Thursday, October 05, 2006

Surviving the offer phase of a job search

On Oct. 1, I posted about my recent job search interviews and initial negotiations.

I expected the following to occur:
Over the next week the corporate recuiters will contact me. We will enter the
final depths of negotiations and perhaps arrive at an agreement and contract. If
not - perhaps due to legal restrictions such as non-competes, inflexibility on
relocation, inflexibility on additional vacation (I want 1-2 extra weeks beyond
the standard) - the deal will die.

Shortly after writing the post I spent quite a bit of time crafting several delightful, witty and appreciative follow-up letters to the many people I met.

Unfortunately, plans did not follow schedule. I'm not sure if it's due to having a cold, or a newborn child (and less sleep) or powerful cold medicines, but I became exceedingly anxious and asocial earlier this week. Even my mother, in telephone conversation felt my discomfort.

I did receive an electronic link to apply for the job online, but my e-mails were unanswered. When I had a call regarding the online forms, my message was unanswered as well. A bit later, corporate recruiting contacted me - although the major terms were correct, some of the minor terms - still important terms - were off. This did not help my anxiety.

In past experience, hiring senior staff was always a high touch affair - you wanted to reply to their communications rapidly so as not to sew the seeds of doubt. The delays certainly sewed doubt in my head.

Fortunately, I did receive a follow-up call and an appology. Apparently I was not the only one travelling with limited e-mail access. I have been told that a formal offer will arrive soon, possibly next week. Most likely as an e-mail attachment that I won't be able to open with my handheld device, which will be very frustrating - imagine - staring at an offer in an envelope that you cannot open!!

We're far from 100% on board here, but things are looking better. The unease that I had felt - very strong unease - has certainly been mitigating in today's conversation.

But the terms have not been finalized and there's still room for a slip between the cup and the lip. As a matter of fact, I have a strong conviction that my future boss messed up a key negotiating point and it may have been written into the offer incorrectly.

Let's assume we have a 60% likeliness of success.

My good friends have been forwarding recruiting contacts and sharing their job search methods. Next week I will follow-up on their introductions (gingerly) to prepare for the possibility that either side kills the deal next week.

have a wonderful day,


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