New job arrangement - Is this common?

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Grifin
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New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Grifin »

Hi Bogleheads,

In the past month, I had a previous boss's boss reach out to inquire if there is interest in coming back to the Megacorp that I left in 2019. We chatted a few times and I eventually interviewed with him (Sr. Director) and his boss (VP) for a Director position managing my old team.

A little background:
-I joined Megacorp as an intern, then new eng grad and spent 18 years with the company serving in manufacturing engineering and supply chain roles
-I left Megacorp on good terms to work with my boss whom recently left for a promotion at a smaller company doing similar work
-During the time at the smaller company, I gained increased responsibility and leadership experience
-Three years later, I get the call to come back to lead the team I left. I left as a program manager, and they want to bring me back as a Director.

The interviews went well and they have verbally communicated intent to proceed with an offer. The twist is that current manager is not cutting it and they need to give him ninety days to find another job. My initial reaction was, 'no problem.' I can wait until late July to start as I am in a good place in my current role.

Personally, I feel this position is best for my career in that Megacorp can offer more opportunities, a deeper network and the pay/benefits are quite a bit better. This job will probably be a bit more demanding, but I can manage. However, if this opportunity does not pan out, I am happy staying with my current company. From the beginning, I have been clear that I am in a good spot with my current gig.

So considering my situation, is there anything I should consider while being a 'short timer' for 90 days? Has anyone else had a delayed start date?

Appreciate yall's input. Cheers.

grifin
pbjzyxuzpf
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by pbjzyxuzpf »

Congrats on the move and that your past performance/network paid off!

I wouldn't tell your current employer until closer to the move date. Whatever that timeframe is to help transition and find a replacement. It is not 90 days. Maybe closer to 3-5 weeks. Take some time off as well. Make sure to connect a few times over the 90 days with your new manager so expectations are aligned. Seems like you'll know the culture but I'd also use some time closer to the transition date to ramp up on the new role.

:sharebeer
Mike Scott
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Mike Scott »

Get the delayed 90 day start date in writing. What happens if the new job evaporates along the way?
twh
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by twh »

Keep it all silent until you have the offer letter and are no more than 2-4 weeks from starting the new job. You just don't know what can happen.
Topic Author
Grifin
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Grifin »

Nothing in writing yet. Currently negotiating pay / bonus , etc. There is a verbal commitment to an offer at the moment. Of course there is a risk of things changing (hiring freeze) considering the current climate but then again, I am good with my current job if Murphy appears. I will not disclose anything to my employer until I have signed.
Weathering
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Weathering »

Was HR from megacorp involved in the interview process or were the interviews fully arranged by Sr. Director and VP?
If megacorp HR (internal recruiter) is not involved, then there may be an official interview process later on. It would also mean the job requisition is not fully approved yet. Anything can happen until a job offer is put in writing, even an unprompted counter-offer if your current boss hears through the grapevine that you have been spending time at megacorp.
sorethumb
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by sorethumb »

I will echo the solid advice previously given. You don’t have a new job until you have a written offer in hand. I also would not give more than 14 days notice at the current position.

I’ve done the 4-week transition before and it’s painful and counter productive. Everyone knows your a dead man walking and it’s super awkward. I can’t imaging an 8 week transition working well at all.
pasadena
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by pasadena »

sorethumb wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 12:27 am I will echo the solid advice previously given. You don’t have a new job until you have a written offer in hand. I also would not give more than 14 days notice at the current position.
+1.

First, there is no job until the offer is signed by both parties - with everything in writing, including the start date. You could also ask them to onboard you 2 weeks before the current manager leaves. That would give you some time to transition with him. Do absolutely nothing until you have that in your hands.

As for your current job, give them the notice they expect. 2 weeks is common in the US. Telling them earlier would make your life miserable in the meantime, and the farther you are from your new job's start date, the more chance you have that something will change in the offer - hiring freeze, delays, whatever.
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Watty
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Watty »

Grifin wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 9:19 pm The twist is that current manager is not cutting it and they need to give him ninety days to find another job.
That does not sound right at all. I never worked at that level but there have been lots of times when I have seen people transferred to "special projects" when they were being replaced but they did not want to outright fire them. If they tell that person they will be out of a job in 90 days then that also risks that they could cause big problems before they leave either on purpose or by neglecting to do something.

Something sounds off like there is something else going on.

Things could also be real awkward with your current employer if there is a problem before you leave and it comes out that you had already accepted a different job offer but you had not told them yet.

A written job offer really does not mean much since job offers are rescinded all the time. At the director level an employment contract might not be unreasonable.

I don't know if it would be possible but if they want to delay your start date for 90 days because of the situation with the current director then they could give you a contract and signing bonus of 90 days pay so that you could go on and leave your current job and not have a conflict of interest with your current employer. If they are not ready for you yet then you could just take an extended vacation.
NabSh
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by NabSh »

First of all do not tell anything to anyone at your current employer until you have a job offer in writing and 2 weeks prior to leaving.

