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CivilTom (Civil/Environmental) (OP)
2 Nov 12 0:29
I have been working at job 1 for a month now however I interviewed at a lot of places before starting job 1, and so I just received a call from a different firm. Job 2 is offering a 16% greater salary. My plan is the following: approach current employer and say " hey boss I recently received a large offer from a company I interviewed with a month ago before starting here, although I'm not greedy i could really use the extra money company 2 is offering, would you be able to match their offer?" Is this a good or bad idea? Do you recommend Another route?
Helpful Member!(5)  ajack1 (Automotive)
2 Nov 12 3:26
I would be pretty annoyed if someone did that to me.

Just turn it around and ask how you would feel if they came up to you and said, look I know we offered you this job a month ago but the guy we really wanted has now changed their mind and is prepared to move here but for 16% less than we are paying you, would you mind taking a 16% pay cut as we could really do with cutting overheads in these difficult times.

Of course there is always an argument to get everything you can and screw everyone else and it can be argued that is the best business model, but I remain a firm believer that my word is actually worth something. That is how I treat employees and customers and that is how I expect them to treat me.

You can probably guess what my answer would be and what sort of reference you would get.
SomptingGuy (Automotive)
2 Nov 12 5:42
If you really would move, carry out your plan and realise the consequences. If your current employer just says "goodbye", move on. Your CV will show you as a hopper.

- Steve

Helpful Member!  TenPenny (Mechanical)
2 Nov 12 7:58
It's kinda like meeting some other woman on your honeymoon. At some point, you have to accept that you've made a bit of a commitment to the other party. I'd not be impressed if a new employee pulled this. After a year, you could at least say that you feel the job doesn't suit you, but after a month, unless there's a serious issue, leaving for 16% is pretty cheesy.
Terminus0 (Mechanical)
2 Nov 12 8:27
Too late you've made a commitment.
Helpful Member!  MintJulep (Mechanical)
2 Nov 12 8:37
Just go ahead and take the better offer, say so long to current employer.

You need to look out for yourself, because no one else will.
Latexman (Chemical)
2 Nov 12 8:38
What does this incremental 16% add up to if invested every month over the rest of your career at, say, 7.5%? I bet it's around $1,000,000.

Good luck,
Latexman

Helpful Member!  mechengdude (Mechanical)
2 Nov 12 8:38
I agree with some of what has been posted so far.

Do not go to your present employer and ask for a pay increase after one month.

If you believe that job #2 is a better fit for you partly because there is a pay increase then make arrangements and switch jobs.

Unless you have signed a contract, do not beleive that you have made a "commitment". If the situation was reversed and company #1 lost a huge part of thier business for whatever reason, they will not keep you on board. They will let you go anytime the money dictates.

Good luck.
Forensic74 (Structural)
2 Nov 12 8:47
Take the new job, it will show the old employer that they're not paying enough. This is how the industry's average salaries increase, better for all of us.

Obviously you wont work at your current company ever again.
controlsdude (Electrical)
2 Nov 12 9:12
If its one of those places that gaurentees employment, then its look out for yourself situation.

I would not even mention this to the employer about your offer, just setting yourself up to be fired at worst. At the least as being a job hopper and not very committed to this job. Don't give your employer any reason to think your not committed to this job.

But if you want to move on arrange it with the other employer, turn in your notice, dont say where your going, then leave go to next employer. Look out for yourself.
kylesito (Structural)
2 Nov 12 9:36
Are both of these companies local or in the same market? I hope if you decide to take it they are not. There is no way you won't burn a bridge in this situation. I don't care if you tell your current company where you are going or not....it's a small world out there and your reputation stays with you no matter what. And I think a situation like this will ding your reputation no matter how its executed.

For instance, how will the new employer react when they found out you were only with a company for one month? Should they trust you? Is this really the first thing you want them to learn about you and your work ethic? Looking down the road, how will you ever convince a future employer you aren't a flight risk and you are worth them investing in you?

I get the whole argument about looking out for yourself. But there is a argument to be made to about opportunities opening up when you establish the type of employee you are. This just seems likea big risk to be throwing out there in the name of looking out for yourself.

If the company you are with currently is a bad situation...maybe. But given both jobs being equal with equal opportunites....I think you are wiser to stick it out with the current company than risk the alternative.

Just a thought...why would the new company wait over a month longer to make an offer to you anyway...seems to me like they made offers to other people and then got to you. I would be leery of that situation panning out.

PE, SE
Eastern United States

"If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then that builder shall be put to death!"
~Code of Hammurabi

SNORGY (Mechanical)
2 Nov 12 10:19
You have to decide what drives you: your word or your remuneration.

My word drives me...and I am not as financially well off as others whose remuneration drives them.

But what I *am* is smarter, better and more respected. It takes a while for that to catch up to you, but it does eventually, and its worth investing in the wait.
CivilTom (Civil/Environmental) (OP)
2 Nov 12 10:22
I currently work with a small company..The new offer is from a large fortune 500 company. They arent calling me as a last resort, their process just takes a bit longer and I was aware of that at the time. They mentioned at the interview that they would contact me in 4-5 weeks. However Job 1 gave me an offer soon after. Lets switch the scenario. Because I already have a position at job 1...should I counter job 2 with a suprsingly large number just to see if I could get it. I mean its worth a shot, right? And if they do offer a greater amount of over 20% of my current wages...this would be a no brainer.
SomptingGuy (Automotive)
2 Nov 12 10:30
As they say: "Sh1t or get off the pot."

