"When Deciding On A Job Offer, Remember, Never Leave Money On The Table!"
The Business of Furniture - 09/14/22 Edition
Stephen Says Column

Dear Stephen,

I was passively looking around at other opportunities and sure enough I found that in my case there is a job where the grass is greener. I am in outside sales at a manufacturer, great product, great company, but I have the opportunity to move to an equally prestigious brand where I will now have better accounts and more recognized dealers. (Which in the long run = More Money). On another note, I’ve been at my current job for eight years and I’ve been passed over for regional manager twice. I feel like I’m pigeon-holed here without any career growth. Although this is basically a lateral move with a fourteen percent bump in my base salary, I feel like the overall package for next year, #2023, is going to be greater because I’ll have better accounts. I’ve also shared with the new employer that I’m looking for career growth, and this company seems to feel like I have potential for future advancement. I get the feeling that they are being very welcoming and sincere. After exhaustive interviewing and assessment, I’ve got a firm job offer, it’s suddenly occurred to me that we’re nine months into the year with the fourth quarter beginning shortly… I’m due a substantial bonus at the end of the year, typically paid in March. So if I walk away, I’ll be leaving that on the table. I’m not sure why I didn’t bring it up sooner, but I frankly cannot afford to lose the money, which is roughly $30K. How do I broach this subject with either the internal HR recruiter or my new potential boss.

Counting My Chips
Dear Poker Face,

This is a legitimate question with a very legitimate solution that I’m going to share with you. Like they say in poker, never leave your chips on the table. For all our readers looking for or considering changing jobs in the fourth quarter of the year, let me put you on notice as of this reading, it’s perfectly legitimate to ask early on in the interview process ‘what about my end of year bonus?’

A word to my other readers, it sounds like the poker player here waited a little late in the process, which is unfortunate because employers hate being hit up for changes once they make a written offer. That being said, there’s no reason why Chips should have to lose their money. My suggestion is that you just explain to your potential new employer about the specific bonus you will be getting in March, and that you expect to stay “whole.” Another way of phrasing this, is that you’re happy with the base and you’re looking forward to joining the company, but you want a “guarantee” for 2022, based on your expected earnings with your current employer. Here are my suggestions based on what you’ve presented here. First, you need to state your case, and then propose your solution which could be a) the bonus is paid as a sign-on bonus or, b) a lot of companies prefer to give you half when you start and the other half six months after you join… which would be in March anyways!

I suggest you pitch this to your new #HR person, or your new boss, or if there’s a third-party recruiter involved then tell the recruiter!

It’s so important I feel compelled to repeat myself to everyone, in the future please state any additional moneys that are due to you beyond your base salary early on in the process! That includes performance bonus, commission, special companywide bonus for achieving companywide goals – you get the idea! Don’t be afraid to talk about money early on, don’t wait until you get an offer! It makes it awkward for everyone. Bottom line, you’re in a little bit of luck because candidates like you are ruling the market right now. Simply put, if you don’t want to leave any money on the table, I suspect you won’t have to. If you don’t get the bonus, don’t move jobs. If you got this offer, guess what, another (better) offer will eventually come along. I tell candidates all the time: never. leave. money. on. the. table.

#JobMarket #BDNY #Haworth #Steelcase #HermanMiller #Knoll #MillerKnoll #HNI #LinkedIn #BusinessofFurniture #StephenViscusi #SuzanneTron #TheViscusiGroup #BoF #RestorationHardware #RH #BoH #BIFMA #IIDA #ASID

Sincerely yours,