Personal Insights Archives

Two (or More) Job Opportunities? – 18 Elements of Comparison – [Part 2 of 2]

Published on June 19th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

Difficult Choices

 
“It’s not hard to make decisions
when you know what your values are.”

– Roy E. Disney

NOTE: This is Part 2 of 2 of this Newsletter. We have divided it in half due to its considerable length, befitting its importance to so many employees. Last week we presented Elements of Job Opportunity Comparison 1 through 9; This week we present Elements of Job Opportunity Comparison 10 through 18. (Click here if you want to review our First Installment before reviewing this one.)

ACTUAL CASE HISTORY: Danielle, a senior marketing executive, was quite unhappy in her job. Her employer’s management was extremely dysfunctional. Sales were soft for many reasons, and, of course, much of it was blamed on her and her team. With 21 years experience, she knew her team was running on all cylinders, but even great marketing can’t undo an outdated product, an insufficient marketing budget, and almost daily interference with marketing decisions imposed by the CEO’s wife.

Without her reaching out, she was contacted by a recruiter with a very intriguing opportunity, with (a) better salary, (b) but lower bonus opportunity, (c) greater retirement benefits, but (d) later retirement age, (e) a new, exciting product line to market, but (f) a small marketing budget that gave her limited discretion. The position also came with a three year contract, but it required relocation to a city she’d never before even visited. A confusing list of advantages and disadvantages, positives and negatives.

To say it was a hard choice to make would be an understatement. Danielle knew the positives and negatives of her “bird in the hand,” but didn’t know what she would experience with the “two in the bush.”

Working with Danielle was one of my favorite client experiences. It involved first identifying, and then weighing, her personal values, career planning, life goals and difficult choices.

In the end, she made the move to the new job, and fortunately has never looked back. In hindsight, it was surely the better choice, but as they say, “Hindsight is 20-20 vision; the harder ‘sight’ is ‘insight.’”

These days many people face this dilemma, as company after company seeks to improve its human capital, expand, or just “see what is out there.” If you are in this situation, or if you receive two job offers, the decision between or among your available job opportunities might be a difficult one. Even if you find the decision an easy one to make . . . are you sure you considered all of the factors that are wise to take into account?

LESSON TO LEARN: Depending on your personal preferences, brand and skillset, as well as whether we are in “good” or “bad” economic times, it may seem that job opportunities are depressingly scarce or wonderfully abundant. Whether job opportunities are scarce or abundant, employees often have occasion to decide between (i) leaving their jobs for other offered positions, or (ii) making a choice between two or more new positions offered to them at one time. It is common that comparison of two jobs, or two job offers, can be a difficult thing to do. It is often an “apples vs. oranges” comparison, and can get quite confusing. And, so, we offer you the same list that we offer our clients to make these difficult “apples vs. oranges” comparisons.

The list we offer below has another, somewhat unintended, advantage: It may remind you of one or more job opportunity components of comparison that you had simply not even thought about. Like a checklist of sorts, it may bring to the surface of your consciousness something that had been lurking in your mind, heart and soul, that had not yet come to the surface of your awareness.

For those facing the need to make a choice between “take this job or take that one,” below is what our clients have found to be the most important elements needed to compare, and a simple way of doing so. It is not scientific, it is not foolproof, but most of my clients who have used it reported back to me that it was extremely helpful. Hopefully, it will be for you, as well.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: When you need to compare two or more employment opportunities – whether it’s a choice between two different offers, or remaining in your present job, or accepting a new offer – you need to make your decision wisely, prudently and carefully. For that reason below we present these common elements of job opportunity comparison as a “tried-and-true” method of doing so.
Read the rest of this blog post »

Two (or More) Job Opportunities? – 18 Elements of Comparison – [Part 1 of 2]

Published on June 12th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

Difficult Choices

 
“It’s not hard to make decisions
when you know what your values are.”

– Roy E. Disney

NOTE: This Newsletter is of considerable length, befitting its importance to so many. For this reason we are presenting it in two installments, this first including Elements of Comparison 1 through 9, the second including Elements of Comparison 10 through 18. The second installment will be published next week. “Stay Tuned.”

