In the May 7, 2019 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter a reader juggles job offers between Facebook and Microsoft.
I accepted a position at Microsoft and started the job. Within a week I got an offer from Facebook. The pay at Facebook is far better. What should I do?
This is not a bad problem to have. Congratulations on getting two offers, even if this seems to put you in a quandary.
A common concern in a situation like this is about leaving a new job so quickly. Don’t worry too much about it. Sometimes employers make a new hire walk the plank early or even before they start the job — it’s a business decision. We discussed a related issue last week in Should I keep interviewing after I accepted a job offer? and we’ve considered the problem of employers rescinding job offers.
But I’ll caution you not to worry so much about the money. Your long-term career success and income are more likely to hinge on the people you work with and on other factors including product quality and the company’s prospects. (See It’s the people, Stupid.)
Microsoft vs. Facebook: The people
I’m not privy to Facebook’s or Microsoft’s hiring practices, so I can’t advise you on how either company might react if you follow my suggestions. But before you accept Facebook’s offer, ask for some additional meetings with three classes of its employees:
- People on the team you’d be a part of.
- People upstream from your work flow. For example, if you will work in software development, ask to meet with the appropriate product design team. These are the people who will hand off projects to you. Are they good at their work?
- People downstream from your work flow. For example, quality assurance people who will review and test what you build. Their skills and practices will impact you a lot.
Assessing these three groups will help you see how successful you are likely to be, because all of them will directly affect the quality and success of your own work. Of course, the company’s sales, finance and other departments will affect you, too. Decide which operations you want to know more about before you throw your lot in with any company.
If Facebook balks at letting you have these meetings, why would you want to work there? You’re about to invest your life. They should be glad you’re willing to invest an extra day’s time to meet your future co-workers and to see how they operate!
Of course, you should have done this before accepting the job at Microsoft, too. Maybe you ought to quickly spend some time with those three groups at Microsoft, too, before you decide what to do. It’ll give you something to compare to your findings at Facebook.
This kind of investigation prior to accepting a job offer is called due diligence. There are all kinds of due diligence. There’s a section about this in Fearless Job Hunting, Book 8: Play Hardball With Employers, — “Due Diligence: Don’t take a job without it,” pp. 23-25.
Money, people, and many other factors should play a role in this decision. I won’t argue you shouldn’t move for more money, as long as other important factors are to your satisfaction. While I think loyalty is a good thing, don’t let anyone tell you that you “owe” an employer two years on the job you just accepted before you move on to a better opportunity. There is little meaningful difference between leaving a job after two years or two days if the reasons are compelling. “Juggling job offers” (pp. 15-17) may also be helpful, in Fearless Job Hunting, Book 9: Be The Master of Job Offers.
I’ve offered a few factors to consider before making your decision, but there are many more. I’d like to ask our community to suggest what else you might consider and what you might do to help ensure you make the best choice.
How would you decide whether to make a move like this? Would you jump from one employer to another after just a few days? Is there anything wrong with that? What factors should this reader consider before making the leap?