Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear CR: I Need To Balance Interviewing With My Dying Job


My current position is being moved to another city (far from where I am) and I'm being laid off since I don't want to move. Luckily, my manager gave me the heads up they were actively recruiting for my position, so I was able to get a head start looking for a new one.

After doing some serious resume revamping (using mainly your advice, accomplishment oriented rather than task), I mass applied to around 20 local positions and waited to see what happened. Keep in mind I am still working for my original company until I am officially laid off.

For the first week, I had a few phone interviews, and then an avalanche hit. I got between 5-10 phone interviews, and thanks to a solid understanding of the positions as well as tailoring responses to fit the NEEDS of each position, I've gotten 2nd (or 3rd) round for every single one of them.

Here's my problem; now I have 5-6 2nd round interviews being set up at various times. My current work is starting to suffer due to the overload, and though I'm excited about all the potential I see, I still have not received an offer (hopefully offers will start next week).

I'm looking to answer 2 questions. First, is it bad form to push interviews back due to current work responsibilities? In my mind, showing I respect my current employer would only be a good thing, but I've already received some anger at an attempt to push back a date (they gave me 48 hours for an in person interview that I need to travel to get to; translation take a full day off). Secondly, if these interviews do start to translate into offers, what's the best and friendliest way to leverage the different opportunities into a higher salary at the company I want?




Great questions. You've got good problems.

First, your boss did you a big ol' favor by letting you know you've head is on the chopping block at work. Kudos to your boss. Now lets be clear on something...

So, if you've got vacation time saved up at work, use it. If you've got sick days, use them. There's no way for your performance not to suffer a little if you have to aggressively interview and miss some work.

If your boss gives you crap about interviewing, resist the temptation to say "You told me I was going to lose my job. Did you think I wouldn't go out and interview?" Instead, reward your boss' good intentions by saying, "Maybe I'm interviewing a bit much, but I really need a job right now and I appreciate you letting me know I'm on the way out. It was the right thing to do. When I get a new gig, I'll take you out for a nice dinner to show my appreciation." It's not your fault that the boss let you know you were going to lose your job, and I doubt you'll get fired. Even if you do, you can file for unemployment. In the end, try to work as hard as you can to do the job you still have, but look out for yourself first.

If you do get an offer, ask them if the number is their final offer. It's a really simple way to give someone the hint that you'd like them to bump it up a little. If they ask you how much more you want, just stall for a day. If they don't come up with a better number, just take the one they gave you. If you have a legitimate need for some extra cash, such as needing to move or buy a nicer wardrobe, tell them.


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