Following up with a job lead?
May 28, 2016 9:11 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for advice on how to follow up with a job lead in light of an upcoming promotion at my current job. Advice welcome!

A few months ago, a mutual contact put me in touch with the managing partner at a small firm that occupies the same niche practice area as my current firm (it's a law firm, in the U.S., if that matters). They met with me for coffee and told me, essentially, that they had been thinking about hiring lately, but weren't sure if they were ready to pull the trigger because they want to be confident about having enough business to justify it, but they wanted to meet with me because there aren't a lot of people on the job market with my experience who could fit into their practice seamlessly like I could.

Since then, I had a chat with the managing partner at my current firm, who told me I will make partner at the start of 2017. Honestly, that's part of why I want out: it feels like tying myself more firmly to this group of people than being an associate, and I don't have a positive image of that future in my mind.

I followed up with the person at Prospective Employer at the time to thank them for meeting and to express interest should they decide to expand, but I'm wondering if I can use this new information to poke at them at some point this summer or later this year. Like, hey, here's this new information (that they want me to make partner here at the start of next year), and it seems material to my current status and job search, so I wanted to check in with you to see if you anticipate hiring anytime soon because if so I'd be super interested in coming to work with you?

What do you all think? Good idea? Bad idea? How do I frame it?
posted by J. Wilson to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Yes, do! But don't write anything -- I'd schedule another coffee so you can tell them face-to-face, very much as you phrased it here... and I'd do it sooner rather than later (like, in the next couple of weeks). They'll want to know, and they'll need ample time for their own decisionmaking/planning if there's any chance they can make you an offer before the start of next year. (Best of luck!)
posted by argonauta at 9:37 AM on May 28, 2016

I think a phone call is fine, but agree it's something to share and discuss in real-time rather than in writing. And don't present the prospect of partnership as a bad thing that you want to avoid - this would be terrible to have get back to your current firm - more like "I'm still interested in working with you, and my flexibility to make that change may go down after this year, so I wanted to see how you're doing on the possibility of bringing on another attorney."
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:43 AM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Partnership in a law firm means "reliably brings in business," right? Likely this is why otherco is interested, and why you should follow these things up. Tangentially, isn't Partnership "rolodex-related," in that you become *more* portable (niche focus aside)?
posted by rhizome at 11:57 AM on May 28, 2016

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