Job 4 – The Counter-Offer

I’ve just got back from the centre.

I mentioned I had a meeting (not an interview!) but a meeting with an ex-director of the firm I was at for 5.5 years. He left to join the no.1 ranked firm in its sector. We always got on, he’s a really nice guy. I know him much better than N, the guy whose job offer I have (verbally) accepted…

I met P and his Ops Director. We met for over an hour. I really liked their offices, their culture, their business, what they do, the fact they have an office in Manhattan and also Asiapac, and other parts of the world…

The meeting ended with them saying “what do we have to do to make you turn down the other offer”. I squirmed. Big time. I was hugely chuffed to be in this position but uncomfortable too, as this hasn’t happened before. I have, after all, verbally accepted the other offer. I haven’t signed anything, but I’ve verbally accepted and am due to start 27th Oct.

I’m in a right quandary. There is no doubt this ‘job 4’ is more senior than job 2, though salaries aren’t dissimilar. P had originally implied the salary on ‘job 4’ would not meet my expectations which is why I’d thought it was a non-starter from the outset. This meeting was for them to pick my brains, which I was more than happy about, to help them put a job spec together. But they’ve now said in no uncertain terms they want me to do the job. Thus, they are counter-offering to match or exceed the generous offer from the firm I’ve verbally accepted.

The perks of ‘job 4’ are better too – a £3k ‘personal training & development allowance’, daily lunch allowance, free food and drinks in the office (snacks, chocolates, fizzy drinks, etc), profit sharing. Very very high end. Lovely relaxed offices – sofas, wood panelling, old building, etc. I can’t describe it – it’s how I imagine Saatchi & Saatchi’s offices might look.

The ‘job 2’ I have verbally accepted is not an industry leader, instead it’s in the upper-second tier. It also doesn’t have offices abroad. Job 4 does have offices abroad and is ranked no.1. And I’m genuinely, and I mean genuinely, interested in what they do. It’s a bespoke type of consultancy and they service much of the FTSE100.

On top of all of this, I got out of our meeting (I was treated to dinner after our meeting in a rather nice restaurant nearby) – I got a msg on my voicemail from one of the agencies I’m on with saying one of the Big4 want to see me ASAP for a role I’d applied for. I have wanted to work for one of the Big4 in a long time so this is tricky. They want me to interview asap. Will try and arrange it for Monday.

I’m not complaining. It’s nice to have this kind of feedback, hugely good for my confidence. But I feel very big decisions are on the horizon and I need a really clear head. I will not feel that guilty about turning down job 2 as I’d only verbally accepted it. As C (my ex-colleague who also resigned from the last place) very clearly elucidated this evening by phone – job 2 was ‘a lifeline from a recent boss who felt guilty about hiring you into a job you loathed – job 4 is a role to which you’ve been actually headhunted; there is a difference.’

A big difference.

7 thoughts on “Job 4 – The Counter-Offer

Add yours

  1. It’s a hard one, but at the end of the day it’s about your comfort zone and about what you really want.

    So go see the Big 4 company. You’re the best judge. I interviewed with BCG at the time, they were ready to hire me, but I felt as if I was going to sink, so I turned them down and went elsewhere instead. Still prize myself lucky for doing so.

  2. Heya!
    I know I am new on the block… but if you would allow me to speak… 🙂
    GO FOR JOB 4!! Prospects sound better… at a medium term… but they sure sound better…

  3. Lula – thanks, is a hard one to call. The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve thought job 4 is just too good to turn down. Highly profitable organisation, quite small, international, really nice culture, full autonomy in this role, etc. I still want to do Big4 at some point, but there are more jobs in those firms than in the sort of firm I’m now considering.

    Paul – agreed! Job 4 was quite literally the polar opposite of the culture/firm I’ve just come out of. The last place I was at was so wrong for so many reasons. There were so many warning signs, both at interview, the contractual hours, the job title, etc. Masses of reasons. This other place is just the opposite in so many ways, and the people are incomparable.

    Thanks for your thoughts and will keep you all posted! I need to arrange an informal second interview with the CEO of job 4 asap which I’ll do today.

  4. Job’s are like buses, aren’t they? I don’t like giving advice, but you shouldn’t feel bad about turning down job 2 if you don’t want it: how could you work in a place thinking about how much you would have liked to take the other offer?

  5. Urbanvox – thanks, and welcome! I do have a good (gut) feeling about job 4….

    Sven – it’ll be an uncomfortable conversation but you’re totally right and I also said to someone last night it’s felt like buses. There has been nothing and suddenly these really good opportunities all come at once. Yeh, I could be very resentful about job 2 always thinking “what if…” re: job 4. I am genuinely really interested in what job 4 do, unlike job 2… which I think makes my mind up! Hope the second meeting will go well and that will secure it.

  6. The things I miss when I turn off for the night…
    With the weekend coming up, you’ve got time to think things over properly. For once, I won’t tell you what I think you should do, but given a little space I’m sure you’ll come to the right conclusion.

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