elsewhere.

She found a job that would pay *significantly* more money. More money in the abstract, and phenomenally more money when you make it a percentage.
I make a non-entry-level job, and a $15,000 leap in salary would be significantly more than 10%--I would never, ever get that as a normal raise.
  I haven't gotten more than a 4% raise in a long, long, long time. I think the highest raise I -ever- got was 6%. I got a bonus--it was only $1,000.
   Ye goes, $15,000 to $20,000 more?

If Helena has an admin assistant job, she's probably making $40,000. Maybe less; it would be unusual for her to make more. A $15,000 raise is a 38% raise.
   You just don't pass that up. Even if your current job "pays what you need"--you do not stay in it if you can make significantly more money elsewhere!

Helena can protect Maria's reputation with her company by acting professionally when--well, really, if--she leaves. (She may not be qualified for those jobs; she may not even get them.)
    She can do her job really well in the meantime, so that their memory of her work is that she was stellar;
    she can apologize when she announces her resignation, explaining how she has enjoyed the job but simply could not pass up the money when it came her way, and that she hadn't been looking--no normal person is going to think it's unreasonable for her to quit if she can get $15,000 more;
    she can give a longer-than-normal notice period, perhaps 3 weeks instead of 2, or 4 weeks if she can actually wrangle it (but at her level, I think 3 weeks is more than enough; she'll be in the way after that);
    she can offer to help publicize the opening (perhaps contacting the teachers of the classes she took);
    she can prepare materials to help the new person transition in (after all, nobody knows better than she does what the unwritten things are that would be helpful to have codified for a new person) and ease the training burden on the people she's leaving behind. (Make up a cheat sheet for voice mail, a list of who in the office to go to for what newbie question, a procedures checklist for most tasks, etc.)

All of these will say to the employer that Helena is a professional person, and therefore Maria's judgment was accurate.


I know that Maria's reputation is involved, but Helena got the job out of many applicants, so it's not like the company itself didn't make this decision on all its own. It's of course very likely that Maria's recommendation was the tipping point, especially if a lot of people were pretty equal.
   But while Helena does have an obligation to Maria, it's absolutely not appropriate to ask her pass up a 25% (or more) increase in salary.


As for the job hopping, if I were Helena, I would simply never include this first job.

peaches

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2014, 12:00:34 PM »
She could have done all of those things, Toots, but she didn't. Instead, she acted impulsively and lost her job. A job she loved, according to OP. Now she has no income and no experience as an admin that she can list on her resume. And all because she heard that there were better paying jobs out there, not that she had secured one!

I agree that the best thing to do now is to drop this experience from her resume and move on.

I don't agree that people never stay in jobs for considerably less pay. There are a lot of factors that go into the desirability of a job, other than pay. They might include the company atmosphere, the boss, flexibility, job security, closeness to home or commute, challenges of the job, benefits - the list could go on and on. But if Helene believes there is a better job for her out there, it's her right to look for it.

I think your suggestions of how to leave a job gracefully are excellent. Those steps could go a long way in softening the blow. There may be no perfect way to leave; some employers will resent it no matter what you do, but one should do their best to leave on good terms.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 12:05:07 PM by peaches »

shhh its me

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2014, 12:14:12 PM »
Helena wasn't restless and looking elsewhere.

She found a job that would pay *significantly* more money. More money in the abstract, and phenomenally more money when you make it a percentage.
I make a non-entry-level job, and a $15,000 leap in salary would be significantly more than 10%--I would never, ever get that as a normal raise.
  I haven't gotten more than a 4% raise in a long, long, long time. I think the highest raise I -ever- got was 6%. I got a bonus--it was only $1,000.
   Ye goes, $15,000 to $20,000 more?

If Helena has an admin assistant job, she's probably making $40,000. Maybe less; it would be unusual for her to make more. A $15,000 raise is a 38% raise.
   You just don't pass that up. Even if your current job "pays what you need"--you do not stay in it if you can make significantly more money elsewhere!


I did about the same mental math you did and I agree almost no one would pass up the "same" job for a nearly 40% increase and honestly if it was an entry level position in and area with low cost of living it may have been more of an increase. 

While I don't think she was wrong for looking ,that its almost suspiciously more.  Not that there are not some companies paying much less then the market but even in this day and age its not super common for nearly the same entry level position, with the same requirements , in the same area to vary by 40% or more.  Administrative assistant is one of those job titles that covers a wide variety of positions, many times because of mislabeling.    So I'd advise anyone changing fields/new to the job market to keep very quiet about job searches especially until they confirm the information in postings.   Some ads are total bull pucky , once you get some experience interviewing in a filed you may discover that one more qualification/background means a great deal of money or a very specific criteria.

