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I was offered a new job before the virus outbreak. The had emailed me the offer details with salary, stock options, insurance etc, and had promised to sent the contract early this week. They were also pushing me to join as quickly as possible. I had asked them about a possible downturn due to the outbreak, and they had promised that they are in a stable situation and won't be affected much.

So, I'd put my notice to my current employer on Monday. My current employer asked if I'd like them to reconsider my current salary. I said no to this, because the reason for quitting was not so much salary as the nature of my work. Yesterday, the new company called me and said that their business is down by 20% and want to preserve as much cash as possible. They said that they want to push the start date by 2 or 3 months. They didn't give a definite date.

I'm from India. I asked around, and unfortunately there is no grace period at my company with regard to my notice period.

Since I'm on notice, I will be jobless in a month. What do I do in this situation?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Neo Mar 23 at 11:18
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My current employer asked if I'd like them to reconsider my current salary

It means your current employer values you significantly – it takes significant time to train new employees and allow them to settle in the team/workplace. Assuming you didn't burn any bridges when you turned them down earlier, the smart thing to do here would be to save your own financial situation and look out for yourself. That's what any reasonable company would do as well.

Note that many major financial institutions have declared that we are either undergoing a recession, or are at the beginning of it. I assume that you want to take an incremented salary if you were to continue at the same place. Staying at the current salary would convey a message of desperation making you lose the leverage, so I wouldn't go straight ahead telling them how bad it is, around the delay in joining date, though them guessing it on their own is a possibility.

Since the timeline involved are only of week, go back to your current employer, and let them know that you gave a deeper thought to their offer of improved compensation. Let them know that you would be open to considering their offer if they can meet your expectations. If asked on what made you change your mind – be prepared to respond with a reason which sounds true – could be around commute, family considerations, or minimising future risks of layoffs due to upcoming downturn.

Remember, one must not bring their ego into such discussions – be wary of your own emotions around feeling embarrassment to ask for a reconsideration. In any case, do not share with the current employer the information that you've been asked to hold joining the next company – this will negate any kind of potential salary increment you might get.

Be ready with range of ballpark numbers for them to consider – your existing offer letter can serve as a strong data point if it's not much out of their reach. Based on the terms offered, decide if you want to continue or stay at home waiting for a job that may never begin. Depending on your personal commitments, be prepared to work at the existing salary that you had before resigning.

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    Assuming OP wants to stay, OP's employer may guess the reason for the turnaround, but the current situation would be good enough reason to cause people to reconsider their options. By volunteering the information, OP risks that their current employer may use this as leverage (get them to sign a more restrictive contract, etc). Simply saying "In the current situation I have re-evaluated my priorities and I think stability is much more important now" would be a good enough reason for suddenly wanting to stay (it's also potentially the truth, just not the whole truth). – delinear Mar 20 at 12:29
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    If asked on what made you change your mind – be prepared to respond with a reason which sounds true Here's an excuse to consider: "Given the current economic situation, I'm concerned that being a new hire elsewhere puts me at increased risk of losing my job should things continue to worsen." Basically, you're implying that you still want the new job and that it's still available, but that stability has now become a more important factor for you – anjama Mar 20 at 18:09
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    Another option is to go back and let your employer know that your desire for change is about more than just salary (which is true), and if they are willing to offer you a better salary and something else (more time for training, the opportunity to work on something else, slightly more flexible hours, anything) you would be happy consider their offer. You might be able to find a "something else" so trivial to that your employer that they would almost certainly accept that. The only issue there is that it wouldn't look good to leave shortly after accepting such an offer. – cjs Mar 21 at 2:24
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    @delinear: Good information, but on average I'd expect that an employer willing to offer a raise to retain an employee may still be interested in having them effectively work an extended notice period even if OP addresses it openly (without the raise then). Unless OP really burned a bridge or the employer is trying to make a principled point. – Flater Mar 21 at 18:10
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    "be prepared to respond with a reason which sounds true" which amounts to recommending lying, which is never a great option – njzk2 Mar 21 at 19:59
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You gave a months notice. That doesn't mean you are out of a job in a months time. It means you go to your manager asap and ask if you can cancel the notice. Obviously the timing is really bad, but the chances are not bad.

If I was your old employer, and slightly hard nosed but not too bad, I might offer to cancel your notice, same salary, if you sign a contract that you will stay at least one year. I mean I wouldn't want to pay your salary at the worst possible time and then lose you immediately when things look better.

