3

How would I go about trying something different (for example, a full time job at Organization B) while working full time at a job with Company A? This question addresses the interview part, and I have no problem taking the time off from Company A to do that.

The uncertainty comes in whether I like the job at Organization B enough to quit Company A. I don't think I would be able to determine this based on only the interview, or anything less than 4 weeks of working there. The job sounds interesting on paper, but there are many factors to be taken into account to evaluate that.

I have just been told at Company A that the CIO and HR/Finance has approved my second-level supervisor's request to regularize my position here starting mid-March, so my job will be more stable soon. Of course this has somewhat influenced me to stay with them.

Organization B is looking for someone to start around April 1. I see a few options here if I get to the point where they offer me a job:

  • Option 1: Quit Company A. Risk is not being able to come back if I do not like the job at B. There are a few interns at Company A that will be graduating in April, and I know some of them are interested in what I do, so I'm almost certain that my newly-regularized position will be filled promptly if I leave.
  • Option 2: Take vacation at Company A when I start at Organization B. Which would only give me 4-5 working days considering the job starts April. I don't think this is enough time to "test drive" (unless I really hated the new job)
  • Option 3: Negotiate flexible hours at Company A. Risk is not being flexible enough to fit both schedules. Another risk is burnout, since I'd be working a total of 71.5 hours per week (6 days x 12 hours, which might be OK for the same job, but is likely difficult for two different ones)

There is no conflict of interest between the two jobs as they are completely different industries, and nothing in my contract with Company A prohibits me from seeking employment unless there are conflicts of interest.

I should also note that things have been improving for my team at Company A, and I am not unhappy about working there.

My goal is to test out a job at Organization B with minimal risk. What steps can I take to achieve this goal?

  • 12
    What makes you think you need to? Millions of people change jobs each year without needing a "test drive", so why do you worry you can't evaluate a new position without one? – Lilienthal Dec 19 '18 at 7:50
  • 7
    I hope that's not your real name :-) – Mawg Dec 19 '18 at 9:05
  • All the world does option 1, if the new job doesn't work you have to find something else (sometimes at your old company). Option 2 and 3 would lead to immediate termination at most companies. In Germany this wouldn't even be easy because of taxation rules. – Simon Dec 19 '18 at 18:27
  • Which country are we talking about? – Sandra K Dec 19 '18 at 19:47
10

My goal is to test out a job at Organization B with minimal risk. What steps can I take to achieve this goal?

While I can understand the nervousness around the risk what your proposing is a completely impractical thing to do.

Option 1: Quit Company A. Risk is not being able to come back if I do not like the job at B. There are a few interns at Company A that will be graduating in April, and I know some of them are interested in what I do, so I'm almost certain that my newly-regularized position will be filled promptly if I leave.

That's the same risk everyone takes every time they change jobs - you can't expect an employer to sit around for 4 weeks leaving your job open, and if, as you've already identified the position is likely to be readily filled the "risk" is higher than if you are in a difficult to fill position where it might conceivably take a few months to fill. Even if they don't fill your position there's a high likelihood that you would have damaged your standing at the company and gained a not un-deserved reputation for undependibility.

Option 2: Take vacation at Company A when I start at Organization B. Which would only give me 4-5 working days considering the job starts April. I don't think this is enough time to "test drive" (unless I really hated the new job)

To do this you'd have to be able to keep Company A in the dark about what you were doing..forever. Otherwise you're right back at that reputation for undependibility, and in fact even worse - you just rocketed straight to the top of everyone's "flight risk" list. It might be an option depending upon your locale and what restrictions there are (or aren't) in your contract with A regarding secondary employment (although depending upon your locale you might get "caught" anyway courtesy of payroll/taxes) but even if it's legal it's still exceptionally high risk and as you correctly deduced you aren't going to get much more info from a week working there vs a well conducted interview and some research via Glassdoor etc.

