My contract is expiring in a few months, and my boss has just offered to extend my contract. The problem is that I've received a verbal offer from a dream company, which would improve my career dramatically. As I'm a foreigner, they are undergoing a labor market test before they can hire me and sponsor my visa.

Complicating matters, my boss's offer expires a week before the external company can give me a clear answer. I will have to leave the country in a few months if I can't find suitable employment.

What is the best way for me to handle this situation?

  • How binding is this employment contract? Are you on the hook, legally, if you accept, or are you just worried about burning a bridge when you depart? – Monica Apologists Get Out Aug 8 '18 at 20:22
  • @Adonalsium The contracts usually start with the standard 6 months probation period where either can cancel. My main concern is that I like my boss and am hesitant to take his offer when it could give him inconvenience later on if I get the other one. From a purely logical standpoint, if I get the job with the dream firm I'd never return to my current company. – Twilight Sparkle Aug 8 '18 at 22:50
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    Question is on-hold so I'll just post an answer as a comment (yay SE rules) - You owe your current employer nothing. If they decided they wanted a different candidate instead of you, they'd show you the door tout de suite. Extend them the same courtesy - pretend you're at your current workplace to stay forever, until you aren't. – Monica Apologists Get Out Aug 9 '18 at 12:36
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    I can't understand why this is "off topic". This is not specific to any country or local factors this is a general problem which contract employees often have to face. – Amit Aug 10 '18 at 20:24

Do nothing except hope.

A verbal offer is worth the paper it is written on. And a labour market test that takes a few months isn't great either.

So don't jeapordise your current standing until you have something worth jeapordising it for.

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    One in the hand is worth two in the bush. – Neo Aug 9 '18 at 11:05

This is a common problem for employees who work on "Contract" or are employed in "Contract to hire" positions. I think the best solution to this is to speak with your current boss honestly and let him know your position. I recommend having a verbal discussion instead of sending a written message but if you decide to write email below text can be used with some changes,

Hello <<-Boss->>,

I really appreciate your willingness to extend my contract but before we move forward I want to share my situation with you. Since I was not sure about my contract being extended after <<-date->>. Recently I started applying for few open positions suiting my skill set and I have received an offer from one of the company. However since this is very early stage of their hiring process I am still not sure about the final outcome of this.

While I love working here I would still like to compare both offers before making a final decision. So can you give me time till <<-date here->> to decide on my extension. I promise to let you know as soon as I am ready with my decision.

I am sure you will be able to understand my situation.

Thank You,

<<-Your name->>

Optionally You can also let the other requiter know that you need to decide on extension of your current contract and need a final offer/decision by <<-date->>.

Now below things can happen,

  1. If this company really likes you they may probably come with a better offer or at least extend the date.
  2. The other offer doesn't work and you ultimately accept the extension from this company in this case your current manager will appreciate your honesty and will be willing to have you for longer.
  3. You get the offer from dream company and ultimately leave this company but if you have told the manager in advance you are not burning the bridge and you can leave without disappointing the manager.
  4. The other company doesn't offer and this manager is pissed off and refused to extend your offer. Well in that case this company was not worth staying for longer.

Hopefully this helps,

  • -1 Don't do that, I think that using that advice would hurt the asker. Companies generally don't have a problem firing people during the probation period, why should he worry more for the company that for himself. – Wilbert Aug 9 '18 at 7:09
  • @Wilbert I am not asking for worrying about the company instead my answer is exact opposite and it suggests to look for himself and compare both offers before deciding anything. – Amit Aug 9 '18 at 18:06

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