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    The author should prepare for the worst, specifically in the event in 2 to 3 months, when their new company says their position no longer exists. A companies business does not typically decrease by 20% overnight. Going back to the manager and asking to cancel the notice is an excellent idea. – Donald Mar 20 at 13:44
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    @Donald These aren't typical times though. Everything in the tourism sector suddenly lost all their income (hotels, restaurants, attractions, cruises, travel) almost overnight in a lot of countries. Every company that primarily supplies tourism sector (industrial laundry and cleaning, bulk food suppliers, religious paraphernalia, souvenirs,...) also tumbled off a cliff. I mean, in the current economy, I think you are very fortunate as a company if you only lost 20% of your business. – Nzall Mar 20 at 15:15
  • @Nzall - I supposed I might have made a incorrect assumption that the company was saying they lost 20% of their long-term business overnight. – Donald Mar 20 at 15:30
  • "if you sign a contract that you will stay at least one year" I do not have enough reputation to downvote this answer. It might be illegal to do 'slavery' or it might be an unenforceable clause. Also, I am sure such contracts are popular in countries like India. But, I am not sure why anyone would work for such contracts unless they are not talented/don't read contracts/don't mind some cheap quality job. – Prasad Raghavendra Mar 21 at 1:17
  • @PrasadRaghavendra It may not be the case in India, but contract work is reasonably common in other countries, and it is also not uncommon for there to be penalties for exiting a work contract early. Having said all that, I don't think the mindset of gnasher723 is correct. It may make sense for the employer to negotiate new employment conditions with a longer notice period that usual. But the year-long stipulation doesn't really help the employer, especially as I suspect we are heading into an economic downturn. – Gregory Currie Mar 21 at 17:50
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They said that they want to push the start date by 2 or 3 months. They didn't give a definite date.

This is untenable, stay with your current employment if possible.

My current employer asked if I'd like them to reconsider my current salary. I said no to this, because the reason for quitting was not so much salary as the nature of my work.

Reconsider this option now. If at all possible retain this employment. That doesn't stop you from job hunting for another position. But it protects your revenue stream while you do so.

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In addition to the other answers, you can just talk to your current employer about extending your notice period, even if you still intend on leaving.

They might be happy to do so, because, especially in these chaotic times, they'll have more time to find a replacement for you. Many people hesitate to switch jobs at the moment, so new employees are harder to find, which means you leaving would create a vacancy for a prolonged period.
You should be honest about your intent and reason for leaving, rather than lying about wanting to stay and then putting in your notice two months later anyway. Lying in that way would cause hard feelings and probably burn bridges.
Don't push for more money if you don't intend on really staying.

So just go to your boss, explain the situation, ask whether he's happy to keep you on the payroll for 2-3 months more, and after that you can look at your remaining options.

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As others have pointed out, it would be better not to have given notice until you had a (contractually binding) offer with a start date. You need to mitigate this problem.

Start by informing the new company that if they can't give you a contract now with a specific start date (even if it's not immediate), you will need to reconsider joining them, and you'll let them know you decision once you do have a written offer with a specific start date (i.e., a contract binding on them, should you choose to accept it). There are two possible outcomes to this:

  1. They give you an offer, and you can decide whether or not you want to go without work in the period (if any) between leaving your current company and joining the new one.
  2. They refuse, at which point you should work on the basis that they're not going to make you an offer ever. (They may change their mind and make you an offer sometime down the road, but you probably don't want to risk your employment on something so uncertain.)

In the second case, you should see what you can do to rescind your notice and keep your current job.

One strategy would be to go back and let your employer know that your desire for change is about more than just salary (which is true), and if they are willing to offer something else in addition to a salary bump (more job responsibility, the opportunity to work on something else in addition to your current work, more time for training, slightly more flexible hours, anything) you would be happy consider their offer. If you need to give specific suggestions, try to find something that your employer would consider so trivial that they would immediately agree to it. The idea here is not to get anything in particular from your employer, but merely create a plausible excuse for you to reconsider staying at your current job after you've given notice. No matter what they offer, just accept.

Do keep in mind though, that if you take the above approach and stay at your current job, it's not going to look good if you leave shortly after accepting their offer.

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Since I'm on notice, I will be jobless in a month. What do I do in this situation?

You are in a difficult spot. You need to choose one or more of the available options based on your personal circumstance, your career plans, and your specific financial situation.

  • Reconsider if you should ask to stay on at your current company
  • Look for a different new job
  • File for unemployment benefits, if permitted in your locale
  • Wait things out with the new company, and hope for the best
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I am also from India. I think we could withdraw our resignation as far as i know(at least in my previous company). You would need to check your company policies thoroughly.

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Since you mention insurance coming with the job, I assume this is USA. The lack of definite start date I interpret as a risk that the offer will be withdrawn, followed by no employment and no insurance during an epidemic for a long time.

Since your employer is willing to up your salary, but you are leaving due to the nature of the work, I recommend trying to negotiate the latter attribute. See if you can change your duties to something more fulfilling. You have leverage.

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    I assume this is USA: From OP's profile, it seems they are from India. (Just for the completeness) – Kulfy Mar 20 at 19:56
  • And updated in the OP to reflect this is India. Thanks. I hope my advice is still helpful. – Michael McFarlane Mar 23 at 17:57
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Your employer is probably looking for a replacement already, what he needs is:

a) someone to fill the gap after you leave. this could be you. b) someone to do your job for a long time. that's what they are recruiting. c) someone to do other jobs. that's what you express interest in your question.

what I would offer is to get a significant increase in salary, they will usually offer less and for this you will stay a while longer in the current position, but you also need the promise to find more interesting work in the future, so that you don't think about jumping ship again.

if they have the potential to offer you a differnt job, this is a win-win for all. if they don't and they only go with option a) you have still won months of revenue instead of unemployment.

the problem is not primary in the salary but in the missing job satisfaction. i like the company and the people a lot and would prefer to stay, but I would like to work more in role B instead of current role A. If there are no positions right now, but something is planned, a small compensation of X% would make it easier to stay in the current role and wait for the real deal.

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