Dear J.T. & Dale: A woman I worked closely with just left our company. The company she went to is pretty cool, and she’s pushing me hard to apply for a job there, and says I’ll definitely get it. While I think she’s nice enough, there’s something about her that feels a bit competitive. There were times where she talked about her boss and it’s clear that she thought she wasn’t getting enough recognition. That’s why she decided to leave. It almost feels like she wants me to leave so that my company will suffer. I don’t necessarily want to miss out on an opportunity, but something feels off. – Sofia
J.T.: I would strongly encourage you to do your homework on this job before thinking about leaving. Even so, if you really like the company that you’re with now, and there’s an opportunity for growth, I would advise you to stay. There is a saying: Last in, first out. Anytime you start a new job there’s a grace period and if it doesn’t work out you could be in trouble. Also, based on what you’ve told me, it does sound like your former coworker thinks she’s better than others and that could come back to bite her at the new role. I think you’re wise to stay put and see what you can do to develop your career where you are; if you’re not seeing the results then you can always go back to her and say you made a mistake and now would like her help to find a job there.
DALE: That seems so timid, a corporate mouse trembling in the bureaucratic undergrowth, whispering, “I don’t dare come out.” No. Here is a great opportunity for learning. You’re being given an easy chance to test the job market, just take the offered introduction and see if it leads to a terrific job offer. If the offer is uninspiring, then you stay put. However, with the job market in disarray, you may find yourself worth much more than you’re making now. Sure, do your research and make sure the company is hiring for the right reasons, but don’t pass up a free peek into a different job.
J.T.: So, there are two options. Please let us know what you decide and how it works out.
Dear J.T. & Dale: A bunch of us have heard through the rumor mill that our company is about to be bought. The company that would be buying us has the exact same departments that we do, so my guess is we would all be redundant. We’ve also heard that we might get bonuses by staying. Nobody wants to leave until we know what’s happening. When is the right time to start to look for a job? We don’t want to get let go and be out of work. – Dom
DALE: If you follow this column, then you’ll know this: ABL (that’s Always Be Looking). To have a flourishing career, you will need to be lucky or else be nimble, moving to growing companies in thriving industries. Who’s growing and who’s thriving will keep changing, so you have to keep analyzing the market. What’s the opposite of being nimble? Waiting to get caught in a layoff.
J.T.: Except for one thing. I would definitely stay until the transaction happens, for the reason that you suggested – you never know if you might get some form of bonus or payout. Then, and here’s what Dale is missing, most companies won’t make any dramatic changes for the first 90 days after they announce the purchase. That’s the time that I would get your résumé and LinkedIn profile in order and start looking. Make a list of companies that you would like to work for and start networking with people who work there. That way, at the end of the 90 days, you can put the job search into high gear or you’ll know for sure if they’re keeping you. Either way you’ll be prepared.
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2021 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.