A year ago, I never thought that having two employers fight over me would be a bad thing...
April 20, 2012 2:18 PM Subscribe
I work for a non-profit. A personal friend of my boss is trying to poach me to a much better paying job in the private sector. What is the ethical way to navigate this?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The organization I'm with right now is quite small (6 people) and does very important work in the community. I like my job and I really like the people I work with. I am underpaid, however. Not because I'm under-appreciated, but simply because of the realities of non-profit funding.
A couple of months ago, my boss put me in touch with a friend of hers who needed some work done on a freelance basis. My boss sang my praises to them and said to me: "Just don't let them poach you away from me."
Of course, that's exactly what's happened. A little over a week ago, the CEO of the company my boss's friend works for has approached me and asked if I would be interested in coming on full time. The number he through out as a starting point of negotiation is 150% of my current salary.
I was caught entirely off-guard by the offer and totally misplayed my hand. I said that I was intrigued, but that I had four months left in my contract with non-profit and that I am unwilling to leave them in the lurch. I suggested that I continue freelancing for them in the meantime and we revisit the idea when my contract was up. The CEO seemed fine with this idea, but realistically it seems unlikely that they will hold a position for me that long.
So now I'm considering my options.
1. My written contract with the non-profit is actually up in just two months, but I have verbally agreed to extend it under the same terms for an additional two months. My boss has expressed a strong interest in keeping me on permanently beyond that and I had told her that I was interested in that as well, but that they would need to find a way to pay me more.
2. The responsibilities of the two jobs are very similar and I think I will enjoy them both equally. They're both at about the same level in terms of my career path. There is no room for advancement within the non-profit though, unless I want to take my boss's job when she retires in a couple of years. I don't.
3. I have not told my boss about the offer, and I don't imagine her friend has either.
4. I've only been with the non-profit for six months and had been unemployed for a while before that. So, if I do jump ship and the new job doesn't work out, my resume will look like a dog's breakfast.
5. Under the current arrangement of me working for the non-profit and putting in 10-15 freelance hours per week for the other company, my finances are quite stable. So, while the income bump would be nice, it's not going to make or break me.
6. One big project at the non-profit is coming to a close over the next couple of weeks, and then another large one, with a three to four month timeline is about to start. I'm supposed to be heading that project and it would cause pretty big headaches for my boss if I left in the middle of it. This is the reason for the verbal contract extension.
So, I guess my questions are:
How ethically beholden am I to my verbal agreement to stay with the non-profit for at least another four months?
Can I reapproach the CEO and let him know I might be available sooner without looking indecisive and flaky?
At what point should I let my current boss know that I am being actively recruited? I know that they can't afford to make a reasonable counter-offer