ACTUAL CASE HISTORY: Danielle, a senior marketing executive, was quite unhappy in her job. Her employer’s management was extremely dysfunctional. Sales were soft for many reasons, and, of course, much of it was blamed on her and her team. With 21 years experience, she knew her team was running on all cylinders, but even great marketing can’t undo an outdated product, an insufficient marketing budget, and almost daily interference with marketing decisions imposed by the CEO’s wife.

Without her reaching out, she was contacted by a recruiter with a very intriguing opportunity, with (a) better salary, (b) but lower bonus opportunity, (c) greater retirement benefits, but (d) later retirement age, (e) a new, exciting product line to market, but (f) a small marketing budget that gave her limited discretion. The position also came with a three year contract, but it required relocation to a city she’d never before even visited. A confusing list of advantages and disadvantages, positives and negatives.

To say it was a hard choice to make would be an understatement. Danielle knew the positives and negatives of her “bird in the hand,” but didn’t know what she would experience with the “two in the bush.”

Working with Danielle was one of my favorite client experiences. It involved first identifying, and then weighing, her personal values, career planning, life goals and difficult choices.

In the end, she made the move to the new job, and fortunately has never looked back. In hindsight, it was surely the better choice, but as they say, “Hindsight is 20-20 vision; the harder ‘sight’ is ‘insight.’”

These days many people face this dilemma, as company after company seeks to improve its human capital, expand, or just “see what is out there.” If you are in this situation, or if you receive two job offers, the decision between or among your available job opportunities might be a difficult one. Even if you find the decision an easy one to make . . . are you sure you considered all of the factors that are wise to take into account?

LESSON TO LEARN: Depending on your personal preferences, brand and skillset, as well as whether we are in “good” or “bad” economic times, it may seem that job opportunities are depressingly scarce or wonderfully abundant. Whether job opportunities are scarce or abundant, employees often have occasion to decide between (i) leaving their jobs for other offered positions, or (ii) making a choice between two or more new positions offered to them at one time. It is common that comparison of two jobs, or two job offers, can be a difficult thing to do. It is often an “apples vs. oranges” comparison, and can get quite confusing. And, so, we offer you the same list that we offer our clients to make these difficult “apples vs. oranges” comparisons.

The list we offer below has another, somewhat unintended, advantage: It may remind you of one or more job opportunity components of comparison that you had simply not even thought about. Like a checklist of sorts, it may bring to the surface of your consciousness something that had been lurking in your mind, heart and soul, that had not yet come to the surface of your awareness.

For those facing the need to make a choice between “take this job or take that one,” below is what our clients have found to be the most important elements needed to compare, and a simple way of doing so. It is not scientific, it is not foolproof, but most of my clients who have used it reported back to me that it was extremely helpful. Hopefully, it will be for you, as well.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: When you need to compare two or more employment opportunities – whether it’s a choice between two different offers, or remaining in your present job, or accepting a new offer – you need to make your decision wisely, prudently and carefully. For that reason below we present these common elements of job opportunity comparison as a “tried-and-true” method of doing so.
Read the rest of this blog post »

“I fear the consequences of filing a complaint; any suggestions?”

Published on February 28th, 2012 by Alan L Sklover

Question: I am contemplating filing a grievance at my workplace. I know the decision must be my own. I FEEL abused by a hostile person. I can provide some information with emails. But I’m (to put it bluntly) scared.

I’m concerned that people more powerful than myself will put together a case that will tear me apart. These past few days I feel like I cannot take another day. That being said, what can I use to weigh the circumstances and make a firm, correct decision?

Eleanore
New Milford, Connecticut

Answer: Dear Eleanore, Your letter is like so, so many other letters I receive. What you are feeling is like what so many other people feel. At least you know you are not alone. Here are a few thoughts that, I hope, will help you decide what to do:   

1. You have already taken the most important step forward: you decided to make a decision. No matter what you decide to do, at least you have owned up to the fact that the decision is yours to make, and the consequences of your decision – or non-decision – are yours to live with. We’re all faced with decisions every day – whether or not to exercise, whether or not to eat well, whether or not to undergo a serious surgery – each of which may have significant consequences. Far too often many people think they can just avoid a problem situation by avoiding a decision about what to do, with the hope that the situation will simply “go away” on its own. They never do. Instead they fester, and almost always get worse.                              

