- On August 29, 2021
The WSJ article “You’ve Got Another Job Offer. Here’s What to Tell Your Boss” is on-point during the Great Resignation. When you tell your boss about an offer you received, you could get better title/money/perks from your current employer OR you could generate bad feelings/have no way to stay. Some things to think about:
- Yes, employees are asking for more now since they have a lot more leverage than they used to in this tight job market. But accept your employer is not going to automatically match whatever you received, and be ready to walk.
- Before you talk to your boss, know what you really want in order to stay. For example, experts say “[y]ou can tell your boss that you most value the ability to work from home, even if the rival company wants you in the office.”
- To increase the chances of getting what you want from your current job, try to ask in-person if that’s feasible (outside is ok). The WSJ reports a study finding that asking in person for a favor was 34 times more effective than by email. No matter what, don’t threaten to leave with “the nuclear option” of bringing an outside offer. The WSJ suggests, “Explain that a recruiter reached out to you, or that you were surprised by how generous the other offer was and don’t want to feel like you’re giving up so much.” This advice is line with an earlier post I wrote quoting Barbara Corcoran (“If you get an offer from somewhere else and wonder if you should stay, say to your manager: ‘I was surprised to receive an offer for a lot more money, but I’m not taking it and want to stay because I love it here. But that raises the question of what are my prospects in the future here.’ Phrasing it this way instead of ‘I have an offer. What can you do for me?’ will bring the best out of your boss (versus his/her wanting to boot you). Your boss will likely bethinking of ways to keep you, but if your boss isn’t, then you also know it’s a good time to leave.”)
- Know how big the other offer makes a difference in your boss’ mind. Under 10% is unlikely to move your boss, and on the other extreme, if it’s a huge raise, it may make sense for you to go/for your boss to let you go. But if you haven’t been paid your worth (because “pay disparities exist in organizations, often for women, people of color and those who have climbed the ranks internally as opposed to coming from the outside”), then a market offer might prompt bosses to adjust the low salary (or not, in which case you should definitely go).
- Give your employer reasons to get you what you are asking for, e.g., if you want remote work, show how your productivity improved during the pandemic. Keep your request simple and straightforward, and know the likely boundaries of what your boss/HR can do for you, e.g., timing of raises in pay cycles and compensation ranges.