I didn't get the job, but I have been sort of offered a better job?
May 7, 2013 1:00 PM   Subscribe

I didn't get the job, but I have been sort of offered a better job at the same company in the future? Is there anything I can do besides wait?

I'm currently an office manager for a small marketing firm. It's a very small company, the owner and I are the only administrative staff, everyone else is a sales manager. I've been sort of applying for jobs here and there that sound appealing since I have the advantage of already having a job and I'm worried about the financial health of my company.

I applied for an executive assistant position for the president of a medium sized, successful, local company. I killed my interviews and it was between another person and me, they went with the other person.

I wrote the customary "thank you for not hiring me" letter and asked if they had any feedback. The president called me and spoke with me for about 40 minutes about how I should not feel bad at all for not getting the job, the other person's personality fit the assistant role better, but he did want to hire me for a marketing position. Yay!!

It was a very flattering phone call, but essentially he said he recognized my creativity and talent and thought my personality would be wonderful for a marketing position. He said he still very much wants me to work for the company and he will "make" a position for me. However, he said their budgeting was done at the beginning of the year and there's no position for me to fill so I might have to wait until then. After further discussion he seemed to think that maybe he could make it happen sooner.

Now, I have very little marketing experience, but I was a digital art major and am very familiar with most creative software. I currently work at marketing firm and produce a great deal of marketing material and come up with marketing ideas. I didn't study it at all, but I am very interested in it and so far I've made significant contributions to my current company.

In short: THIS COULD BE AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY FOR A FIELD THAT I'M REALLY INTERESTED IN, BUT DIDN'T REALLY INTEND ON GETTING INTO. I am SOOO stoked and feel like this could really be like my "big break" into the marketing field. The company I would work for is really wonderful to their employees and seems to value innovation and out-of-the-box ideas. I REALLY REALLY want to work for them. In this phone conversation the president pretty much told me that they would be happy to pay to do everything I love to do!

My question: How do I make sure this opportunity doesn't slip away?

I didn't send a thank you note for his phone call (this was Friday), because I already sent a thank you note for not getting the job and thanked him many times over the phone and I thought it might be overkill.

When and how is it appropriate to e-mail him to follow-up? Is there anything that I could send him to help further affirm that I would be a great employee?

I think I can clearly articulate specific examples of how I've boosted my current company's social marketing, e-mail campaigns, web visibility, etc. Should I at some point send that in an e-mail? Wait until I get maybe another interview for this potential job?

Help? I have no idea what I'm doing here. I know mostly I should wait, but I just want to make sure that I follow-up on this as appropriately, professionally (but persistently) as possible because I really, REALLY, REALLY want this job.

Any advice is highly appreciated.
posted by ad4pt to Work & Money (9 answers total)
Money talks and bullshit walks.

Unless and until there's an actual job, this is just "drunk talk", sweet, sweet, drunk talk. I'm sure they really liked you, but at the end of the day, unless there's a position, with money, it's a sweet fantasy. On a scale of 1-100, I'd say that the chances of this actually turning into something is about 15%.

He basically said, "If you wait for seven months, I might have something for you, no promises."

Connect with this guy on LinkedIn and keep looking for other jobs. Apply to other jobs you think you'd like, if Marketing is an interest, join some marketing groups and do some workshops. Read up and see if you can worm some experience into your current job. Put out a newsletter, create some social media presense, etc.

I'd say touch base with this guy periodically, via LinkedIn, and keep checking the company website for other positions. But don't hold your breath.

Yes, the president went above and beyond to talk with you, but I wouldn't start campaigning for him to hire you. If he's serious, he'll make it happen.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:09 PM on May 7, 2013 [17 favorites]

Ruthless Bunny has great suggestions. The only thing I would add is that when/if you get another offer, you immediately send this person and e-mail and let him know that while you are still interested in his company you have an offer in hand and the other company is requesting an answer by whatever date they give you. If he is serious about wanting to hire you, he would want to know that you have another offer.
posted by elmay at 1:16 PM on May 7, 2013 [3 favorites]

I would keep looking for other jobs, and follow up with him in a couple of months to get coffee, see where they're at, etc.
posted by benbenson at 1:18 PM on May 7, 2013

Since there's no offer on the table, I would start applying for marketing jobs comparable to the hypothetical job the company president talked about.
posted by deanc at 1:23 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't think you will lose your opportunity if you are upfront with them now and say you really want that job, but of course in your own best interest you'll be continuing to look for other positions that are ready to hire you now. Then follow up in 3 and then 6 months to check in.
posted by cell divide at 1:24 PM on May 7, 2013

If he were a middle manager, I would believe his line about the budget. But he's the company president - everyone works for him! He could talk to the budget office and shuffle money around today if he wanted you badly enough.

That said, maybe their belt is already pretty tight, or maybe he isn't actually planning to create a position for you and needs to fire someone whose role you would take. I'd follow up in about a month just to say thanks and indicate your continued interest in working there. If nothing comes of it, give it another 2 months and ask to schedule a quick coffee or lunch meeting. Use that meeting to again inquire about working there, but also to see if he has other people in his network who are hiring.
posted by trivia genius at 1:24 PM on May 7, 2013

Response by poster: I'd like to add that I am going to keep looking for jobs and I understand that until I'm actually offered a position, I'm absolutely not relying on this.

I'm just wondering if there's anything I should be doing on my end to make it clear that I'm very interested and would like to stay in touch, without being too presumptuous or annoying.
posted by ad4pt at 1:26 PM on May 7, 2013

I think it's very kind of the CEO to offer you a job. The best thing to do is to keep looking, but also stay in touch and "manage the relationship".

It's hard to say how things will pan out (conditions change), but it can't hurt to contact him every once in a while by email. In about six weeks or so send an email saying you're interested in learning about their hiring plans or something relatively neutral.

Send another email a couple of months after that. Keep it relatively low-key, but with just enough contact so that you don't scare them off.

I like the idea of a coffee meeting or something.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:34 PM on May 7, 2013

"That sounds great, please let me know what develops." Send an email in January if you don't hear from him.
posted by rhizome at 3:41 PM on May 7, 2013

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