Secondly I agree with Watty. Something is not right here. And I thinking worked at a Megacorp you know this.
Offers are always made via HR/recruiting - Never via direct boss. Direct Boss is not even allowed to make a verbal offer. They can express interest. A direct boss will never say something like this to an external candidate about the current person on the job .... "need to give him ninety days to find another job".

Wait for the written offer. Make sure you have good sign on bonus. Regardless of the delayed start date, only tell your current employer 2 weeks prior
jebmke
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by jebmke »

twh wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 9:38 pm Keep it all silent until you have the offer letter and are no more than 2-4 weeks from starting the new job. You just don't know what can happen.
Right, so far this is nothing more than an interview
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
HomeStretch
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by HomeStretch »

I agree with Watty’s comment. It’s odd that MegaCorp is delaying your start 90 days to accommodate the new job search of a poor performer. Alternatively MegaCorp can let the the manager go today with 90-day severance or move the manager now onto a “special project” for 90 days. More likely HR is requiring a “90 day improvement” plan for the old manager prior to any termination discussion.

Consider asking MegaCorp about the alternatives, above, so you can start now. I personally wouldn’t want to take the chance that the new job news leaks to my current employer before I gave notice 2-3 weeks prior to the delayed start date.
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8foot7
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by 8foot7 »

Until you have an offer, you have nothing. So right now you have nothing. I would simply wait the 90 days and if a better opportunity comes along in the meantime, feel free to fully explore it. At the end of the 90 days, you can check in to see what the deal is at Megacorp.

I work at close enough to a megacorp and I always make my hiring offers, so I would disagree that it's a red flag. The candidate is coming to work for me, after all, so the least I can do is welcome them with the offer! Our HR recruiter offers to do it but I always decline and tell the person I will. (The recruiter generates and sends the written offer letter, but I am on the phone with the details before that happens.)

I do agree with the comments that if HR hasn't been involved in your process at all, there are probably some internal approvals that haven't yet been processed. Not that it would derail anything, but that may take some time to get the right signatures in the right workflow. I know I can choose to manage an interview process myself here, but at the end of the day I have to have a req approved in our HR system and our finalist has to have applied and be in the system against that req for an offer letter to be generated and the necessary onboarding flows into payroll and IT to be completed.
jharkin
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by jharkin »

I will +1000 the advice to not say a word until you have the new offer in writing and you are at close to or at whatever the minimum notice period of current job (i.e. 2-4 weeks).

If you want to go above and beyond, in the meantime you can silently lay the groundwork for a smooth transition... make sure there is good written handoff documentation prepared for everything you do, team members are cross trained to jump in running, etc. When you do announce, that will build a lot of goodwill and maybe keep the door open if you ever change your mind the other way....
sureshoe
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by sureshoe »

The only "red flag" for me is that they are plotting a firing 3 months out. That seems a bit odd to me, but happens I guess.

Also (while rare), even an offer in writing can be rescinded, so I'd be careful giving too much notice at my current employer unless there was a documented financial offset. A lot can happen in 2 months, like Covid.
valleyrock
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by valleyrock »

Adding to the chorus to wait for the written offer, which details the terms as have been discussed.

Prior to receiving the written offer, and prior to what is known as a final meeting/sit down/discussion, there can be room for discussion/negotiation. The rule is never bring up anything new at that final meeting/sit down/discussion. Before that, it usually is OK (you should know based on the tone and timing of discussions), to bring things up. So, if there are such further discussions after a verbal offer is made, there's nothing wrong with bringing up potential concerns and suggest ways to address them. You could voice concern over the 90 day wait and ask if they might have another way to handle that, for example. (Let them come up with things they've considered, such as 90 days of severance pay for the person they are getting rid of, for example).

Some of this thinking revolves around another factor important for negotiation: information. How have they handled such situations in the past, for example. Do they really want a short-timer hanging around for 90 days after being told they are out the door? Maybe not, if they think about it. It depends on the situation, the people involved, etc.

We assume Megacorp has an HR department. In general, it's a good thing not to be dealing with them. Their job is to finalize hiring the person (you) after being instructed to do so by higher-ups, doing the paperwork. So, it's great you are dealing with the people with authority and responsibility to get you hired. But you won't be sure about that until you have it in hand.

By the way, an offer letter will have a time limit/expiration date. That's quite reaonable, of course. It doesn't hurt during the information-gathering stage to ask what that time limit is, to help you understand the timing here.
Hoosier CPA
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Hoosier CPA »

This sounds fishy to me. I don't see why megacorp wouldn't bring you in as soon as they can, even if they have you doing something else for a bit until they transition the other person out. It almost sounds like that's one person's plan but all the approvals haven't been granted yet.
rage_phish
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by rage_phish »

I’d treat it as if I don’t have the job
A job offer being reliant on someone else being fired sounds iffy and not a sure thing
I’d set expectations so I’m no diassapointed if it falls through and I’d keep job hunting if you’re interested in leaving current company
cableguy
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by cableguy »

You don't have a job offer. You've been talking to some folks that have gotten ahead of themselves. I would stay at your current employer and see what happens in the coming weeks and months.
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Callisto
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Callisto »

I am really really at all the comments directed at the 90 day thing. That's really common, not just in megacorps.