- Steve
 
frv (Structural)
2 Nov 12 11:01
Take this into consideration: fortune 500 companies tend to (but not always) hire and lay off with ease. As soon as the economy may have any sign of trouble, the first area they will cut costs is in personnel. A smaller company may (but, again, not necessarily) try to weather a storm with the few employees they have.
EnergyMix (Nuclear)
2 Nov 12 11:18
We've had people do that here -- they've hired on, worked for a month or so, received a better offer and left. Shrug.

Don't bother going to your boss asking for a raise. Instead decide whether you want to take the other offer.
If you do, then let your company know that you've received a better offer and that you'll be leaving in X number of weeks. They haven't invested a great deal of time in you yet, they'll get over you pretty quickly and you'll both move on.
DHambley (Electrical)
2 Nov 12 11:21
CivilTom,
Do you LIKE your one-month job? I find it surprising that pay is the only criteria I'm reading from you. I've quit jobs paying 50% more than I make now because I don't give my skills to jerks. Job satisfaction is much more important, for me at least. If you don't really like your present boss and you're being treated badly then, for sure, quit.
jehake12 (Mechanical)
2 Nov 12 11:36
You can't make everybody happy. Your employer will do whats best for them. You should do whats best for you. Perhaps working at the fortune 500 company is more secure/pays a bit more out the gates, but you might be able to do more interesting work, have more responsibility, and grow more as an engineer at the small firm. I'd imagine that you are better of at whichever company allows you to grow best as an engineer/person. Take the position you want most and don't worry so much about it.
IRstuff (Aerospace)
2 Nov 12 11:40
Just because large companies are amoral S*Bs does not give you the right to be one yourself. Much of your decision making will depend on how big or same your job market is. If your F500 company is across the street from your current company, then torching bridges to your current company is a big deal. There is a finite probability that you might work for or in a company with coworkers from the current company in the future. If you develop a reputation as a job hopper, that's a difficult mantle to discard. Note that this one month will need to be accounted for in your resume for future jobs; how will you explain a 1-month stint?

We used to have a tech that jumped ship for about 10% increase in salary; a while later, he was on the market again and we passed, even though he was actually a pretty good technician, but we couldn't afford the instability and associated drama.

TTFN
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Helpful Member!  DRWeig (Electrical)
2 Nov 12 12:21
I'm siding with the folks telling you to abandon your plan. No good can come of asking a one-month company to match an outside offer.

If you want the higher paying job, resign with proper notice. You don't need to tell anyone why, but it might be kind to explain to your boss (if he asks) that you are leaving for much higher pay. He may or may not try to match it, but I certainly wouldn't offer a match if a new fellow or lady came asking. I might raise the range for that position when looking for a new hire, though.

I guess I've been burned by corporations over the years, but never by a small company that was run by its founders. I've seen the corporate bosses lay good people off without even knowing their names. In that game, I look at it like this: On payday, they hand me some money for the previous two weeks or month or whatever. At that point, the company and I are even. They owe me nothing, I owe them nothing. All debts are paid. Loyalty to those who are not loyal in return is not something I can do.

Now I work for an absolutely superb boss who always seems to see things my way, and always agrees with me. I see him first thing each morning when I look in the mirror to have a shave. I hope you can get there someday.

Meantime, no matter what your sense of loyalty vs me-first is (and either is OK with me), my advice is the same as I just stuck in another thread. Leave all that job garbage in the parking lot when you go home after work. It'll still be there in the morning. The time in between is your gift to enjoy, so make the most of it.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

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GreggW30 (Industrial)
2 Nov 12 12:55
I agree with some of the others. Take the higher paying job but be respectful about it. You don't want to burn any bridges because you will never know when you might need them again.
Helpful Member!  StevenHPerry (Mechanical)
2 Nov 12 13:21

Quote (CivilTom)

Because I already have a position at job 1...should I counter job 2 with a suprsingly large number just to see if I could get it. I mean its worth a shot, right? And if they do offer a greater amount of over 20% of my current wages...this would be a no brainer.

Say they don't play ball. The +16% offer might be taken off the table. Even if it stays on the table, will you put your tail between your legs and take the original offer? You start your relationship with the company by saying "I will ask for more, but I will take whatever you offer me first." That +16% offer may be followed by 0% raises for several years.

Good will can be worth more than a +/- 4% pay if you have career ambitions outside of a paycheck. Good will and growth potential at a smaller company could be worth more than 16% even.

- Steve Perry
This post is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that the author is not engaged in rendering engineering or other professional service. If you need help, get help, and PAY FOR IT.

MrHershey (Structural)
2 Nov 12 13:35
Pretty sure I wouldn't take the extra 16% to work for a big company as opposed to a small firm. But that's me.
Helpful Member!  IRstuff (Aerospace)
2 Nov 12 14:53
If you do jump ship, just bear in mind that your new company recognizes that you'll bail at the drop of a hat, and you'd likely be first on any layoff list.