2. “When fear knocks on your door, send faith to answer it” is one of my favorite sayings. Fear is such an interesting phenomenon: It is like a self-imposed jail that we use to limit our own freedom. Others can’t make us feel fear: only we can put it on ourselves. Most fear is fear of the unknown, and so really has no basis. I say it often, and in fact often to myself: do not live in fear, do not act in fear, do not fail to live due to fear. The more I listen to and follow that “mantra,” the happier I turn out to be, because I’ve learned, that, as Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear, itself.”  

3. “Action is the antidote to despair” is another of my favorite sayings. One thing that might help you is the truth of this saying: when you start to “do” something, fear just dissipates, degree by degree by degree. Living in fear leads to despair; taking actions in spite of fear makes despair go away. Sooner or later, you have to decide if you are going to be a fearful person the rest of your life, or if you are going to be “adult” about things and “confront” your fears. The sooner you confront your fears, the sooner you will feel that veil of despair lift and disappear, and the sooner you will actually begin to enjoy the process of acting against, or in spite of fear.

4. Standing up to Bullies is the best way to stop them. The first time anyone stands up to a bully, or even thinks about doing it, they fear retaliation, retribution and even greater bullying. Though it is, I’m sure, hard to believe, the exact opposite usually happens: the bully finds a different, passive, willing victim who won’t fight – or bite – back. I say that not just as an attorney who has helped people stand up to bullies for 30 years, but as someone who has had to stand up to bullies in his own life, more than once. I, too, feared the retaliation, retribution and even greater bullying. Experience has taught me that the opposite takes place. In fact – and please don’t quote me – I have come to the point where I actually enjoy standing up to bullies, to see them in disbelief, to see them squirm, to see them run away, to see them learn a lesson: “Even the little old lady on the subway might have a can of pepper spray in her pocketbook.” I know this is a matter of faith, but like the saying goes, “When fear knocks on your door, send faith to answer it.”

5. Health should always come first. As the saying goes, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” This, more than anything, should be the guiding star of your decision. It’s hard to figure out what would risk your health more – filing a grievance or not filing a grievance. But I think that your “inside” or “instincts” will guide you in this decision.

6. People tell me that the “pain” of possible retaliation is far less “painful” than the “pain” of certain daily abuse. My clients have reported this to me, too. The daily “pounding” of hostile and abusive behavior has a way of eroding self-esteem and self-confidence, and then even sleep and health. Eventually the dehumanization results in making you a “zombie” of sorts. On the other hand, saying through your actions and demeanor, “I am a human, we have rules, and I won’t take your nonsense anymore” has the opposite effect – on the bully, but on you, too. It is self-affirming, it is humanizing, and it is revitalizing. Sure, from my battles with bullies I have a few “bumps on my forehead,” at least there is a smile on my face, and I enjoy waking up to each new day. And, too, deep down inside I know I have done what I always should have done. But better late than never.

7. What are you really afraid of? Can the bullies really do anything more, or worse, to you? You write that these past few days make you feel like you cannot take another day. Could it be much worse? Eleanore, I don’t know your financial resources, but even getting fired seems like it would be better than losing your emotional, mental and physical health, no? If by this account you have nothing to lose, then by definition you have everything to gain. In any negotiation, the person with the least to lose usually wins the negotiation.

8. A well-prepared and well-documented grievance is a powerful thing. You might ask a friend to help you, or to be your editor, or even to be there for emotional support. Even if you don’t submit your grievance, I suggest you prepare an organized, respectful and detailed grievance – just for the “fun” of it. Even if you don’t send it, I think the process of preparing it will be helpful to your emotions, and help you make your decision. I think when it is complete, that alone will make you feel better about what you have accomplished. I think this process will make the fear disappear at least a bit, and you will be able to see more clearly than you have in a real long time.

We have available a Model Letter entitled “Anonymous Report of Bully Boss Behavior,” for those who are concerned about potential retaliation. To obtain a copy, just [click here].

9. And don’t forget the “Extraordinary Power of Purpose.” Got children? Loves ones? A spouse or partner? Parents? Siblings? If you remember that one of the reasons you work is to be there for them if and when they need you, you will have a purpose outside yourself, a better reason than yourself to stand up for yourself, a strange kind of strength, resolve and determination that you didn’t feel before. When you are standing up for those you love, all of a sudden you’ll find courage that you didn’t know was there before. I urge every one of my clients in your situation to keep a photo of loved ones nearby – in a pocket or purse – to remind you of this “extraordinary power of purpose.”    

