Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Landing that job

You’ve been on a couple interviews and you’re finally getting offers coming in.  But a mistake that gets made quite often is that someone takes the first gig that makes them an offer because they can’t afford to turn it down.  That’s an evil in our society that we have to be forced to something we don’t want just to make a living.  If more companies considered retention in their plans we would be more stable as a workforce and you wouldn’t be forced to make decisions you don’t want to make.  Of course, if companies gave even a single thought to retention a lot of us wouldn’t find ourselves out of a job to begin with.

But leaving that behind, let me just advise you against taking the first job you come across.  If you have a family to support I certainly understand it and you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.  But if you’ve got more than one offer coming in, there’s no reason why the other guys can’t wait a day or 2 for your answer.  Most companies take forever to get you through the process and then expect you to make your decision on the spot.  Try not to fall into that trap if you can help it.  It’s not going to kill them if you take an extra day or 2 to consider all your offers.  Some recruiters like to put pressure on you by getting offended at your audacity for considering a different offer, but that’s just childish and don’t fall for it.  Their only concern is their own paycheck and it has nothing to do with you.  You gotta do what you gotta do.  Take the gig you want not the one the losing recruiter wants you to take. 

Recruiters will play games with you to get you to take gigs too.  I recently witnessed a recruiter telling someone they had to accept the company’s offer right now or it would be rescinded.  Whatever dude.  So if something like that happens to you you have 3 choices.  You can capitulate in which case you get what’s coming to you.  You can also tell them up front that if the deal’s only good right this second that you pass.  That usually changes their tune and fast.  Or you can accept the offer and then entertain other opportunities as they come up.  That may leave you accepting the offer and then rescinding it a few days later, but that’s the cost of doing business.  And if they ask what happened and why you’re backing out, just tell them that you don’t like being blackmailed so you took it to appease them but did your own thing.  Then if at all possible, make sure the company finds out how the recruiters who are representing them are doing business.  You’ll probably find that they knew nothing about the threat and would be pretty upset to hear about it.  I’ve personally ratted out a couple recruiters for similar behavior.  Seriously, don’t let them bully you.

I don’t really like the idea of having to accept a gig and then turn it down a couple days later, but if the recruiter is going to be a child about it then you have to play the game.  My job is to get the best deal for me and my family.  So I’m going to make sure that happens.

So unless you’re about to lose your house, don’t marry the first guy who holds your hand.  There may be better out there.  Personally I don’t like shortterm gigs if I can help it.  I like to get somewhere and stay there.  So when I accept a gig it’s because I think it’s something I want to do for more than 3yrs.  That’s the goal anyway.

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backups are good said...

I enjoy your writings - thanks.

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Sean McCown
I am a Contributing Editor for InfoWorld Magazine, and a frequent contributor to SQLServerCentral.com as well as SSWUG.org. I live with my wife and 3 kids, and have practiced and taught Kenpo for 22yrs now.
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