TTFN
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Helpful Member!  77JQX (Civil/Environmental)
2 Nov 12 15:54
This same thing happen to my college roommate - shortly after starting work for Company 1, Company 2 called and offered more money. Turns out, the boss at company 2 was friends with the boss at company 1, and they were testing my roommate's loyalty and character. My roommate passed the test (refused the second offer), and went on to a successful career. Not saying that's what's happening here, but I've seen it happen.

My advice is do the honorable thing, and tell company 2 no, that you've just started with company 1, and although you'd like the extra money you've made a committment. Then get the recruiter's name, and call him in a couple of years.

bcd (Mechanical)
2 Nov 12 16:29
It is pretty easy to determine the salary range for Engineers in a region. Salary.com for example. HR in every company knows and uses these tools to establish pay ranges for your job. It is common for companies to offer 10% or more to entice a new recruit to switch jobs. After that, expect below average raises until you are brought back into the regional market pay range for your job. Do not expect that you will be paid 16% above market rate for your entire career.

In reality, 16% now is nothing compared to what your salary should be 5 to 10 years from now if you work hard and are promoted to higher levels of responsibility. Promotions, not annual raises that attempt to offset inflation are where you will get the larget part of your salary increases. Focus and work hard to get promotions and in the long run, 16% now is peanuts.
Helpful Member!(3)  JedClampett (Structural)
2 Nov 12 17:42
I am in a kind of middle management role where I am. I can't hire anyone on my own or give raises, but if I was to blackball someone, they wouldn't get hired. I keep a list. On it are engineers who were horrible interviews and ones who used our offer to leverage their current employer to give them a raise. If I was to run into these guys again, they wouldn't get interviewed.
My tedious point is, if you were to pull a stunt like that (work for me for one month and leave for more money), you'd go on the list. Nothing personal, best of luck, but even if you won the Nobel Prize for Engineering, you're not coming back. I know it's just business, and you've only put in a month, but it took time to interview you, hire you, have you go through the HR stuff, etc. I've had to find you tasks, start your training, show you where the bathroom was. And now I have to do without you and do it all over again.
I'm sure it's no great loss for either of us, but it's just a poor way to start out.
Helpful Member!  ajack1 (Automotive)
2 Nov 12 18:20
There still seem to be two very different schools of thought on here, those who value their word and respect others and those who just do what is best for them and care little for others.

My sincere hope is they all find themselves working with others who feel the same way as they do, be they employers or employees.
Helpful Member!  frv (Structural)
2 Nov 12 18:39
Ajack1, I think that's a false dichotomy.

Personally, I would have thanked company 2 for the offer and told them that it was a shame they didn't offer me the position previously, because I had already accepted a position elsewhere.

However, the few people who have advised the OP to go for the money don't have a completely invalid argument. Companies, despite centuries-old supreme court decisions to the contrary, are not people and do not have feelings or empathy. Most companies would not hesitate to lay you off given even a semblance of economic trouble. Not because they are evil, or "enjoy" it, but because the business of being in business is to make a profit. If carrying you for a few months extra will cut into that profit, they will let you go. Again, it's just business. So when other people are advising him to take the offer and look out for himself, I don't think it's an entirely one-sided argument, as you'd suggest. With few exceptions, companies look out for themselves and the workers look out for themselves. They are simply suggesting he take advantage of the opportunity when he gets them.

Having said all that, it is likely in the OP's best interest not to take the offer, lest he end up on a list somewhere. It is certainly true that engineering is quite a small community.
Helpful Member!  ivymike (Mechanical)
2 Nov 12 22:16
Here's a question.. why would this one month stint ever show up on this guy's resume? That would be a silly piece of 'experience' to highlight. A resume isn't a credit record, it's your personal marketing brochure!
IRstuff (Aerospace)
3 Nov 12 0:45
Well, you can lie and hide it, but if they do their due diligence and find that one month gap, then you're hosed. If you leave it as a hole, and they find out that did jump ship, then you're hosed. If they don't find out, it'll still bug them.

Gaps are potential red flags for employers.

TTFN
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mechengdude (Mechanical)
3 Nov 12 8:01
A question for anyone making the "you gave your word" to company #1 arugument.

How long must the OP stay at his current poistion to satisfy your sense of "right", six months, 1 year, 5 years?

Regards

Latexman (Chemical)
3 Nov 12 8:21
Get the offer in writing. Pass their physical. Give notice. Live happily ever after (hopefully).

Sound very procedural? If Co. # 1 (or # 2) needs to lay you off, you'll get to see their procedure.

16% more money. Bigger company - probably better benefits, more opportunities. More risk? Maybe yes, maybe no. But, for sure you'll be able to weather the risk better with 16% more money!

Good luck,
Latexman

CorBlimeyLimey (Mechanical)
3 Nov 12 9:01

Quote (mechengdude)

A question for anyone making the "you gave your word" to company #1 arugument.
How long must the OP stay at his current poistion to satisfy your sense of "right", six months, 1 year, 5 years?
Good question!
In addition to that, if the other offer was 50% or 100% more would you still feel the same? What % is the breaking point?


