How to approach a job review when I'm likely to leave the company?
February 23, 2011 12:36 PM   Subscribe

How do I handle a performance review when I'm likely to leave the company in the next month or so?

I have my annual performance review tomorrow. My boss has given me reason to expect that I'll be receiving a raise and perhaps even a promotion. There are several issues with my current role that I think I could easily negotiate to be fixed within the review.

Here's the challenge: because of these issues, I have been interviewing for a new job and am likely to accept an offer in the next 2-4 weeks.

Given this possibility (probability), I'm hesitant to waste my time or my boss' negotiating for perks I won't get to enjoy. At the same time, I don't want to count all my chickens before they're hatched. I'm also worried that NOT negotiating will raise red flags for my boss, as we've agreed to table some issues until the review.

Thoughts on how best to handle this delicately?
posted by designmartini to Work & Money (9 answers total)
I would go ahead and discuss the issues. Until you've got another offer in hand you don't really know that you're going to leave. And even if you do, at least you've left a better working situation behind for the person replacing you. Treat it as you would any other performance review.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:43 PM on February 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

I say you should handle the performance review and negotiation as if you were not going to leave your current job - you never know what can happen with other offers, so you may as well cover yourself. I know it feels like a waste of time, but you would really regret it if your other offer fell through.
posted by barney_sap at 12:44 PM on February 23, 2011 [8 favorites]

handle everything as tho you do not have another offer—because the truth is, you don't yet. if you do in fact get an offer, you can always use your new raise/promotion/perks in your negotiations with your new prospective employer.
posted by violetk at 12:48 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Look at it this way--if you negotiated a great deal for yourself, you would be more likely to stay, which would be in your boss's best interest.

You should negotiate for the benefits and perks you want (and deserve!) at your current job. As you say, don't count those chickens.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:49 PM on February 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

Your boss doesn't know (or need to know (yet)) that you have a potential job offer. If you negotiate up now, get the job offer, then you are in a very nice position of bargaining higher. N'thing all above, negotiate.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:00 PM on February 23, 2011

You won't have a new job until you've actually signed a contract, etc, so just behave as though you don't have a new job, because you don't, at least not yet.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:04 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Until you have a new offer; have accepted it; have started at a new job; and -- as cynical as this sounds -- the first paycheck has cleared, you, in fact, do not have an offer, another job or any tangible alternatives. Handle the performance review and all the relevant negotiation points professionally and as you would if you were not actively seeking another sandbox to play in. And if and when the opportunity presents itself to depart your current situation, do it with grace and dignity because, as somebody's wise uncle once observed, the toes you step on today are often connected to the backside you have to kiss tomorrow, and a torched bridge leaves one less option for retreat.
posted by cool breeze at 1:07 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

The time for the performance review has already been set aside. Negotiate in good faith, because after all the other company could be eaten by bears tomorrow.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:25 PM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Technically, your best negotiating tool is to let your current employer you're being recruited. They like you, they like your work, and want more from you. A promotion / raise negotiation is about as good as it gets to bring up competing offers, and if company is serious about retaining you, it's in their best interests to know that there's an higher than normal chance they'll have to renegotiate the work agreement in the very near future. If you are afraid that people will punish you for seeking employment elsewhere, you can maybe just say compensation should to be comparable to what you could make in that position at another firm and leave it at that.

It's also in your best interest to get great offers. Even if you have to turn it down or leave the company, having that in your pocket with the new company gives you a solid data point to show them. You can think of every dollar raise from your review as another bargaining chip with the new employer.

However, you can overplay your hand. As everyone has mentioned, you haven't accepted an offer yet. You might not have even been given one. Bragging, ultimatums, and bluffing are very risky for you (and in general) given that.

But the question you asked was, "how best to handle this delicately?" If you think there are issues with your role that can be fixed, and it involves someone besides you, be diplomatic. Don't say bad things about people, and focus on how the change will help your employer first and foremost. It looks bad when you point out a dozen flaws in workplace right before jumping ship, and could hurt you down the line (maybe you apply to the firm in a more senior role someday--do you want to explain why you can't work alongside your former boss because of a failed negotiation?).
posted by pwnguin at 2:04 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

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