Aquamarine

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2014, 12:18:17 PM »
Never say anything until you have a firm offer and are prepared to give your required notice.  Telling your work that you are looking elsewhere is a great way to get sacked on the spot and escorted off the premises.  Employers can be very reactionary about this.

When it comes right down to it it's none of your employers business if you are looking elsewhere.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

peaches

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2014, 12:31:12 PM »
Helena wasn't restless and looking elsewhere.

She found a job that would pay *significantly* more money. More money in the abstract, and phenomenally more money when you make it a percentage.
I make a non-entry-level job, and a $15,000 leap in salary would be significantly more than 10%--I would never, ever get that as a normal raise.
  I haven't gotten more than a 4% raise in a long, long, long time. I think the highest raise I -ever- got was 6%. I got a bonus--it was only $1,000.
   Ye goes, $15,000 to $20,000 more?

If Helena has an admin assistant job, she's probably making $40,000. Maybe less; it would be unusual for her to make more. A $15,000 raise is a 38% raise.
   You just don't pass that up. Even if your current job "pays what you need"--you do not stay in it if you can make significantly more money elsewhere!


I did about the same mental math you did and I agree almost no one would pass up the "same" job for a nearly 40% increase and honestly if it was an entry level position in and area with low cost of living it may have been more of an increase. 

While I don't think she was wrong for looking ,that its almost suspiciously more.  Not that there are not some companies paying much less then the market but even in this day and age its not super common for nearly the same entry level position, with the same requirements , in the same area to vary by 40% or more.  Administrative assistant is one of those job titles that covers a wide variety of positions, many times because of mislabeling.    So I'd advise anyone changing fields/new to the job market to keep very quiet about job searches especially until they confirm the information in postings.   Some ads are total bull pucky , once you get some experience interviewing in a filed you may discover that one more qualification/background means a great deal of money or a very specific criteria.

I'm glad you brought up this issue. I have wondered about those job listings that Helene's friend told her about.

What are the chances that Helena's employer was underpaying her by $15,000-$20,000, in a position that is entry level for that job field?

And those job listings, are they for people with no experience? Because that's what Helene has - zero experience as an admin. Where she was working was her first job, and she can't mention it.

How often do you see job listings for people with no experience? I never do. Everyone wants people with experience.

I wonder if those job openings were mirages. I guess Helena will find out.

There's another issue that occurred to me, and that is that Helena has a new baby. When I was working and my kids were little, it meant a lot to have an employer who understood that kids sometimes get sick.
That's one reason why I was reluctant to look for another job, when I had one I liked and where I was treated well. Every new job is a risk - will I like the job/company/boss, will they like me. With a new family member in the mix, that is another factor to consider.

Helena may have weighed all of those factors, after a job search, and decided that a move was worth it. And she may still find that great job with good pay that she wants.


TootsNYC

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2014, 12:48:12 PM »
Absolute, I agree, she shouldn't have told--my point was only about whether Helena owed it to Maria to not look, or to not leave.

Helena can protect Maria's reputation in other ways; she doesn't need to sacrifice her life for it.

And I still say--Maria has proven that she is not Helena's friend.

A friend would say, "Look, if you decide to apply for those jobs, you need to keep it quiet, because you may not get it. And if you get one of those jobs, you'd better remember that my reputation is on the line, and you'd better leave in a way that makes me look good. I don't want my bosses to think that I don't have good judgment when I recommend people."


NyaChan

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2014, 02:48:26 PM »
I think that 1) Helena should have done more due diligence in her initial job search to determine the salary range so she would have known whether Marie's company was paying her fairly from the start, 2) you typically shouldn't leave a job in so short a time, as it burns bridges, 3) if you have a reason good enough to try toleave that soon, don't talk about it unless you actually have a serious offer - that's when you give notice in whatever amount is standard to the field.  Why wouldn't an employer fire someone who is too new to cause them much of a loss when they already know they trying to leave? I'd fire them and start looking immediately for a permanent employee.

shhh its me

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Re: Telling the new job you're applying elsewhere?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2014, 03:15:34 PM »
Absolute, I agree, she shouldn't have told--my point was only about whether Helena owed it to Maria to not look, or to not leave.

Helena can protect Maria's reputation in other ways; she doesn't need to sacrifice her life for it.

And I still say--Maria has proven that she is not Helena's friend.


The bolded is the part I don't think we know enough to say....

If Helena can cover herself , then Maria gets the same consideration.  At more then one company I've worked for not informing that someone was looking for work(in the same field) might be a firing offense.  Telling Maria may have put her into a really bad spot.
or
Maria may have thought she was being helpful.