CivilTom,
Is this your first job?
Are you under any kind of probationary period? If so, your current company could decide you are not a good fit at any time during that period, you will be let go without a tear in their eyes. And if there is a probationary period, remember that it works for both the company and you.
ThomasH (Structural)
3 Nov 12 10:17
CivilTom

If this is your first job then I would be careful. One month and then you jump ship because of money. You say you are not greedy but I think that is exactly what your employer will think that you are. Worst case, both of them, because I guess that no 2 knows about no 1.

You have made a commitment, what is your word worth to yourself?

Regarding how long, well one month is to short.

Good Luck

Thomas
Helpful Member!(2)  Forensic74 (Structural)
3 Nov 12 14:10

Quote (jedclampett)

I am in a kind of middle management role where I am. I can't hire anyone on my own or give raises, but if I was to blackball someone, they wouldn't get hired. I keep a list. On it are engineers who were horrible interviews and ones who used our offer to leverage their current employer to give them a raise. If I was to run into these guys again, they wouldn't get interviewed.
My tedious point is, if you were to pull a stunt like that (work for me for one month and leave for more money), you'd go on the list. Nothing personal, best of luck, but even if you won the Nobel Prize for Engineering, you're not coming back. I know it's just business, and you've only put in a month, but it took time to interview you, hire you, have you go through the HR stuff, etc. I've had to find you tasks, start your training, show you where the bathroom was. And now I have to do without you and do it all over again.
I'm sure it's no great loss for either of us, but it's just a poor way to start out.

Nothing personal? You've got to be kidding me. Instead of making a blacklist, how about discussing with your HR how to provide better compensation to retain employees. If I found out that you were paying me 16% less than other local companies I would not want to work for you and could care less about your petty list.
MikeHalloran (Mechanical)
3 Nov 12 16:20
Forty plus years ago, when I was starting out, and the world seemed different, I wouldn't have jumped ship from a new job for any amount of money, because I had made a commitment, given my word, etc.

Now, after the number of times I have passed up decent opportunities out of loyalty to a sinking ship, the ways in which loyalty has been rewarded, the amount of money that hasn't come my way, the number of times I have been screwed over in countless ways, I'd have to think about it. I don't think sixteen percent is a big enough increment, but now, I think I could be bought.


(
Mr. President, are you listening?
My vote is available for the price of one new Escalade, white preferred, not that stupid pearlescent stuff, and a free gas card good for Four More Years.
You know where I am.
)

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

Helpful Member!(3)  ukengineer58 (Civil/Environmental)
3 Nov 12 17:06
i like jeds list. it reminds of when i was ten and got to take my ball home if the other kids didnt play to my rules
ukengineer58 (Civil/Environmental)
3 Nov 12 17:50
personally i would stay (i think). however how is it greedy for a emplyee to go for more money. a company would employ the cheaper of two equally able cndidates. buy equipment off yhe cheapest supplier. i jope that in general management are a lot more adult in their views than is being implied hete
ivymike (Mechanical)
3 Nov 12 19:49
" Well, you can lie and hide it, but if they do their due diligence and find that one month gap, then you're hosed. If you leave it as a hole, and they find out that did jump ship, then you're hosed. If they don't find out, it'll still bug them."

Huh? Since when is a resume supposed to be a precise accounting of the minutes you spent with each employer? If you only worked somewhere for a month, then there's nothing to advertise about that experience. The things you write down are the things that show you're qualified and worth more money than they'd been hoping to spend. I don't even list the months that I started/ended each job. So far nobody has ever asked, and to my knowledge nobody has even bothered to call my references before. (Some of them would have told me).
IRstuff (Aerospace)
4 Nov 12 11:27
"Huh? Since when is a resume supposed to be a precise accounting of the minutes you spent with each employer? "

It may be different for me, because of defense-related stuff, but my previous employer was VERY interested in the 1 month I took off between my first and second jobs.

TTFN
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MikeHalloran (Mechanical)
4 Nov 12 12:25
It's not a defense thing, it's an HR-weenie thing.

So many resumes are, uh, "punched up" by recruiters and other miscreants that HR personnel regard them as complete falsehoods, and will expend considerable effort to find omissions and misstatements.

One time I submitted a functional resume, in an effort to direct attention away from temporal gaps as recommended by 'resume experts'. I got to watch as an HR weenie who had no concept of what I do for a living, spent three hours interviewing me, basically as a hostile witness, and generating on my behalf a detailed chronological resume that was then submitted to the decision maker. I have seen more impressive resumes from ex-cons. I didn't get that job.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

TomDOT (Materials)
5 Nov 12 8:32
Here are the biggest questions (to me):

1) Are you a good fit at your current employer? Is it a position where you will grow as an engineer? Are you enjoying it? Where do you see yourself in 5 years if you stay with that employer? Do you think the second job would be more rewarding/challenging?

2) Are you in a probationary period? IMNSHO, if you are - you do not have any obligation to stay with the current employer. A probationary period says they're not sure if they really want you, and a probationary period works both ways. The employer is on probation as well.

If you are not sure on #1, stick with the current employer. If you are not on probation, stick with the current employer.

If you are reasonably sure that #2 is a better position/career track, and you are still on probation (likely with no health insurance) - go with #2.