Eleanore, because I don’t know you, I can’t help you weigh the particular “pluses” and “minuses” of filing a grievance in your situation. But I do hope that these thoughts are of some help to you in that process. You have a lot of courage inside of you, and I hope and pray it will rise to the surface and guide you in whichever path you choose.

My Very, Very Best,
Al Sklover

One Empowered and Productive Employee at a Time ™

© 2012 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

“Any thoughts about dealing with the fear of rejection regarding work?”

Published on January 25th, 2012 by Alan L Sklover

Question: Alan, I am a “laid off” manager, downsized after bringing some ethical and professional inquiries to the attention of then-management. I was never accused of any disciplinary infraction, never given a Performance Improvement Plan, or accused of anything at all derogatory. In fact, just before I raised ethical issues I had been given a raise.

Six months later a new CEO has been hired, and he terminated the three individuals about whom I raised the ethical issues. Now several managers and staff have asked me to contact the new CEO and meet with him and ask for my job back.

How do I tackle this? I loved my job, but don’t want to go through rejection twice. Thank you for your advice.

Lori
Kennewick, Washington

Answer: Dear Lori: Here are my thoughts:

1. First let me salute you for standing up and speaking out about ethics concerns. It takes a special person to do what you did. Though it has hurt you job-wise to do what you did, I hope you know that, if it wasn’t for the courage of people like you, our world – for all its present problems – would not be as good a place to be alive as it is. The courage you have exhibited is the basis of important lessons written about even in the holiest of Books over the thousands of years.         

2. Rejection bothers some people a whole lot more than it bothers other people. Please do not think I am trivializing your concern about rejection, but I do want you to know that rejection bothers some people more than others, and different kinds of rejection seem to make a difference in that regard, as well. Being rejected by, for example, your parents, siblings, spouse, close friends or children is perhaps the most hurtful kind of rejection, as it is so close to our sense of who we are. Being rejected by a new friend, or someone you would like to date, or work for, is usually experienced as less hurtful. Being rejected by a potential employer hurts, but surely it should not get in the way of regaining a job you admit you “loved.” I ask you to ask yourself what about this particular potential rejection makes you so fearful of it. Might you be giving in to a fear of hurt that has little true basis, or is it a remnant of an experience long ago, or of a different kind?  Sure, it may be hurtful, but understanding that it should not be so hurtful may – and  I think will – help you cope with it.

3. My own sense is that a possible brief period of hurt should not be permitted to deny you a lifetime of possible happiness.  Lori, I don’t know you, or your background or experiences, but I do suggest you consider the question “Why should a brief time of possible disappointment deter me from possibly having a lifetime of ‘loving’ my job.” While life is full of “risk-versus-reward” decisions, this one seems to weigh quite heavily toward taking the risk of a brief “hurt.”   

4. Even if the new CEO says, “No Thank You” to your overture, that should not be interpreted in any negative way about you.  Your letter to me is quite clear that your being “laid off” had nothing to do with who you are as a person, or your conduct, or your performance of your job. Said differently, it seems you know full well that your being “laid off” was not a rejection of you, but rather a retaliation for your courage. If the new CEO does not agree to take you back, there may be many different reasons for that other than a view that you would not be a valuable employee. It could be politics. It could be finances. It could be any number of things, all of which are distinctly unrelated to you. Bear that in mind.

5. Please – Do not live in fear, or fear to live. In so many ways we all live in fear, and so, in this way, we fear to live. And, too, so many of our fears are not as “scary” as we often make them out to be. A great deal of my purpose in writing this blog is to convince people of just that: at work, do not be fearful, for to do so is self-defeating. There is enough difficulties in our daily lives; we don’t need to create any more by ourselves. I urge you, as one human being to another, to please try to “see through” your own fears of rejection in this context.  

6. The welfare of others – especially love ones – sometimes prods us to take chances that we would not otherwise take for our own welfare. If you have kids, do they sometimes like to eat? Do you want them to be able to go to college? If you have parents, might they need a bit of help in their later years? More visits now? If you have siblings, might they some day need a loan or other helping hand? You never know when you will want to respond to help someone you love when they need a loan, a lift or a lifeline. Thinking of things in those terms might just make it easier for you to take a chance and seek the ear of the new CEO, despite your concern about rejection.

