I have a certain type of certification that is a hard requirement for about 25% of the work I do. I believe this was a strong factor in the decision to hire me. There is a possibility I may lose this certification in the near future, but I would like to continue working for my current company.

I have a meeting with my manager next week. I will explain the situation, say that I have an offer from a different company, but I would prefer to keep working here if I had some assurance that they wouldn't fire me if I lose this certification.

My question is: what sort of assurance should I ask for? Would a written document signed by the manager be enough to cover me? I trust my immediate manager to be square with me, but I'm worried that won't matter if the guy above him decides I'm not worthwhile without this certification.

Some clarifications regarding the comments: I do have the job offer. I am a programmer, and a full-time employee. I am of course fighting to keep this certification, but the final decision is out of my hands.

  • 4
    “say I have an offer from another company” Why would you say that unless you were planning on leaving? Also, what industry is this?Letting your certification in some IT thing (e.g. Certified Scrum Master) lapse is different to letting something like your teaching or nursing certifications lapse.
    – nick012000
    Mar 2 '20 at 23:35
  • 12
    Why not try to renew your certification? And, why could you lose this certification? is it about to expire?
    – DarkCygnus
    Mar 2 '20 at 23:37
  • Also, what sort of contract or job relation are you currently under?
    – DarkCygnus
    Mar 2 '20 at 23:44
  • 3
    You shouldn’t let anyone at your company know that you’re job hunting until you’ve accepted another offer. Otherwise, they may label you as a flight risk which make them less likely to want to keep you on. Mar 2 '20 at 23:51
  • 3
    What solution are you going to suggest for getting the affected 25% of your work done? Mar 3 '20 at 2:08

If you're losing a certification that is a hard requirement for your work, then it stands to reason you can't expect to keep your same job.

Speaking with your manager about what would happen if you lose the certification is a good idea. You can propose being moved to a new role (in the case that you've lost the certification). Be aware that this will likely result in a change of pay, to go along with the change in responsibilities. If you have a new role that doesn't need the certification, you probably have no reason to expect being fired, at least not more than normal. As such, you probably don't need anything in writing.

Two notes:

  • Your manager likely needs to know that your certification is at risk, ASAP. You're probably jeopardizing some projects and hell for your coworkers.
  • There is no need to mention the job offer until your change of position is decided and you are discussing your new rate of pay.

I will explain the situation, say that I have an offer from a different company, but I would prefer to keep working here if I had some assurance that they wouldn't fire me if I lose this certification.

Only do this if you really have another offer on the table that you could jump to in case they decide to lay you off.

Making up that you have an offer is not a recommended (nor honest) way of attempting to do what you want: If your bluff fails, you end up with no job, and if it's successful, you are subject to them eventually finding out about your deception.

It's not clear yet but, I would suggest you attempt to renew your certification. If this was a good reason you were hired for, chances are your employer is interested in you keeping this certificate, and perhaps is willing to pay for the costs of renewing it... or well, you could cover the expenses on your own, if this is a certificate that is valuable beyond this current job you have (that is, it may help you land future offers, looks good on your resume, etc.).


You write the question from the passive position:

I will lose requirement X for doing 25% of current job, what do?

Let me flip that for you into (bit exaggerated) active position:

I am sick and tired of doing 25% of my job, love the rest, what do?

What will you do then?

You have to be clear and honest with management. They will have to make, hopefully, an honest decisions. Your company needs these 25% of work done, they can't get away from that. You can try to negotiate change of responsibilities, that's all. But saying "I have another offer" usually leads to rapid end of employment.

Few positive points:

  1. They invested into training you to do 75% of your job, setting you up, getting to know you
  2. You don't know exactly what resources they have
  3. You might get free training for certification, or if you are ineligible, get to do some other work to fill your hours
  4. They might decide to outsource the job
  • 1
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here and you don't give any specific actions for OP... OP seems like they will already be negotiating a change in responsibilities, and was asking if that needs to be in writing....
    – Mars
    Mar 3 '20 at 2:10

There is one obvious choice you are missing.

You can ask the company to pay for renewal the certification first. Most of the companies will agree if the work is important to them. Even if its expensive for you to pay personally, for company, it will be usually ok.

  • 2
    There was no mention that "money" is the reason for losing the certification
    – Mars
    Mar 3 '20 at 2:39

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