Any answers to future employers about a 1-month job will be explained along those lines. Something like: "I took the job, and during the probationary period I discovered there wasn't going to be much room for growth for me, so I took a more challenging position with ACME." It needs to be true, of course - figure out why you want to switch, and it shouldn't just be "mo money" when it's a 16% difference.

I'd still leave it off the resume. It's only a month. I also leave my high school library job off my resume, unless the employer asks for a full employment history.

Revisit the issue in 2-5 years.
TenPenny (Mechanical)
5 Nov 12 8:39
Some very interesting points of view on here.

Personally, I think if you're in a probationary period, you should at least stick it out to the end of that period, but then again, what do I know. I know I make less money than I could get elsewhere, but I have the ability to take my kids to the things they need to get to, and I have a happy family life. That's more important to me than the ability to pay more taxes.
SteelPE (Structural)
5 Nov 12 11:22
It is definitely a tough decision. Both schools of thought have valid points.

I have a friend who was recently unemployed. He was luckily enough get another job about 2 month ago. Well after he started working again he received a call from another employer about an possible job. He interviewed and got the position. He switched jobs and started work literally today. Well I was talking to him today and now he received another call from another employer to go on another interview. His response to me saying that it was a small industry the word will get out was "show me the money". Kind of disappointing.

As far a Jed's list, you put people on your list who had a bad interview? Good luck with that. You do realize that sometimes people don't interview well. Like my friend above, he always has great interviews..... but when it comes down to it I wouldn't hire him to manage a lemonade stand.... but that was only after I had worked with him for a few months.
TomDOT (Materials)
5 Nov 12 11:28
I do have to ask JedClampett (or JedBlacklist....)

When you hire someone, are they flat-out hired? Or do they have some kind of probationary period? Have you ever let someone go if things aren't working out in the first few months?
PatCouture (Mechanical)
5 Nov 12 11:39
The money should not be the main deciding factor!

I would not mind explaining a one month stint at a job if the reason was because I was really hoping for an offer from employer #2 but took offer #1 because I didn't know at the time if they would hire me at place #2. Also if it can be explained by geographical distance or career opportunity that better fits my profile, etc. It's good as long as those are good and honest decision from my part.

I've always worked in small business so If I'm the employer I'd rather have somebody jump shit after one month, than waiting six to quit! Yes it's though to have to start all over again the search for help but if the new hire is leaving it's probably because he would not have been a good fit anyway or I'm not offering enough for the position.

What I want to say is obviously don't ask for more money at job #1 either you want the job and you keep it or it's not good enough for you and you leave. After that if you are leaving only for a better pay then make sure you are ready to live with this decision. At the end of this you still have to live with your conscience.

My 2 cents

Patrick
JedClampett (Structural)
5 Nov 12 12:22
We have a probationary period. I think it's 3 or 6 months. To get let go during that period you would have to show general incompetence. An example would be if someone represents themselves as a structural engineer with 10 years experience and they couldn't design a concrete beam. I've never heard of it being enforced.
As far as my list, I'm doing it as a favor for the people I work for.
Them; "Jed, that new employee looks familiar."
Me: "Oh yeah. He worked here about five years ago, but left after a month for a 16% raise."
Them: "Well why did he hire the %$#^&*%@ back? Did you know about this?"
If someone left for personal reasons, or they didn't like the location or they just hated what we do, that's fine. Or if they felt that we didn't meet our committments.
As far as our company's compensation, we didn't have the problem. But it would certainly be reasonable that within the bell shaped curve that represents starting salaries, one company might be on the high end and another be 16% below that.
Helpful Member!  GTstartup (Electrical)
5 Nov 12 12:47
Reminds me of the old joke where a guy askes a woman "would you sleep with me for 1 million dollars?" Shes thinks and says "yes". Then he asks "would you sleep with me for 50 bucks?" She replies "No! what kind of woman do you think I am?" He says" we've established what kind of woman you are, now we are just haggling over the price"

So I say to the posters here, who somehow think that the OP wouild be breaking his word. How would your principles hold up if you where in the same situation and the better offer was 100% better?

I say, if 16% salary increase is going to make a positive difference to you and your family, then go for it.
IRstuff (Aerospace)
5 Nov 12 13:00
If it was only about money, most of us would be lawyers...

Oddly, some of those posting about the money are probably PEs, so they don't see an ethical problem with dumping an existing customer for another one offering more money?

TTFN
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ScottyUK (Electrical)
5 Nov 12 13:15
Would the customer drop you for a 16% saving?

Ethics has to work both ways otherwise one party ends up getting screwed.
Helpful Member!  kylesito (Structural)
5 Nov 12 13:44

Quote (GTStartup)

How would your principles hold up if you where in the same situation and the better offer was 100% better?

The same either case.

The argument still deals with the consequences of it. You could potentially damage your reputation, potentially have to explain/defend the action down the road, or could burn a bridge with future colleagues at your current company. The question is whether you feel the benefit is enough to outweigh these potential consquences.

If the OP's trade off line is below 16%, then go for it. If not, then don't.

Knowing what I know now, 16% is not enough to outweigh these consquences for me knowing the local market I do business in. 100% definately would be.

It still comes down to an argument of benefits vs consequences and that's not something anyone else can figure out.