Lori, I hope you can overcome this fear of rejection. Your former managers want you to do so. Your former colleagues want you to do so, and I am convinced you want to do so, too. Go ahead, take a chance, you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for writing in. Now go for it, please!

Best,
Al Sklover

If you need, we offer a
Model Memo Objecting to Retaliation at Work.
“What to Say / How to Say It.™” Just [click here.]

Help Yourself With These and Other
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New Job 3: Confirming Basic Terms of New Job Offer
New Job 5: Model Response to Receiving a New Job Offer
New Job 7: Checklist of New Job Items to Consider Requesting/Negotiating
New Job 13: Six Important Elements to Request Be In Your Expected Job Offer
New Job 15: Model Request for Sign-On Bonus
New Job 16: Two Model Memos to Protect Your Book Of Business ("B.O.B.")
Job Issues 5: Model Response to Request That You Sign a Non-Compete

[ Click Here ] and Go to Section "D"

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© 2012 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

“How can I make a request or complaint without seeming like a constant complainer?”

Published on November 16th, 2011 by Alan L Sklover

Question: (This question came in as a comment/question in response to one of our most popular newsletter blog-posts, Appearing High Maintenance Can Hurt Your Career.”)

The problem, of course, is that in fast-changing environments, new problems can keep cropping up, and if you have to wait until your next annual gripe to mention them, you’ll be doing a whole lot of suffering before you get any redress of grievances.

How do you respond if your fast-changing environment keeps changing in ways that harm you and your ability to perform?                                                                        

Robert
The Blogadoccio Blog

Answer: Dear Robert: It’s a matter of judgment: how to work without being viewed either as a chronic complainer or a perpetual victim. I think there are five general guidelines to follow:         

1. Guideline 1: Choose your battles wisely and carefully. It makes no sense to ask for additional pencils, but it might make a lot of sense to ask for additional staff if important clients are clamoring for more attention. While those illustrative examples are quite clear, others may not be so clear. Suffice it to say that it is smarter to fight important battles, and not become known as a “constant battler.”

2. Guideline 2: If you want your requests to be taken seriously, don’t make requests too often. Imagine yourself being asked by your kids for a new toy – or a new car – every two days. It sure would get on your nerves, wouldn’t it. Keep it in mind.

3. Guideline 3: Try to portray the problem as a problem for the group, not just for you. Even if you are asking for a raise in salary, which would affect you only, you could justify it as “necessary to maintain level compensation for all Assistant Vice Presidents, and thus prevent rivalry and jealousies among colleagues.” Even if you are requesting more vacation, you might justify it as “helpful to remedy the effects of frequent international travel, and thus keep you in best shape to address the all-too-common emergency needs of the group.” Sure, these are a bit far-out, but they are indicative of the preference for solving a “group” concern, and not a “personal” one.

4. Guideline 4: Make your request sound like a positive suggestion, not a nagging moan and groan. You’ve heard it before: “Presentation is important.” “Ground sirloin” sounds a whole lot more appetizing than “chopped meat.” Keep your tone light and positive, not dark and negative. Remember, too, that covering something with honey makes it sweeter: by first acknowledging your boss’s perspective, his or her concerns, and the burdens he or she carries, you are making it more likely he or she will show appreciation for your doing so.   

5. Guideline 5: Offer one or more practical solutions, not a vague remedy. I have had clients seek “market compensation,” which seems to call for a study of market compensation, while I have suggested “a bonus of at least $40,000,” which is easier to respond to. Likewise, I have had clients ask for “greater involvement and responsibilities”; I had no idea what that meant. I have suggested, instead, requesting “appointment to the underwriting committee” as a more focused – and easier way to respond to – request. I’ve even had clients seek “to be made to feel more confident in my future,” to which I have counseled “No one can make you feel anything.” The idea here: make it easy to grant your requests, and you are more likely to get them granted.  

Robert, I hope these guidelines help make decisions about making requests or complaints easier. You don’t want to appear to be a complainer, but having the reputation of a willing victim is not helpful, either. Don’t be afraid to be assertive, but don’t be known as a “groaner,” either.

Thanks for writing in. I suggest readers may enjoy your blog, too.   

Best,
Al Sklover

 Want to “Climb The Ladder?”
Model Letter Requesting a Raise or Promotion
“What to Say / How to Say It.™” Just [click here].

© 2011 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.


Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 35 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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