For reasons that should be obvious, I've created a separate StackExchange account to ask this question.

I do not have my resume up online anywhere. No where on line do I make any mention of looking for another job, or being unhappy with my current job. I don't have anyone out there sending my resume to companies. I am not signed up with any sort of career hunting service. Nor have I ever been.

I am a fairly active user on StackOverflow and CodeReview. My StackExchange profile has my email address listed in it. My StackExchange profile also states that I am currently employed, as a developer, in my development area of choice.

With that said, I was recently emailed by a company (this was a company emailing me directly, not a recruiting agency of any sort). After a couple of emails back and forth, and a phone conversation, the company is interested in hiring me. Essentially, it sounds like their developers have regularly stumbled across my posts and recommended to whoever is in charge of hiring that I'd be a good addition to their company.

I have not received an offer from this company, but one will be coming (I don't intend to do anything until I actually have an actual offer in hand).

With that said, I do like my current job, and I'm not necessarily excited to leave it. But for the right price, if my current company can not match the new company's offer, I would be okay with changing jobs. It would require relocating and a bunch of headaches regarding that, so it'd certainly have to be the right price, and I've already told the new company would that price would be.

My current company is completely unaware that I've been contacted. At this point, I feel there's no point in letting my current company know anything until I have an actual offer (or have turned down an offer from the other company).

What is important to me is that I am 100% honest with my current company. I have a good relationship with everyone at my current company, and I don't want to leave on bad terms. But at the same time, what's most important is that I'm doing what is best for me. I don't owe either company anything as far as I'm concerned (except to do what is asked of me in order to make them feel good about writing my paycheck).

What are some things I can do to make sure that I'm making the absolute best of this situation and to make sure I'm not making a decision I'll regret later?

closed as primarily opinion-based by bharal, Joe Strazzere, jcmeloni, Stephan Kolassa, gnat Feb 14 '15 at 21:01

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Can you choose a more descriptive title, that briefly explains what "this situation" is? – Nate Eldredge Feb 14 '15 at 1:38
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    This has been asked before, and suffers from wall of text syndrome . None of the wall adds to the content in any way. Question might as well be "how do I leave". At least no ethics tag. Narrow question to what you need required, but not about "do I leave" or ethics , both asked before. – bharal Feb 14 '15 at 2:22
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    The question at the very bottom of the post is the question I'm asking. I'm not asking about ethics, nor am I asking about "how do I leave". What information do I need to extract from new company to be confident that I would like working there? After receiving an offer from new company, what's the best approach with old company to maximize any potential counter-offer they may make? If this question is a duplicate, please point me in the right direction via a "close as duplicate" vote. – Recruited Feb 14 '15 at 2:44
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    Voted to close as "too broad". You are essentially asking (1) how to job hunt and (2) how to maximize a counter offer. The first would already be "borderline too broad", and in any case, it would be better to make this two separate questions. Incidentally, whether or not you were actively job hunting and how you were contacted does not seem to have any bearing on your actual question, so I'd encourage you to radically cut your question down in length. – Stephan Kolassa Feb 14 '15 at 13:58

It sounds like you're on the right track.

Regarding the new company

You naturally want as much assurance that this change is going to be good for you. Gather as much relevant information as you can, from as many different sources as possible. You've probably already covered most of this:

  • The job - Is it interesting? Is there a lot to learn? Will you be bored in 6 months?
  • What's your future boss like? How often will you see him? Look beyond what he says to how he acts, how he decorates his office, etc. I once turned down a job because the owner had an antique pile of junk computer on a typing stand beside his desk. That told me a lot about his priorities regarding technology.

  • You've no doubt met your future co-workers. Are they under a lot of stress? Where will you fit in? Will you be expected to mentor anyone? Is there anyone you can learn from? (If 'no', be worried - we all have more to learn).

  • The company - if you haven't googled them yet, turn in your geek card right now. We'll wait. Is the company growing? Who's their competition? How long have they been in business? Do they have a good reputation? Any BBB complaints? Any Glassdoor.com entries?

  • The city - if this job doesn't work out, will you be able to find other work or will you have to move again? If you have a spouse and/or kids, how will they fit in? Are the schools any good?

Finally, what does your gut say? Are you excited about this change? Are you looking forward to it?

Regarding the old company

Not all companies make counter offers. Don't take offense if they don't.

You might want to come up with a "this is how much it's going to cost to keep me" figure ahead of time. That way you won't have to fret over whether their counter is "good enough", and you won't be left wondering if you made the right choice (no matter whether you stay or leave).

A final thought The best any of us can do is to make the best choices we can based on the information available to us at the time. If we've done that, then there is no cause for regret later, even if the choices turn out to be incorrect.

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    +1. If you do get a counter offer from your current employer and decide to accept it, remember that most managers' experience is that people who stay on counter offers soon leave, anyway. So if you do so, expect to be considered a "short-timer". Less chance for interesting assignments, training, promotion and so forth. – Stephan Kolassa Feb 14 '15 at 13:54

I think the main question is, Are they paying you as much as they can or as little as they can? This is going to be a factor in how you should approach the situation. Most job offerings are somewhere in between, but everyone has some sort of "gut" feeling, intuition, vibe or whatever as to the direction they think their current situation is leaning. Obviously, the further they are towards "as little" the less likely you're going to be satisfied. You have to decide where you stand. A lot of people don't have an understanding with their boss/company on how their salary is/was determined or what limitations the company has.

Basically, if you ask for more money because you can get more elsewhere, would you accept a counter-offer? You may be thinking they're already paying you as much as they can. Hopefully they won't hold a grudge because you have an opportunity to better yourself. Be fair to your current company and offer an feedback on what they could do to make things better. They may not be able to do anything about it (Especially in a case where someone is throwing an obscene amount of money your way.), but at least the communication is open.

We all know there is more to a job than salary, but it is still a key factor in our job selection. Also consider some other factors about your current job. Would you stay if you had more responsibility or more of your input was considered? Do you want more flexibility in your scheduling?

If your company/boss hasn't maintained an open line of communication and constantly asked for your feedback, they shouldn't be surprised if you find a better offer. They should know enough about this business that people get approached all the time. Anything could happen. It's prudent to keep our resume's up to date regardless of how much we love our job. Nothing lasts forever.

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