PE, SE
Eastern United States

"If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then that builder shall be put to death!"
~Code of Hammurabi

ukengineer58 (Civil/Environmental)
5 Nov 12 16:16
IrStuff once the obligations are complete to the customer then you can do what you like. Surely an employees obligation is to turn up and do their best and can leave within the required notice. Similarly the employer can terminate in the same way. Unless of course you propose contacts for life, on both parties side.
Helpful Member!  Forensic74 (Structural)
6 Nov 12 13:48
Burning bridges? unethical? Come on guys, its not like the OP had his tuition paid for and signed a promissory contract to work for the company for X number of years. Or it's not like he was in charge of a massive project for the company and gave them 2 days notice. Bottom line, companies take risks of employee turnover by being at the mid to bottom end of the salary bell curve. If you get placed on one of these so called blacklists for leaving for a significant raise, then I say they're merely lists to keep track of the engineers who place some value on their salary....I would not want to work for such a firm anyway. I'd rather work for a firm that addresses employee attrition by improving the benefit package, rather than scouting for people who dont stand up for themselves.
brandonbw (Civil/Environmental)
8 Nov 12 10:42
I wouldn't be as concerned about pay starting out as being more concerned about what experience can be gained. You may or may not have a better chance at learning more in a faster period of time at a smaller company. I know I learned a lot at a smaller company where I started, but didn't have as many resources available to me as a larger company would. It turns out even though I also came in making very little, the owner was very quick to raise my salary very consistently. The benefits also turned out to be very good. They just never talked about end of the year bonuses and other nice things for some reason until it happened.

I then went to a larger company making a lot more right off the bat. Stress stress stress and not the same family environment. Believe it or not that larger company is what made me realize I needed to start my own company.

B+W Engineering and Design
Los Angeles Civil Engineer and Structural Engineer
http://bwengr.com | http://bwstructuralengineer.com | http://bwcivilengineer.com

KENAT (Mechanical)
8 Nov 12 11:15
For what it's worth, when fresh out of university it took me a few months to start getting bites from potential employers. I then got 2 around the same time, small company first and a much larger one just slightly later.

However, because the small company was quicker about interviewing me and getting me an offer I took it. I cancelled my interview with the big company even though based on their typical pay scales etc. I may have made a bit more there.

I suspect it worked out OK for me, within a couple of years at the small company I got some bit raises which probably made up for anything I lost the first year or two.

Sorry, but I'm not sure I can decide which side to come down on this one. I strongly empathize with what ajack has said, but then I have the same question as mechengdude. Being the guy I am I'd probably stick with the company that already gave me a chance,

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

IRstuff (Aerospace)
8 Nov 12 13:19
"Burning bridges? unethical? Come on guys, its not like the OP had his tuition paid for and signed a promissory contract to work for the company for X number of years."

We don't know what they spent or invested. If this had been through a headhunter, they would have given the headhunter a commission. Or, the OP might have gotten moving expenses. As a minimum, the company invested time and money to recruit the OP, which is now wasted, in addition to the lost time to be invested in a new hire that has to be brought up to speed on whatever the OP was doing at the company.

TTFN
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

Venturini (Mechanical)
8 Nov 12 13:51
If they paid a headhunter comission for finding someone who doesn't fit the corporation and will leave for a slitghtely higher wage (or actually a salary wich fits his position) then they might have to re-think their hiring process and this headhunter.

If something like this became a problem just out of the first month, something is clearly some unresolved matters on the job assingment.
IRstuff (Aerospace)
8 Nov 12 14:28
I just saying that someone leaving a company incurs costs that would have otherwise not occurred. And when you ding someone's pocketbook, they're remember.

That said, better for the company for the OP to bail now, rather than later, when there's more investment in him, and more perturbation in projects he's touched that have to transitioned to someone else.

With interviewees, my first gate is to figure out the average years/job. Too low a value will definitely result in a lower score. What the OP is contemplating may be a recurrent habit with him.

TTFN
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Helpful Member!(5)  spongebob007 (Military)
12 Nov 12 11:56
I have posted it on these forums before-COUNTER OFFERS ARE POISON, whether using a job offer as a blackmail tool at your current employer or giving your notice and then getting an unsolicited counter from your boss. In the first instance you are potentially burning two bridges. If your current employer counters you will always be marked as a traitor. When you go back to company #2 and tell them "Thanks but on thanks" they will most likely (correctly) suspect that you are simply using their offer to extort more money out of your current employer and you will go on their black list as well. In the second scenario your quitting has caught your manager off guard and having to replace you will mean more headaches for him having to find a new employee and figure out how to pick up the slack of the work you are leaving behind. A counter offer is nothing more than a way to get rid of you on the companys terms. Even if I may sound a bit paranoid and this doesn't happen to you, remember what I said before-you still have the stigma of being labeled a traitor. People will remember this for years, and while it may seem like nothing bad happened to you, five years down the line you could be passed over for that big promotion because one of the decision makers remembers the time you threatened to quit if you didn't get a raise.

