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I am a Java/J2EE developer with 15 years of experience. I was wondering if it is okay to tell my future employer that I would like to wait for my bonus from my current position which is due in a couple of months before the interview.

  • While similar, this is not a duplicate: the other is about reaching the end of a training period and a raise that would be hard to value, this is about a bonus with a quantifiable value. – lambshaanxy Feb 24 '16 at 11:50
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If you haven't even had a first interview, that would be too much information too early. Just go for the interviews, and if you get an offer or are asked about availability, set the date so that you can get your bonus first.

I wouldn't disclose the reason why you need to wait until date X, unless they want you to join ASAP, in which case you could try to get them to give you a signing bonus to make up for losing the bonus.

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    yes. why put up any obstacles to be hired? – bharal Jan 15 '15 at 9:35
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    certainly agree that until you get an offer now is not the time to say anything about this. However, one possible reason to bring this up after the offer is that it could be a bargaining tool "In two months I am about to receive a bonus of $x from my current employer, would you be willing to ..." You 'might' be able to ask for start up funds, extra money for your first bonus with the new company, increased salary, etc. – WetlabStudent Jan 17 '15 at 4:16
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    @bharal One barrier to being hired is interviewing too far in advance. Some companies can handle this, but many need someone now and will pass over someone who is not available. The solution for the OP is to wait until closer to the bonus payout to start looking. – Eric Aug 23 '15 at 12:00
  • @Eric - I've seen too many hiring situations get delayed to agree with you. Maybe those with a tight schedule are the exception, but most managers are too busy to give hiring any prioritization which is a shame. – user8365 Aug 24 '15 at 13:37
  • @JeffO: I think it depends on the industry and locale. My experience has been similar to eric's in that I've never seen a company wait longer than a week to make a decision and hire someone. – NotMe Feb 25 '16 at 1:39
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I completely agree with jpatokal's answer about waiting until you have an offer and are negotiating a start date. But you should also consider the following:

  • You will be asked about availability during the interview - you need to have thought about your answer before the interview (which I guess you are). Say something like "I will definitely be available after such and such date, but it might be possible for me to start earlier depending on conditions". I wouldn't mention that you are waiting for a bonus at this point.
  • Remember to account for the fact that you will likely have to server your full notice period after your bonus payment date (there's nothing wrong with handing in your notice the day after that - although, if you're like me you'd probably feel a bit guilty. I'd still do it if there's an opportunity for it).
  • Be flexible - the conditions and payment at your new job may offset your bonus. Would it be worth giving up the new job offer to get a bonus at a job you're planning to leave soon anyway?
  • Mention the bonus when negotiating the offer (pay and start date), but make sure you don't draw a hard line and back yourself into a corner (be flexible)
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I'm a civil engineer and I'm currently in a similar situation, having had a long career at my current employer. I have a bonus due to me in 2 months and I just got a job offer. I had mentioned my bonus when they asked about it in my 2 interviews and job offer meeting so they were fully aware of it and acted as if they would make it up to me either in salary or benefits. After going over all the benefits and salary offer, I figured out they were not offering me a bonus at signing or even at year end this year, due to "company policy".

I gave them two Options after receiving final offer 1) starting after "x" date (2 months and 2 weeks away) stating I worked hard for my bonus and I would be taking a pay cut this year if I were to leave for their company right away (since I was not eligible to receive a bonus at their company this year).

2) I could start in 2 weeks if they needed me to start sooner and were willing to match stated bonus.

They acted like they were insulted ... I had negotiated future pay increases and promotions already so maybe that contributed to it, but I think all was fair since I wasn't getting a pay increase in my starting base salary.

They apologized but still think I should start right away and said they will not hold the position if I choose options 1

I chose option 1 anyway

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    Your story is related to the question, but it doesnt seem to answer the question. – Masked Man Aug 23 '15 at 1:44
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    Hey Jru, welcome to The Workplace SE. On this site we're looking for actual answers to the question. What should the asker do, and why. We're not a discussion forum but are instead a Q&A site. See How to Answer for details, and then see if you can edit to provide an answer. Good luck. – jmort253 Aug 23 '15 at 14:49

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