Even if a manager is doing a terrible job there's plenty of reasons to keep them on due to the timelines of the current project. They will have context on the current work, and professional relationships. Unless they have done something that is extremely damaging to the company (ineptitude alone does not reach this level), no company is going to instantly fire someone in a management type position. They are going to wait until such time that their departure minimizes the real impact to productivity, as well as optics to both internal and especially external stakeholders/contacts.
Pitagoras
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Pitagoras »

As said, you do not have an offer in writing. Do not tell anything, do not make any arrangements. Wait until having the offer and then negotiate the start date to allow proper notice in advance to current employer.

IMHO, not good practice from the company letting you know about the 90 days etc. It puts you in a uncomfortable position. Suprising that a megacorp policies allow to do that.

Best luck
Pitagoras
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Pitagoras »

NabSh wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 1:31 am A direct boss will never say something like this to an external candidate about the current person on the job .... "need to give him ninety days to find another job".
110% agree. Megacorps have strict policies and procedures for a hiring process. One of those ie NEVER talk about the plans for the person you are replacing in a "hostile" or unwilling way. You can mention peers, bosses, and team that you will be managing and interacting, but never a person that will be let go.
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Elsebet
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Elsebet »

My current company wanted to hire me in the first week of February, but I couldn't leave my previous job until mid-April or I'd have to pay back a substantial relocation benefit. I had a written offer to start the day after the relocation payback period ended. I did not give notice until about 4 weeks before my start date and I double checked with the new employer that everything was still a go before I did give notice. It all worked out fine, but I have to admit I was worried the new job would evaporate before I could give notice. That's the longest I've ever had an offer sit before my start date.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
Topic Author
Grifin
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Grifin »

Appreciate all the thoughtful responses!

I certainly understand that there is nothing to be had until a formal, written offer is signed. Also, I will definitely keep this development a secret until its time to give my two week notice.

I thought it would be a good idea to give some additional background to help describe the situation:
- the hiring manager is someone that I worked for 5 years during my first stint at Megacorp
- the VP, I've known and worked with since 2005, so there is a deep trust established with my potential chain of command.
- I actually know and have worked with the current manager of the team. Although I have not not communicated with him since I left in 2019

This Megacorp likes to give folks an ample chance to find another role within the company if things aren't working out performance-wise. The 90 day thing is common, and I don't think they have budget to pay for that overlap of having two Directors on the payroll. The current manager is a solid guy, great engineer, but this role was probably a bit too ambiguous and dynamic for him.

I agree that the management team is going outside the process to line me up for the role. Fortunately, I can be flexible to they can make this seamless for the team and keep the churn to a minimum. I do expect some hoops to jump through when the req officially posts closer to the start date.

And finally, if this doesn't pan out.... meh, my current gig is not too bad anyway. :beer

Cheers
grifin
darwin12
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by darwin12 »

Couple more things to add (in overabundance of caution in keeping with spirit of this forum)

- Be wary of leaks. Often people talk and things leak out, in which case your position at current company gets difficult. Nothing crazy but something to keep in mind.
- Megacorps may have issues with new reqs given recent market situation, budget challenges and what not. Your potential new manager + VP may not be fully in control of hiring.
- Once they open a req, there might be other candidates (internal/external). Large companies will follow their hiring process and their HR teams will enforce it.
- The current person in role may not be so easy to bundle out. Specially if his successor is informally chosen, if a performance process is initiated then to have a potential new hire in the wings looks fishy.

As many folks said earlier, get a formal written offer with a future start date. If they can not do it, then you need to wait out departure of current manager and be prepared to go through an interview process.
Parkinglotracer
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Parkinglotracer »

Mega corp could hire you today and hold you in wings for 90 days if they wanted you today. So like everyone has said, it is a good plan until it is agreed to and executed with your trusted allies. Look for all the places this could go wrong until it is agreed to in writing and happens.

Sounds like a great idea so far …
dred pirate
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by dred pirate »

sorethumb wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 12:27 am I will echo the solid advice previously given. You don’t have a new job until you have a written offer in hand. I also would not give more than 14 days notice at the current position.

I’ve done the 4-week transition before and it’s painful and counter productive. Everyone knows your a dead man walking and it’s super awkward. I can’t imaging an 8 week transition working well at all.
This is the opposite of my place- Many of us are required to give 30 day notice (hourly only require 2 weeks), and some positions require 90 day notice (physicians and some other providers). Coverage/scheduling is an issue, but we have never had any of that akward dead man walking issues.
Big Dog
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Re: New job arrangement - Is this common?

Post by Big Dog »

Callisto wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 9:23 am I am really really at all the comments directed at the 90 day thing. That's really common, not just in megacorps.

Even if a manager is doing a terrible job there's plenty of reasons to keep them on due to the timelines of the current project. They will have context on the current work, and professional relationships. Unless they have done something that is extremely damaging to the company (ineptitude alone does not reach this level), no company is going to instantly fire someone in a management type position. They are going to wait until such time that their departure minimizes the real impact to productivity, as well as optics to both internal and especially external stakeholders/contacts.
and/or they could be a protected class and megacorp is trying to give them time to transition.
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