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Like most of us, I have a personal LinkedIn profile, which I keep as updated as feasible. Sometimes managers send me a message asking for my resume. Now, since I am already employed and busy on a project, I politely decline and let them know that I am not open for opportunities at the moment but might be in the future.

My actual manager doesn't know about these messages and this has gotten me thinking.

On one side, I'm not seriously considering any of them. I welcome them because these connections might become useful in the future, but at the moment I'm not unhappy with my current position and salary so I have no reason to change.

On the other side, I am worried my manager starts taking me as granted and I do not grow as I could, both in position and salary. I have heard complaints about my company not giving promotions with the same policy other companies I can easily access do. Making it known that I have offers could have them take more care of me, leading me to speed up my growth. Yes, it could backfire, and that is something I want to seriously avoid.

Is it something I should do? Should my manager be aware of me being offered opportunities to other companies? If yes, how to make this happens such that it doesn't look like I'm "blackmailing" a raise?

Just to be clear, as I said I'm not unhappy right now and if I ever start to become unhappy I'll be sure to have my manager know first-hand. I'm not asking on how to ask for a raise, I'm asking if I can do something to make my manager act to keep me happy, before me getting unhappy. Since I'm not that much experienced, any relevant experience is more than welcome, even if only slightly correlated.

EDIT:

I wanted to add a few points to clarify some things that have come up in comments and answers and that are slightly out of scope:

  • I know they are not "offers", I have just made a poor word choice. As one comment suggested, read "approach" whenever I said offer or proposal. That is what I really meant.

  • I know they are mostly not that serious and not exclusive to me

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Should my manager be aware of me being offered opportunities to other companies?

The short answer to this is no.

The longer answer is that once you make that statement, you have essentially said "I am not happy here for whatever reason, and I am looking." Once you have implied this, it is really hard to take it back.

Your best approach is to keep this to yourself, act privately on any opportunity that interests you, get the offer letter, and then turn in your notice.

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    Agreed. Managers dislike worrying day-to-day about whether people will leave. Why make their jobs harder? And, you can be sure they know whether they're paying you and your co-workers the going rate. – O. Jones Jun 20 at 12:13
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    Well, you don't necessarily need to hand in the notice. Once you get an offer that is better than the status quo you can evaluate whether a raise would let you stay in the current company or not, if yes go to your manager and tell them the situation and how much the raise should be. Either they give it to you, or don't. In both cases you are happier than before. – Bakuriu Jun 20 at 17:40
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    @Bakuriu that's a terrible suggestion. More likely they'll give you the small raise to keep you quiet for now, then start hiring your replacement while making sure you never get another opportunity for advancement or progression at your current company, if indeed they can't just sack you once that replacement is found. – BittermanAndy Jun 21 at 7:31
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    @Bakuriu In my experience as a witness, once you played your "I could get better payment elsewhere - pay me more!" card and thus got your raise, one of two things will happen: 1) You'll be on the fastlane out from now on, as soon as your boss found someone trustworthier to replace you 2) You'll have to fight even harder for future raises and promotions. My advice is: Once you get a better offer elsewhere, take it. Never attempt to blackmail you boss into giving you a raise. – Niko1978 Jun 21 at 8:11
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    I learned that lesson, @Niko1978, while still in college. Told the boss I wanted to do some programming instead of just tech support, he said no. I started looking and found a position where I could. Told the boss about it before I had an official new position. He immediately (within a week) hired my replacement and had me training him. The new job fell through and I was in a bind. Only the new guy being a complete moron and being let go saved my job and let me continue working there through the rest of college. #LessonLearned – FreeMan Jun 21 at 12:38
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You need to be aware that LinkedIn recruiters contact a very large amount of profiles. They are fishing with a large net to hope catching one fish. So telling your manager that you are very solicited isn't much of a threat.

There is no such thing as keeping a kind of implicit pressure on managers for them to keep workers happy before they start to be unhappy. They will work according to companies policies and their point is not making workers happy but for the company to make profit.

You can still have a talk with your manager if you notice that a decision are dividing from company policy and your hapiness.

  • I am aware of that, that's the main reason I didn't pay that much attention to them. I don't agree they should keep people happy. Having a person leave is a worry because if a person leaves the company loses profits. Maybe it is relevant to mention that I work for a consultancy company, so people are the way they make profits. – bracco23 Jun 20 at 8:14
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    @bracco23 It really depends. Some consultancy jobs are still expendable, and your perception of your own value in the company's scheme of things may be quite differente from the company's. The fact that you feel "wanted" may also be irrelevant; in my line of work (sw development) almost everyone of my colleagues (and we're talking about hundreds of engineers) has such messages, it's really nothing exceptional. – Czar Jun 20 at 8:32
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    @bracco23 "Having a person leave is a worry because if a person leaves the company loses profits.": That's not true, they might lose one client in one case, but in overall they will make better profit than if they accept every consultant's demands. – Bebs Jun 20 at 8:50
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    Tell him. Maybe he'll share some of the recent messages he's gotten with you. I wouldn't put too much stock in those spam job offers. – Keith Jun 20 at 12:53
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    "They will work according to companies policies and their point is not making workers happy but for the company to make profit." <-- THAT is the key! – FreeMan Jun 21 at 12:39
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I've worked in the kind of consultancy company you describe. The only way to get a raise/promotion/bonus/... was to threaten to quit. After a couple of years (and several people leaving), they started to change their policies. I was already gone by then.

