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Let's say I work for a company called BobSoft, they're a consulting company with a contract with CharlieSoft.

BobSoft is sending me to a training class out of state in about 5 weeks, but I see that CharlieSoft has a position open doing work somewhat similar to what I'm doing now. I'd like to apply for this position since the salary and benefits will be a lot nicer.

In the job description for the position at CharlieSoft, they said that conference attendance is encouraged and they will pay for it, and said that I will be traveling 25% of the time. It is somewhat likely that if I were to already have this job, they'd be sending it to me anyways.

BobSoft has already paid for the class, though they can get a refund. However, my flight has already been purchased and is not refundable. When in the application process should I mention this class to CharlieSoft? In the cover letter? At the job interview? When they give me an offer? Or even wait until my first day with them? All assuming I get the job, of course. And then, how should I phrase it?

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    Not directly related to your question, but are you sure that there are no problems in your employment contract with BobSoft if you take a job with one of their clients? And are you sure that there are no problems in CharlieSoft's contract with BobSoft if they poach one of their employees? – Carson63000 Mar 30 '15 at 6:06
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    1. Have you double checked that there is anything in your employment contract with Bobsoft that would prevent you from seeking a position with CharlieSoft? 2. If CharlieSoft hires, it will be on the basis on your work experience, skills set and education. In what way does that class that you are taking add anything that's critical to their decision to hire you? What brownie points do you expect to get for mentioning the class to CharlieSoft? – Vietnhi Phuvan Mar 30 '15 at 9:50
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For now you have to keep the business trip completely out of this. The most likely outcome here is that BobSoft will just lose the money and CharlieSoft may or may not send you on their own dime. That's just business and there is nothing bad about it.

If you still want to try, here is would you could do:

  1. First, you need to check you contract with BobSoft. Make sure it's okay for you to move to a client and that there is no non-compete agreement in place that would prohibit this.
  2. Second, you need to focus on landing the job with CharlieSoft. Make sure you interview well, are clear about your goals and get an offer in hand.
  3. When you are in the process of accepting the offer, you can bring up the trip. Ask if CharlieSoft are planning to send you and mention that BobSoft would have send you and already paid for it. CharlieSoft may be considering letting you go on the existing ticket and just refund the money to BobSoft. If not, let it go.
  4. Give notice to BobSoft. Nicely and professionally. If CharlieSoft had offered to buy out the trip you can mention it there and see if they are interested

All in all, it's a long shot. It would require for BobSoft and CharlieSoft to have very good working relations and for both of them to be good sports about your change. It also requires some unusual accounting which some companies simply won't do.

The business trip and the conference will soon be forgotten, the new job is here to stay, so you should prioritize accordingly.

  • Also check that you have no obligation to the company for the training. I have seen companies that will expect you to pay back the cost of training if you leave within a certain time period of the course. Since the class is in five weeks (this is usually in the HR manual if it is a company policy) and it is entirely possible the other company may not have made a hiring choice at that point, you need to consider this. – HLGEM Mar 31 '15 at 17:56

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