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I’m in a situation about trying to get hired at my current company and accepting an offer from another just come in.

I’ve re-listened to all of the Offer / Acceptance podcasts and still have questions, maybe I’m missing something.

To ask this of the forum effectively I unfortunately have to provide a bit of a lengthy background. I may need to revise it after posting to add details I miss on the first attempt.

Company A

  • Medium sized company, regional, stable, recession-proof
  • Just successfully completed a large assignment there
  • My 1-year contract was extended a few months
  • Now working for the Head of Department T, she is retiring soon, Mrs. Managing Director
  • Was working for her 3-down on last assignment
  • Issue is current role is not clear role and timing of it becoming clear or another role there: There may be one but not in the timeframe; there may not be one in the end
  • A few in management mentioned they were considering to bring me on Perm, including Mrs. MD (but she said this last year)
  • So-so pay (might be addressed with a contract renegotiation or coming on Perm)

Company B

  • Large, international company, stable but not recession-proof
  • Role on offer is similar to current role, difference in that the hiring manager, other team members come from a consulting background, I don’t and am not sure how well I would do in the role
  • Good pay

Me

  • Much prefer Perm to contracting
  • Am not seeing many Perm roles for some time now
  • I was always Perm before this current role
  • Many years of experience

Situation

  • Just got an offer from Company B for a 1-year contact
  • Contract at Company A is up in a few weeks and not sure it will be extended
  • Company A boss is ; she give little to no direction, is frustrated by the lack of direction on New Assignment (X) but has committed herself to it
  • Company A other senior manager, Mr. Business Head, told me last year that he had a place for me in his organization, pulled me into it on an assignment, then got moved into Mrs. Managing Director’s area to work on Mr. Business Head’s initiative (there is a lot more to this part of the story which I will do in a separate post, as I really need to bounce it off you good people)
  • Mr. Business Head is lightly more senior than Mrs. Managing Director
  • First choice: a Perm role at either Company A or Company B
  • Preference is to stay at Company A, the Devil You Know, plus I just like the place
  • Want to see what Company B can do about becoming perm if good performance

I will meet with Mrs. Managing Director in a few days. She can be temperamental and likely to be frustrated by someone coming to her about a role that she may not have, and now that it has a time limit (Company B offer acceptance timing), that will exacerbate things.

What I am trying to avoid is she feeling backed into a corner to find a role quickly and dismiss me due to that.

I really don’t know how to make that meeting successful. If any of you have ideas, please let me know, this may be one for Wendi, Mike and Mark.

donm's picture

The first thing is to forget about the other offer while you're talking to Company A. When talking to Mrs MD or Mr. BH, be direct and non-threatening. For example: "I have been doing contract/temporary work here in many roles for a year/15 months, and I believe I've been a real asset (list accomplishments if need be here). Also, I have received compliments and encouragement for my work results from many of the senior managers. As I am still a contract employee here, I do not feel secure in my future. I would like to be made permanent, as has been suggested a few times during my tenure, but without any real plan, goal, or method outlined that assures me I am on track for a permanent position. What are your views on me becoming a permanent employee here? Do you have a plan or time frame or set of requirements that would give me some assurance of such a permanent career path here?"

The speech above is just a guideline. You should put your cards on the table in an encouraging and enthusiastic way, but let them know that you need some reciprocation. In today's job market, it isn't fair to continue dangling a permanent position if they have no plans to make you permanent. You may want to ask that they make you permanent at the end of your current contract, as you said it will be expiring in a few months.

If they do not respond in a manner that gives you some confidence in your future with them, you can then move on to the B job. Ask them in similar terms what their plans are for you becoming permanent. What do you have to do? How long before such a decision is made? Who will make the decision or how will it be made? What goals, accomplishments, or metrics should you meet to become permanent?

Until you have direct answers, you're just guessing. I know of no better way to get answers than to ask questions. I once again caution not to play one company off against the other. The last thing you want to do is to make either company feel that you're threatening them or pressuring them.

I stand to be corrected or hear differing opinions from others, but this is how I'd handle the situation.

DonM

Alex_W's picture

Don - thanks very much for this, exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to hear.

And like you, I'd be interested in other's opinions as well, because, unless one knows the people, the intimate details of this situation (there are many, not sure I could effectively put them all here but I may try), what is happening with each of the companies, and the industry and country (I'm trying to be a bit anonymous, just in case) it's really hard to say.

So it's about those points that work across all situations, which is exactly what you've done here.

Alex_W's picture

Update on this -

Have not been able to get time with Mrs. MD, and she is traveling again, and with the holidays, uncontactable (unless I email her) before the offer from Company B expires.

I tried to get even a phone call in but couldn't.

Some would call this a sign.

I really like the place and it's real unfortunate to likely have to pass it by for this.

An email for this kind of thing is pretty awkward.

donm's picture

So, have you contacted company B to ask them about the path to permanence? You may be going from the devil you know to the same devil you don't yet know.

Alex_W's picture

I speak with Company B in a couple of days, was trying to give a buffer of time to talk the Company A.

Thing is, I may have no choice but to go to Company B just due to timing. Only recourse is email for Mrs. MD, or Mrs. MD's Number Two.

Company B is not a bad assingment at all, but as you point out, may be another round of impermanance / different company.

It's going to have to be a very carefully crafted email to Mrs. MD.

Alex_W's picture

Well, it's done, it's been a day and no word back from that email. Thought I'd keep you good folks at most aware and at least entertained by this saga.

I will start another, much more detailed thread of how this whole situation came about, it could be a case study in corporate dysfunction.