Dear J.T. & Dale: I just accepted a new position and started two weeks ago. Today I got word that the job that I really wanted has extended me an offer. It’s for the exact same pay, but I think this company is way more interesting. How bad is it for me to quit after only two weeks to take the other job? Will it hurt my career? — Lilia
DALE: You know what hurts your career? Picking the wrong employer. What won’t hurt your career? Leaving an organization after a couple of weeks. So, the real issue here is figuring out which company is going to lift you over the next few years.
J.T.: Yes, as a career coach, I’ve always said you have to think about the long game. You’re very attracted to this company that just offered you a job, but how will that ultimately help your career long-term. Is there more opportunity there? Or do you just feel that you’ll be more excited to show up there every day? If this new opportunity is just truly a better fit for you in terms of growing your career for the next few years, regardless of the pay, then I would give your notice and just explain that an opportunity came up and you just can’t pass it up. Yes, your employer will be angry and likely never hire you again, but sometimes these things happen. You just have to follow your gut and choose the path that you believe will give you the greatest return going forward.
DALE: I’m not so sure about getting your gut involved, but definitely get your research together. Remember that once you are in an organization, your ability to thrive is largely dependent on the company’s thrivity (a word I just made up). There are good, solid companies where you are practically waiting for some manager to retire or die before you can get a promotion. In contrast, a thriving company — growing rapidly, especially in an expanding industry — is continuously creating new jobs internally and looking to promote current employees. That’s where your career gets a ticket to ride.
Dear J.T. & Dale: This past summer, I started a new job. The pay was below what I asked for, but I needed the work. Since then, they’ve hired more people, and I found out that all of them are making more than me. Should I just start to look for a new job? Clearly, they don’t value me if they’re not willing to raise my salary to match the other people. — Dane
J.T.: I think you’re missing a step here. If you like the job, what you need to do is sit down and have a one-on-one with your boss. Outline all the responsibilities you have plus any additional responsibilities that you’ve taken on. Then mention that you are aware of what the new employees are making and how you’d like to discuss how you can earn the same amount. The key is to go in and be very calm and talk about it objectively. Nobody wants to give somebody a raise when they come in ranting and screaming. After all, at that point, they are just going to assume you’re going to leave anyway. Now, if they won’t give you the additional money, you walk out of there and start looking for a job. However, my hope is that they will realize their error and appreciate how professional you were in presenting it.
DALE: Let that resentment go. The company didn’t wrong you; no, they just hired you in a different job market. Over the course of the year, demand for employees has risen sharply while supply hasn’t, so wages are improving. Sure, it would have been great if management noted that you were making less than newer colleagues and preemptively moved you up, but J.T. is right: They deserve a chance to correct your pay. Indeed, I’d go a bit further — be flexible, because you probably deserve more than your newer co-workers, especially if you’ve helped train them.
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 Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2022 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.