Answer: We have been following the story of a job offer to Matthew as a Global Public Relations Director. I checked back almost a year later to see if the signals about the culture, through a very successful negotiating process, were accurate. Matthew reported that the HR Manager treated him professionally and asked for all the information needed to make a fair and reasonable offer. How does the company treat its employees? Is he satisfied with his decision to join the company and does this organization offer him the experience that will enable him to successfully take on a broader role as a PR leader?.
I think it is essential for a career-minded professional to accept an offer based on what the key objectives are. Let’s not rely on hope that the situation works out. Instead, clearly understand what is known and not known about the opportunity. The greatest risk is not knowing. In Matthew’s case, he had a plan in mind, not just for this job but for where the job would take him. He knew the risk is always cultural fit and ability to work with a supervisor, but beyond that he had done his homework. Even if he discovered the culture was not as perfect a fit as he would have preferred, this role fit his career strategy.
The current job is an excellent steppingstone to what may be his last or next to last job that caps off his career. Given all the factors we’ve described to succeed, he is just getting in under the wire to have the time to accomplish his objective considering where he is in his career.
Here is what he said about the job. “I’m now in charge of a global PR Group and I have 5 direct reports, 3 at my office, 1 responsible for EMEA overseas, and 1 in Asia along with multiple agencies to support our efforts. I have not yet been recognized for making a difference. I have inherited one employee who is troublesome and who is preventing me from accomplishing everything I would like to accomplish. I am still evaluating the situation.”
At this point we brainstormed about how to solve the employee issue and came up with a plan that should involve Matthew and his supervisors. I hope he can implement the ideas we discussed in the next several months.
He also learned that the negotiating approach which we had hoped was an indication about the culture, actually was the company’s approach to negotiating and is not representative of the culture. His boss told him that they were surprised he didn’t negotiate for a small adjustment. Matthew said he felt slightly taken advantage of.
He said the culture is typical of a fast-growth company and that growth will be giving him added responsibilities. His challenge is to keep up with the growth. He feels it will test the ability of the company to sustain its culture. The stock has more than doubled since he joined.
Matthew sees this job as adding an important credential to his resume and putting his career on track. He notes that this company is the right place for him now and it will qualify him for the “next thing” either with this company or elsewhere. He also says, he has learned through this process, to stay in touch with recruiters and will talk with them about the market to avoid missing an opportunity.
I’m hoping Matthew will solve his staffing problem and feel more comfortable in the job. He absolutely needs this credential to advance. That means staying put to show results that count and that qualify him for enhanced responsibilities. Recruiters are on the hunt to fill jobs and will always be willing to present candidates with short stints on their resumes. However, moving prematurely is not necessarily in the best interest of the candidate.
Matthew has already learned how unpleasant dealing with some of those recruiters is. Meanwhile, considering how well the stock is doing, he would be foolish to leave before a substantial portion of his stock is vested. It is in his best interests to stay for 3-years at a minimum and build a track record that will take him to the next level. This job is his ticket to the VP spot he wants.