Another bit of advice I will give you is that not being paid enough or not being able to pay your bills are NOT vaild reasons to ask for a raise. If you want more money you need to be able to justify your value to your employer. After only one month at a job, it would take a big set of brass balls to threaten your employer to leave if they don't counter your other offer. I can almost guarantee that in one month on the job you haven't done anything to justify to your new employer giving you a raise of over 17%. At this point their investment in you is minimal so you have absolutely no bargaining power.

If job #2 is what you want, accept the offer, give your current employer two weeks notice, and leave on the best terms possible.


Finally, money isn't everything and a well paying job you hate isn't worth it. I learned this lesson the hard way. At my last job I was about 20K a year under paid based on research I had done. I liked the work and it was a pretty relaxed environment where working over 40 hours a week was rare and on occasions I was able to duck out early on Friday afternoon to go fishing. I make quite a bit more now but I have to earn every penny of it and then some. I really no longer have any concept of what an 8 hour day is. I am routinely working 50+ hours a week, sometimes for months at a clip. I have even put in a few 16 hour days. Working 7 days a week is also not out of the question, especially since I am tethered to my company laptop. I have even had to work from home on vacation days. Speaking of vacation, if I need to take time off I usually have to work 12+ hours a day to wrap things up before I go, or work 12+ hours a day to catch up when I get back. I spent the majority of this past summer traveling for work. Let me tell you, this stuff gets old quick and some days I seriously think I would take a job offer for $20K less than I am making now if the potential employer could guarantee that I would never have to work more than 40 hours a week. So if you feel that company #2 is better work with more opportunities for career advancement or more stability, go for it. The 16% raise should just be gravy.
IRstuff (Aerospace)
12 Nov 12 12:04
The converse, of course, is that there are potential jobs that you love, where putting 80 hrs a week still has you wanting to do more, and where 20% below median is OK, because the job is just so rewarding. I've done the "taking a 20% cut" job, to avoid uprooting my family, and haven't regretted the decision one whit.

TTFN
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HornTootinEE (Electrical)
12 Nov 12 12:21
I took a 10% cut for a job, uprooted my family, and the new job sucks big time, so I'm on the hunt-I'll be in the new job 6 months in December, and am hoping something else shakes out soon or I'll go crazy. But, if this is a first job out of college for the OP-might be trouble.
mechengdude (Mechanical)
13 Nov 12 8:22
CivilTom -

I have really enjoyed reading this post. Best I can tell, you are somewhere between being the scum of the earth and you will never ever work in this town again to a normal guy that wants to get paid what you are worth.

Let us know how it works out for you.

Best of luck.
Latexman (Chemical)
13 Nov 12 9:32
Yes, are you going to fish, or cut bait?

Good luck,
Latexman

FixedEarth (Geotechnical)
13 Nov 12 10:22
There has got to be a consequence on the employers who take their sweet time to hire. One of that consequence is that some engineers will get hired by other firms. You have an obligation to this firm for a time longer than it takes to process two paychecks.

I mean where does it stop? What if, after another month, one of the other interviewers offers you a 10% more salary than employer 2? Would you have 3 employers in two months?
DRWeig (Electrical)
13 Nov 12 10:55

Quote (IRstuff)

...there are potential jobs that you love, where putting 80 hrs a week still has you wanting to do more

IRstuff, I think that this may be the first time I have ever disagreed with one of your posts. I enjoy the heck out of my work. However, its underlying purpose is to earn some money for the enjoyment of my personal life. Family first is my primary directive, and I hope that does not hurt or offend those who do not have family or are estranged from them.

If I ever catch myself working 80 or even 41 hours and still wanting to do more, I'll be looking for a good psychiatrist, post haste.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

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calguy07 (Electrical)
13 Nov 12 11:38
@spongebob007,

Are you saying that if you interview at a company and reject the offer in favour of staying with your current employer that you'll be black listed by the company that you rejected? That's crazy. If the offer isn't better than your current situation, what do they expect you to do? How would the potential employer even know that you would use the offer as leverage to get a raise?
spongebob007 (Military)
13 Nov 12 18:07
I turned down an offer a number of years back and the guy (a head hunter and not the actual hiring manager) came right out and asked me if I was using the job offer as leverage with my current employer.
IRstuff (Aerospace)
14 Nov 12 10:11
G.D., I was talking about passion, not finance winky smile Clearly, family is important, but slogging at a job that you hate, well, that's a job.

For some of us, we occasionally get a job that we love; I thank my lucky stars for a job where I do what I really enjoy, it's like someone's paying me to pursue my hobby spin2 It's not wine and roses every day, but that's what pays for the rest of the job fun.

TTFN
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MiketheEngineer (Structural)
14 Nov 12 11:46
You are probably going to piss off one of two people:

1. Yourself for not taking the better job or
2. Your current employer.

Your call.
Helpful Member!  DRWeig (Electrical)
14 Nov 12 12:33
Thanks for the clarification, IRstuff. I feel better now. I also was having a cynical day yesterday. I reminded myself last night at bed time that I work for myself now, so any job stress is my own darned fault. When a client throws an unattainable timeline in my face, I can treat it as if it were a key lime pie. Scrape it off my face and into my mouth (yummy), then wash up and forget about it.

Back on topic: Even though I'm on my own, I remain on the loyalty-begets-loyalty side. Companies will punt you out the door with two weeks' pay at any moment, without warning, to make the profit hit the goal. The decision is made in private, without consulting you or even letting you know that your livelihood is being discussed. If the company is large enough, the people in that meeting don't even know your name.

