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Submitted by Javier on


I know what Mike says but I have a real dilemma here:

I currently work as a financial analyst at a good firm with very nice co-workers and I am getting good feedback regarding my work. I started last October and in the latest performance review (late April) my boss made some comments "about having to talk again in September" (I guess she meant salary review).

Now comes the catch: a competitive company with similar working habits (I know that for a fact, a friend of mine worked there) has approached me about filling a very similar position, offering me almost twice the salary I am currently being paid.

I believe I have the same possibilities in terms of career development in both places, in fact when I told the head of research of the inquiring company about my plans of studying an Executive MBA while working he was receptive.

I have been discussing this issue with my pillow throughout the weekend and I have not reached a firm decision (on Monday they will make a final offer): the main reason for changing jobs would be the money (as I said the working environment is very friendly, so I would not be trading that for money).

What should I do? I am not particularly keen about telling my boss about the offer (I don't want to open that Pandora's box) but what if I decline the offering and then comes September and the pay rise is not that generous?

Mark's picture
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While I want to ask, "double what?" I will assume we're talking 50K or above. If that's true, that's QUITE A difference that negates to a large degree our recommendation.

I find it hard to believe that the jobs are similar, but I trust that they are. Do a weighted analysis, with key factors, and see what you get.

Double (?) makes a compelling argument to me.


Javier's picture
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Since Mike as for more info, I would oblige...

I currently earn 45k (I talk in gross terms) plus last year I earn a bonus of 10k (I started working last Oct). While I have not talked about how much I would earn as a bonus this year, I don't think it would be 100% my fixed salary.

At the other company payment is broke down differently: 120k would be the max (also in gross terms). Out of that amount, about 60% would be fixed and the rest would be a bonus depending on performance. My friend told me that is not possible to get 100% of the bonus, since about 40% depends of corporate performance as a whole and not on my performance.

Doing some rough numbers I calculated that I could be earning about 90k.

It is true Mike, there are some differences; the main one is that I have already made some very good networking contacts in my current company (with other departments) that really help my job, and I do not think that I will be able to replicate that at the other firm: much bigger company with people spread out in different locations, while currently I just have to go some floors to have a nice chat.

I did not expect Mike to answer so quickly, many thanks. I am REALLY waiting for that European Manager Tools conference.

thaGUma's picture

As Mark says, not too much of a dilema. Going from 45k to 72k basic is pretty simple math. How long in your current job before you get to that level?

Unless there are strong reasons to stay, I would move. Easy to say because I am not the one moving :P

bflynn's picture

One point to remember - you work hard now, but that is still going to increase. You're not getting double for the same amount. Expect a huge increase in responsibility and work load.

Take it. When you're told to never change jobs for the money, twice the money isn't the situation being talked about.


Javier's picture
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Since I asked for advice, it is more than fair that I keep everybody (who is interested) informed.

First of all, the offer was I little below my estimates but attractive: 60k as fixed salary and "using a conservative estimate" a bonus of 20k.

So even though I was happy at my job and I was getting positive feedback I was making the switch on the basis of money.

I know that some people will be skeptical about this, but I did research the firm that was making the offer (a friend worked there until 18 months ago) and I did not expect strong opportunities to further develop my professional career.

So off I went to present my resignation (I wanted to tell my current company first). My manager asks me if there was something wrong, if I was unhappy or felt something was not right I told the truth, nothing was wrong, it was just more money and it was hard to say no. So then she askss me "would you care to hear our counteroffer?"

I was expecting that and I did not want to burn any bridges so I said that of course there was no problem (even though I know what Mike says about counteroffers).

Within an hour they came back: they matched the offer I was getting (60k+20k). With that I just could not defend the idea of quitting anymore, since the primary reason or leaving was gone.

Yeah, yeah, I know that Mike and Mark are probably pulling their hair about my manager; increasing my salary from 45k to 60k because of another job offer does not say a lot of good things. But she told me she wanted to kick herself for not having done that already.

One thing I wanted to make clear with my manager and her boss, that if I accepted the counteroffer I was doing so in good faith and I did not want from that moment on to have a shadow cast on me. They said: "Listen, the reason we came back so fast with a counteroffer is that we want you to stay, pure and simple. You said you're happy and it is not about your career or a more interesting challenge. If the problem is only the money, we want to change that."

So there you go. I think I broke several Manager Tools rules but the more I think about it, the more satisfied I am with my decision.

Thanks a lot to everybody who chipped in and gave me his advice.

juliahhavener's picture
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It sounds like you have a good relationship where you are now. I believe that does make a difference (and the fact that it was your SOLE consideration in moving) if you consider a counteroffer.

Here's to good faith and continued happiness in what you're doing and where you're doing it!