Making it known that I have offers could have them take more care of me, leading me to speed up my growth.

You don't have offers, you get job postings. You have recruiters contacting to maybe get you an interview for a job. There's nothing concrete there. Telling your boss this won't be impressive, and will only make things awkward. There's really no upside.

The only moment you have true "leverage" is when you have an actual job offer in hand. But even then, using this as a way to get what you want with your current employer is a bad idea, and rarely works out in the long run. Your relationship with your boss and the company is damaged : you won't feel valued by your company, your company will probably hold this against you in the future as a reason why you won't get another promotion or raise, you know you'll have to pull this stunt again if you wish to advance more with your career in this company,... This article written by Alison Green explains why accepting a counteroffer is rarely a good idea. And I've seen it at my old company : anyone who accepted a counteroffer regretted it very soon, no one stayed for more than a year.

If you're unhappy with how your company treats its employees and you don't think you'll be able to build the career you wish to build there, find another job. Don't use those messages as leverage but use them to find something better.

  • I agree they are not offers, I know that, I just used a wrong wording. But I agree with everything you say. – bracco23 Jun 20 at 13:48
  • Also, if you're sufficiently happy where you are, and believe that there is an effective line of communication open for addressing issues that may come up in the future, don't waste time and effort using those messages "to find something better." Odds are, it won't actually be better, and that you could use that time and energy to do something more positive for your life right now. – WBT Jun 21 at 13:58
  • I worked at a company where I was passed up for promotions because too many coworkers threatened to leave, accepted counteroffers, and there weren't enough available resources to give to deserving employees. just another reason why accepting a counteroffer is a bad move, you could be screwing your coworkers and they could find out. – economy Jun 21 at 16:56
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    @economy If those employees really were undeserving of a promotion, this is still management's fault. Giving out raises and promotions based on fear instead of worth is the company's decision, and they are creating a culture where people think the only way to get something is to threaten to leave. That's on the company, not on the employee accepting counter offers. Also, you can't fault employees for doing what is best for themselves (although again, I believe accepting a counteroffer is often not what is best for them in the long run). – MlleMei Jun 21 at 17:04
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Definitely do not communicate with your boss about your interactions on LinkedIn. Those messages are private, intended for you alone, and (nearly) all recruiters will respect that you won't want to communicate anything with your current company until it makes sense to do so (i.e., you're leaving for a better, signed offer).

Other excellent answers have addressed that these requests are not special, that managers don't want to be antagonized by employees looking to leave or feeling self important about recruiter spam, and that ultimately it's up to you to seek another job when you feel you've been passed up for a raise. I want to go further and emphasize some important details of dealing with LinkedIn requests as you progress in your career.

It's true that recruiters on LinkedIn flood all potential prospects with requests for resumes and phone chats, so these initial messages are just about meaningless. However, it will serve your career well to develop the discipline to identify possibly interesting or advantageous opportunities in these messages, and in other (unsolicited) job postings you see on LinkedIn.

Even if you're not unhappy in your current role, even if you're next in line for that promotion, keep your finger on the pulse of the job market for your skill set. Talk to recruiters, apply for jobs, and go through interviews, even if you're not necessarily ready to leave.

LinkedIn is a tool that recruiters use to make a living placing people in new positions, but you can use it as a tool to be an expert on what companies need, and how you can best benefit from providing it. This should be an ongoing process throughout your career, and one that shouldn't concern your current employer at all.

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I'm asking if I can do something to make my manager act to keep me happy, before me getting unhappy.

I think this is your main point. This is what you need to do:

  1. Figure out, what you want.
  2. Compare (1) to what your current position offers.
  3. If there are unmet demands, talk with your manager about them.
  4. If the company is either not willing or not able to meet your demands, look for a new job.

Note that it is entirely possible that your current position meets all your demands. But then I don't see a problem.

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Sometimes managers send me a message asking for my resume.

This happens more often than you would think and is very far from a job offer.

You may not think of your LinkedIn profile as a "looking for a job" advert, as it's intended as a professional social network - but recruiters do. They have a job to do, and that job is to provide a supply of candidates for any position that's open or might come up.

Messages asking for your resume are not even close to job offers. Rather, think of them like a context ad "Hiring developers!", except targeted by a human rather than a computer. Responding to a LinkedIn message guarantees your resume will at least be read, but that's about it.

To a recruiter, it's nothing more than a business card exchange, with no implied intent. To you, it's only a sign that your profile has been filled up enough and connected enough to show up in recruiter searches.

If you don't want to leave your position, stay silent. A mention of interest in other job offers is a signal not to count on you long-term, potentially costing you opportunities within the company. If you are ready to leave, but want to try and leverage offers into a counter-offer, wait until you're at least done with the salary negotiation and are talking start dates. That's when you can say you have offers. A written offer is still preferable.

The statistic that most people who get a counter-offer still leave within the year is often-repeated in management circles, so it's still a signal that your future is less likely to be with the same company. If you want to grow at your current workplace, focus on what extra value you can bring there, rather than on what alternatives you have.

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    And many of those recruiters don't even have jobs matching your profile. They're just fishing for resumes that they then use to flood random openings without your consent or knowledge. Biggest mistake I ever made was posting my resume on Monsterboard. Few weeks later I was at a job interview where the HR person showed me no less than 7 instances of my resume being offered by different recruiters. 6 of them I'd never even heard of, the 7th was the one I was actually working with who had asked me in advance if it was ok to send my resume to that company. – jwenting Jun 21 at 3:30

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