It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. I feel guilty about making my boss’s life harder if I leave for a new job
I’ve been passively looking for a new job for about a year now, but really only half-heartedly. I don’t have any huge complaints with the day-to-day of my current job, but the company is a mess and I was always certain that I would be jumping ship immediately if my boss quit.
Cut to last week, when my boss informs me that he’s fairly certain he’ll be gone by the end of the year, or by next summer at the latest. A few days later, I was headhunted by a company, and it seems really likely that I’ll be offered a position, based on how the interviews have gone.
Now that I’m considering leaving BEFORE my much-admired boss leaves, I’m finding that I’m having real trouble with the idea. I made a list today of the things I do each day, and the thought of putting all these tasks back on him (we’re the only two people in our department) is causing me real distress.
This new job pays around 10%-15% more annually, is non-exempt (I currently work 50+ hour weeks, so this is a benefit to me), and is much closer to my house. Plus, it’s a specialist position, so I’d be focusing on around a quarter of the area that I currently deal with as an HR Generalist. I would be crazy to turn this down, right? I just don’t know how to accept the fact that I’ll be sticking my boss with 80+ hour workweeks for however long it takes for him to find a new job.
Your boss will deal with it. People leave jobs; this is a normal part of doing business. If the department will fall apart without you, then your boss has mismanaged things pretty badly. But it’s more likely that he’ll have a crunch time and then things will be fine.
You need to leave on a schedule that makes sense for you. (And there’s rarely an easy time to leave a job. In fact, it might be better for you to leave now, rather than waiting until your boss leaves and sticking your company with no one seasoned left in the department.) It’s good that you care — it shows you’re conscientious and care about things running smoothly, but really, this is a normal thing that businesses are set up to be able to handle. Your boss will not be working 80 hours a week; he’ll bring in new help, or push projects back, or bring in temps, or do any of the myriad things people do in this situation. It will be fine.
2. My interview included a random person who didn’t identify herself, even when I asked
Is it appropriate for an interview to include an interviewer who is not affiliated with the business you are interviewing with?
I just applied for a management position with a local humane society. I sent my solicited resume to the president of the board, who had contacted me, and scheduled an interview. Present during the interview were a manager, the president, a volunteer, and “an interested party.” When I asked if she was a board member or worked for the shelter, she said no and that she was just “an interested party.” It was strange. It made me very uncomfortable that she was given access to my resume and was included in my interview without my consent. Weird. Am I overreacting?
There are cases where it would be reasonable to include an outside in an interview process — if she were a consultant, for instance, or coaching the board president on hiring, or who knows what else. But her role should be explained to you — and it would have been perfectly appropriate for you to say, “Can you tell me more about your role with the organization and in the hiring process?”
I don’t think I’d bristle at her having access to your resume. The universe of people who might see your resume when you apply for a job is pretty large (volunteers, admins helping with hiring, board members if it’s a very small organization, someone the hiring manager checks with to see if you’re the same Jane Smith who used to work for her, and lots of other possibilities). But it’s certainly reasonable to want to understand who you’re meeting with and why.
3. My former boss’s boss is carrying out a weirdly slow trickle of LinkedIn endorsements
I left a job nearly six years ago and completely changed fields. Now my boss’s boss from that job, who I don’t keep in touch with, is endorsing me on LinkedIn for skills that she has no way of knowing about. She doesn’t do this all at one time; she endorses about one skill a week. It’s making me feel a little odd – an equivalent on Facebook would be a person I once got to know at summer camp “liking” every single one of the pictures I’ve ever posted. Should I do anything about this? At the very least I feel like it waters down the endorsement’s I’ve received, but I don’t know how much they really matter.
That’s bizarre behavior, but I would just ignore it. No one else will notice or care.
That said, totally aside from this, I’d turn off LinkedIn’s skills endorsements altogether. They don’t carry any weight at all and have zero credibility since anyone can endorse you for anything, whether they know you and have worked with you or not. They’re an inexplicably ridiculous feature of the site.
4. Should I leave my new job for another one?
I started a new job in December with a great company, in the top 10 of the Fortune 500. I really like my job and see great potential for my future. This week I got a call from an outside recruiter with a firm asking if I would be interested in another opportunity. I checked her out and she’s legit. I’ve spoken to her a few times and the position is similar to my current position. She thinks I’m a good candidate and wants to present me for it. I’m really torn. While I’m very happy with my new job, I hate to pass on something that could be even better. She said my current salary and bonus was in line with what this company would offer. What are your thoughts on this?
Why would you leave a job that you just started less than a year ago and that you’re happy at, without a really compelling reason?
You can get away with one short-term stay, but it’ll pretty much lock you into having to stay at the next one for a good long while so you don’t look like a job hopper. Why do that without a lot more incentive than it sounds like you have here?
5. Salary negotiation when moving from non-exempt to exempt
I am in a salaried non-exempt position at a large non-profit, and recently applied for a role in another department which better suits my skillset (with the support and blessing of my current manager and the new role’s supervisor). I know that this new role would be offered at the same salary that I am currently on, but it would be an exempt position.
If I were to get this job, could I negotiate the starting salary up based on the fact that I would be “losing” overtime? I don’t work overtime every pay period, but during particularly busy times for the organization I do clock up a fair amount, about an extra $2,500 over the course of a year. This new role would be just as much work, so I feel like I’d be taking a pay cut of that extra $2-3K…but maybe that’s just the trade-off for the added responsibility and authority of the new role. The company is responsive to salary negotiation (I did it when I started my current job), so I’m not afraid of asking, I just have no idea if this is a normal basis for negotiation or if I’ll be laughed out of the office.
Well, ideally, you’d negotiate the salary totally independent of what you’ve been making; you should negotiate based on the market rate for the new role. But if you get the sense that that their salary offer is going to be based on your current salary, then yes, it’s totally reasonable to say, “While my salary in this role has been $X, I typically earned an additional $Y each year in overtime, bringing the total pay to $Z. I want to be sure I’m not taking a pay cut at the same time that I’m taking on additional responsibility.”
Also, about this: “maybe that’s just the trade-off for the added responsibility and authority of the new role.” Added responsibility and authority is supposed to bring additional compensation, not less. If you’re taking on more responsibility, make sure you’re being paid appropriately for it. That means an increase, not a lateral move, and definitely not a cut.