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I'm currently 1 year in my job as a software developer, working as a consultant. A manager from my company (not my manager) offered me a different job, and a 6+% raise, so still inside my company but for a different client (all of this if the interview goes well). Didn't get any call from my manager, so I guess she does not know about this. Maybe I'm being naive (this is my first job after leaving academia), but this feels a bit weird to me, do managers in big companies "steal" each other's employees?

I like my current job and, for the same salary, I would keep it. Next step towards the new job would be a (technical) interview with the client. What's the best way to handle this? Should I go on with the interview and then talk to my manager with a final offer in my hand and try to get a raise for my current job? Or, should I talk to my manager first? With the first option, if the interview doesn't go well, I get nothing; with the second option, I'm being as honest as possible with my boss but I don't have a final offer in my hand.

Maybe I'm looking at it from the wrong perspective and I should consider different divisions of my company as they were different companies at all, from a job change perspective.

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  • There is a possibility they have a slight preference that you would make the move, but want to give you the chance to stay if that is your preference. I have been in that situation (and I chose to stay, which interestingly made the manager who wanted to take me over unhappy). Do the interview. If you prefer to stay after having done it, ask your current manager whether something like this is going on before finalizing your response. If you get an offer and you do want to accept it, no need to have that conversation.
    – Pete W
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 18:15
  • If you like your job, then I wouldn't advise you to change it. I tried changing jobs when I wasn't fully sure if I wanted to. Recruitment proccesses were stressful and I wasn't performing well, I asked a lot of unnecessary questions because of my insecureness. When in some time you really feel that you want to change jobs, then the change will be much easier for you mentally and physically.
    – musialmi
    Commented Mar 5, 2021 at 9:49

3 Answers 3

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If you like your current job and your current salary, you should speak with your current manager. Because if your potential new job slips through the cracks and your current boss learns of it and gets offended you didn't let them know, after this whole incident, you may be worse off.

It also doesn't hurt to speak with HR to ask what the process should be. They may insist that your potential new manager should have cleared it with your current manager, or they may say that these types of interviews are common.

In addition, your boss may invite you to be interviewed, and then if you get the other job, may elect to offer to increase your salary by 6% anyway. If you go behind their backs, you may be transferred before you have a chance to speak with them about it.

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I'd do the interview. Any conflict or bruised feelings that might result are things the two managers can sort out amongst themselves (since they still presumably have to work together).

I mean, I'd make sure the new prospective manager knew that you were already working for the company, albeit for another manager, but that may not even be an issue, depending on how you were contacted.

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    I have never heard of being offered a salary within the same company. "Would you be interested working with XYZ..." , yes, fine question. I concur with OP, this feels weird.
    – paulj
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 21:20
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I'm surprised this hasn't gotten more responses. Putting some possibilities out there to maybe stimulate others with more big-company experience than me to respond.

This feels a bit weird to me, do managers in big companies "steal" each other's employees?

My feeling is generally no, unless inter-departmental relations are unusually bad. But it is not uncommon to "trade". [UPDATE And come to think of it there are exceptions, like the big name university that is the biggest employer in my locality- it is subdivided into multiple schools and admin depts that are like independent kingdoms, and they do in fact recruit non-academic staff from each other competitively, and it is considered normal]


The following is entirely speculative, premised on the idea that this would not happen if there weren't something going on in the background.

The manager recruiting you (or both the managers) may be aware of an upcoming change in organization or projects, which they feel might cause you to possibly quit, or your position to possibly be lost or reorganized, and this may be a move to pre-emptively retain your product knowledge and/or move you to another place where they can take advantage of the same expertise for something more appropriate (and opinions on that may differ among the managers involved).

The question is why your current manager is not the one presenting this to you.

In the situation I experienced that I mentioned in the comment above, it turned out that my then-supervisor had submitted an extended notice period to quit, but it was to be kept secret from his reports as long as possible. This was in the aftermath of a reorg that saw a number of tech staff leave. I didn't know this, but some of my departing managers' people were bound to be reassigned / split up among other managers, one of them wanted me to fill a role he had, and they had someone else in mind for my original position.

The fact that a raise is on the table without you even having asked for it, is an indication that there is an expectation by them that you may be uncomfortable with making the move. Are there changes to job description etc? Are there factors that put you in a position to ask for a little more even?

Food for thought

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