Look at the employer the same way. You don't owe them anything for hiring you. You work, they pay, all is square. Nobody owes anything. If they hired you at a below-market salary, you have already felt their stinger. Don't hang around for more.

I would expect my company's employees to treat me the same way. As the mafia used to put it in the movies, "Nothing personal, just bizness. (Bang!)"

Nota bene: I did work for one company over the years that was the polar opposite. The owner was a wealthy man, and he let everyone know up front that if sales tanked, zero profit fine with him. Even a pretty good loss would not lead to layoffs. "If the doors are still open and you're doing good work, you have a job." That was the loyalty that begat loyalty from those who worked there. Rest in peace, Bob.

The ones that chap my backside are those who try to budget for a really huge increase in profit for the coming calendar year. We'll call the goal $XXX million more than the prior year.

If the sales projections in January say that the growth will only be $XXX * 0.98, headcounts roll out the door at the year's start to make the budget fit the projections. Keeping that bottom line number the same is the number one goal. Six months into the year, when it starts to appear that the profit will only be $XXX x 0.97, headcounts again parade to HR for their bye-bye paperwork and pay. I have heard that some companies are extra nice and give their evictees roller skates so they can get around when their cars get repossessed.

I'll stop now. I better not read this thread again, it's bad for my blood pressure.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

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lansford (Electrical)
14 Nov 12 13:51
A fellow accepted an offer as an engineering manager at a utlity and on the first day of work showed up and told the new employer he was going back to his former employer because they offered him a director position. He left after one hour on the job.
The senior management at the utility was not disappointed, offended, embarrassed etc in the least.
They admired the fellow for telling them to their face!

Go figure?


DRWeig (Electrical)
14 Nov 12 15:01
I forgot to add to my last rant:

My opinions are formed from MY experience. Yours may be different. I very much respect the opinions of all eng-tippers, and I'm glad you feel good posting them frankly and honestly.

Now I'm really gone from this thread. It's disturbing my karma. I'll have to counter that with some new feng shui in my office, and I hate to move furniture.

Pax vobiscum.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

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Helpful Member!  CivilTom (Civil/Environmental) (OP)
20 Nov 12 9:31
UPDATE

I took the new job. Here is why:
-I plan to start my masters in the spring, the new company offers tuition reimbursment.
-The field of work the new company does is geared more toward engineering, therefore I feel I am more of an engineer.
-The new job is downtown. I would like the change of scenery.
-The benefits look much better, including a annual 5% raise + incentives.
-The salary came out to be 26% greater.

I failed to mention one thing and this may actaully change many minds. When I started at company A I only needed about 1 days worth of training. The work was simple for me and therefore I was able to complete tasks without asking any questions. Not much time was invested in me. I beleive I made the company double my pay so far. No benefits have taken into effect yet and I didnt take any pto.

After making a pro and con list and considering the adivce here. I think I made the right choice.
Latexman (Chemical)
20 Nov 12 9:52
Excellent! It seemed like a no-brainer to me from the beginning. Hopefully in 30 years you will see it as a good decision. Let us know how it's going in a few months before they lock this post.

Good luck,
Latexman

Terminus0 (Mechanical)
20 Nov 12 9:52
Good for you, I wish you well.
PatCouture (Mechanical)
20 Nov 12 10:22
I'm glad to see that you put the better salary as the fifth reason why you choose that job opportunity.

How did your current employer react when you told him?

Patrick
TomDOT (Materials)
3 Dec 12 16:55
Tom, how's the new job?
Helpful Member!(2)  CivilTom (Civil/Environmental) (OP)
28 Dec 12 9:22
Sorry for the late response, the new job is great. It's a laid back work environment, and the days go by quickly. I work with a young group of engineers and a great manager/mentor. I'm very happy with the decision I made.
MacGyverS2000 (Electrical)
2 Jan 13 11:45

Quote (CivilTom)

I took the new job. Here is why:
-I plan to start my masters in the spring, the new company offers tuition reimbursment.
-The field of work the new company does is geared more toward engineering, therefore I feel I am more of an engineer.
-The new job is downtown. I would like the change of scenery.
-The benefits look much better, including a annual 5% raise + incentives.
-The salary came out to be 26% greater.
Those are all excellent reasons for changing positions... I wish you well, and it sounds like you made the right decision.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

Latexman (Chemical)
2 Jan 13 13:47

Quote (Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith)

I love it when a plan comes together.

Good luck,
Latexman

JBcveg (Civil/Environmental)
2 Jan 13 16:35
My room mate from college worked with a small firm and they refused to give him a raise(1+ year). Another comapny offered him more money and he left.(1< year). Company 1 hired him back (he got more money and more percs). So, if your doing a good job and a valued employee, be nice, be couteous, and do a good job. People take notice. Multiple employers hired me back all through college. Even leveraged for raises.

Business is business! You will be the one to live with your decision.
DRWeig (Electrical)
2 Jan 13 17:23
Congratulations, CivilTom!

That's a good ending to a quandary.

In spite of my double rants above, this thread was very thought-provoking. Good stuff.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

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