Option 3: Negotiate flexible hours at Company A. Risk is not being flexible enough to fit both schedules. Another risk is burnout, since I'd be working a total of 71.5 hours per week (6 days x 12 hours, which might be OK for the same job, but is likely difficult for two different ones)

Forgive me for being blunt but this is simple lunacy. While that sort of working schedule is feasible for short periods there's no way it's going to give you a realistic "test drive" of company B and negotiating sufficient flexibility in two companies to fit this in is going to be a non trivial task. And should you succeed if you then decide to jump ship to B you're basically giving A a slap in the face after they went to the effort of accommodating your flexibility requirements. There's burning bridges and then there's nuking them from orbit!

  • 1
    Actually no. Option 2 is in most jurisdictions also flat out illegal. As employer I would sack your income from Option 2 and then fire you with cause. And yes, I have a right for your GROSS income - at market rate - as I employ you full time INCLUDING HOLIDAYS WHICH ARE PAID HOLIDAYS. – TomTom Dec 19 '18 at 10:12
  • @TomTom whether it's illegal or not would depend highly on jurisdiction and contract, good catch - I'll update to cover that aspect. – motosubatsu Dec 19 '18 at 10:16
  • @TomTom What do you mean by "sack your income"? "withhold your pay"? That would not be legal in any jurisdiction where I have worked (UK, DE, CH). OTOH, all my contracts have had clauses that would forbid option 3, and you could then sue me for your losses. – Martin Bonner Dec 19 '18 at 10:19
  • DE: yes. Standesrecht, Gewinnabschöpfung. Do SOME research. Yes, it is rarely done, but if you are employed and WORK without asking me, Option 2 is doable. – TomTom Dec 19 '18 at 10:50
  • You have to make sure you don't have a moonlighting clause in your employment contract. One company I worked for required that I do not work a second job that is same field as my current job. I was a software engineer so I couldn't work at a software engineer anywhere else even on my own time and vacation included. – jcmack Dec 20 '18 at 0:40
4

Preposterous !!
There is no such thing as "Test Driving" a job !
(certainly not on your level - no offense - if former INTERNS can fill your position)

You'll sign an employment contract.

Once that is done, you can only quit according to the regulations set in it.
Usually you'll have a notice period of 2-4 weeks and other things to consider.
This is to protect you as well as employers from pranksters pulling stunts like you propose!

If you want to know what the new job entails, inform yourself online and ask people who work in that field.

You could inquire to intern or have a "guided tour" but other than that I'm afraid you'd have to quit your old job and go all in.

The only other way I see would be to moonlight in the new job half time if both companies are OK with that or if their contracts have no clauses prohibiting this.

2

None of these are moral or the ethical thing to do.

That being said, merging option 2 and 3 together will be your best chance of safely trying out a job without losing your original job. Set up a holiday a good few days into working flexible hours to avoid burnout and allow yourself some rest. This way you have enough time to try the job, keep your current job and allow ample rest in between.

2

What you're looking at seems to be the opposite of low-risk. Consider the situation from the perspective of either of the employers:

Employer A

From what you've said, your position is easily filled, and they may even have new grads eager to do so. If they believe that you are attempting to "jump ship", then it wouldn't be unreasonable to let you go, and fill the position with someone that presents them with reduced risk.

Employer B

The impression that you're giving that employer is:

A) The offer that they've given you, and the assessment of the job, is not enough for you to make the move.

B) Rather than either of the typical actions (accept or reject the offer), you're wanting to string both companies along in a kind of limbo. This procludes them from finding a more sure and stable alternative, and keeps your old employer in a state of high-risk.

C) If you're leaving your old employer in that kind of state, then it's not unreasonable to believe that you'll do the same to them at some point down the line. That makes you a high-risk employee

From your description, you are not necessarily a high-demand skillset, so may not have the desirability to offset the risks that you're posing to both employers. That means that making yourself high-risk is more likely to cause you problems.

0

You take leave if your company allows it. Mine does for stuff like military. This is not the greatest decision though. You'd be better off starting your own business as a side hustle.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.