It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. I received the resume of a current employee who appears to be job-searching
I received an email update from Indeed today announcing an updated resume from a potential candidate for a job we have posted. The candidate is one of our current employees. Do you think it is okay to share this information with the employee? I was thinking along the lines of “I wanted to share with you this email. You are very valued here and I wanted to know if you are happy and if not, is there something we can work through?”
Sure, you can do that. Be aware, though, that she’s likely to be thoroughly freaked out that her job search isn’t confidential anymore, and so you’ll want to be very clear about the fact that you’re not about to push her out or otherwise penalize her, and that you genuinely want to talk about whether there’s anything you can do on your end to keep her (assuming that you do, and it sounds like that’s the case). There’s some advice here on how to do that. And don’t do this.
Your other option is to skip that conversation and just think about why she might be job-searching. Is she paid well? Managed well? Does her job still challenge her? You might be able to figure out how to make staying more enticing without even telling her what you learned, and that’s potentially a better option if your sense of her is that she’ll be really rattled by the other option.
2. Can I negotiate with my old boss who might be offering me a job at a new company?
By all appearances, I am about to get a position with my old manager, who is now a director at another company, as a manager working for him. This person consistently advocated for me in my previous position where salary and promotions were concerned. In short, he was my mentor and always looked out for me.
Fast forward. We were having a conversation about a new role for which he’s hiring now. As far as I know, I’m the only applicant, and because of our rapport I’ve been told I’m basically waiting on an offer. When we were discussing salary in the interview, I was a little unhappy with the range and said so – something like “the closer you can get me to X, the better.” He said something about how he was a little flexible and would work to get me closer to that number.
If the offer comes in lowish, is negotiating reasonable? The company itself offers amazing work/life balance and some other perks I know are hard to find. I’m torn because all professional wisdom says to negotiate the first offer (especially as a woman), but the other part of me says he wouldn’t lowball me and would get me as much as he could for the role to begin with.
Not lowballing you doesn’t mean he couldn’t still go up a bit if you negotiate. Plenty of places tell their managers (or managers tell themselves), “Offer $X, but you can go up to $Y if you need to” (where $X isn’t a bad offer, but just not the absolute best they can do).
It should be fine to say something like, “I was hoping for X — is there any way to get there?”
3. Telling my boss I won’t be returning from maternity leave
I’m currently on maternity leave that will be ending in mid-February. While I originally told my boss I’d be returning, things have changed during my maternity leave and I have accepted a job with another company that is much closer to my home and daughter’s daycare.
I’d like to know what I should do in terms of giving my boss my resignation. I suggested to my husband that I could go in and personally speak to my boss. However, my husband thinks it would be too awkward for me and suggested I email or call my boss instead. To me, emailing or calling him seems really cold. What would you suggest?
Call him. I don’t think you need to make a special trip to see him, and since you’d presumably need to schedule the meeting with him in advance, it’s likely to tip him off anyway. Since you’re on leave, a phone call is perfectly a reasonable way to handle it.
4. Can I ask interviewers about their budget deficit?
I don’t yet have a call for a second interview for a small nonprofit (8-10 people). I applied for the position of executive director and I am very qualified. They have checked my references and told one of them that they really liked me.
During the research phase prior to my interview, I saw that they have a budget deficit of almost $70,000 on their 2013 Form 990 and it was noted in their annual report. I will be checking further to see if they have filed their Form 990 for 2014 to identify if there is still the deficit. Also during the first interview, the board said they give contributions to the organization, but didn’t talk about them assisting the ED with fundraising.
Is it permissible to ask about the budget deficit and board development if I were to be asked for a second interview? Or do you think this will be too confrontational? I am not concerned about plugging the hole in the budget if they were to hire me, but I am concerned if the board does not participate in fundraising and doesn’t think it is their job.
Yes, you should absolutely ask about both these things! You do not want to take on the job of running an organization without a very good understanding of their finances and the role of the board members (in fundraising and in all else). If you’re hired as ED, their problems will be your problems, and it’s crucial to know what you’d be walking into.
5. Are coding camps worth doing?
What is your (or your readers’) opinion of coding camps, where students with non-technical degrees can go for a few months to learn to code? I’m finding that I’m not very good at my current job and will probably never be a high-performer at it, so I am looking into other possible fields. I have enough money saved that I could afford to leave the workforce for a few months and pay for the tuition/housing, but I am concerned that it will be a waste of time and money. From a hiring perspective, would I be better off getting another undergraduate degree in computer science, or do you think coding camps are worth a try?
This it outside my area of expertise (other than believing that intense, hands-on experience is almost always better than another degree), so I’m throwing this out to readers to weigh in on.