Offer letter anxiety
December 7, 2017 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Help me with job offer/offer letter/notice and transition advice.

Last Wednesday I was verbally offered and verbally accepted a new job. This was followed by an email asking for my mailing address to make up the offer letter. This is a tiny organization, only a few full time employees, and they have no in-house HR department. Their HR stuff is handled by an umbrella organization that I've had no contact with so far. I still don't have an offer letter-- I've been in regular contact with them and I know they've had a super busy week due to a couple of big scheduled events, so I'm not really worried, but...

I went ahead and told my supervisor at my current job-- I know you're not supposed to do this but the two organizations work together and they'd called (with my permission) to get a reference for me, so everyone already knew I'd applied anyway. I feel confident that if this fell through, it wouldn't really change my standing at my organization.

However, through my current organization I'm placed at a middle school, and if this fell through after I told all of the faculty and admin and students that I'm moving on that would be... less than ideal. I'd like to begin giving notice at the school so I can schedule wrap up meetings and start making goodbyes before the holiday break and so that my organization can begin hiring so that they can get someone in at the beginning of the new year.

I have an hour and half meeting scheduled with the new organization on Wednesday to nail down a start date and get a tour of their space, but ideally I could give notice at my school tomorrow or Monday. I guess this is probably a silly question because the answer is probably 'just explain the situation and ask' but dealing with my future supervisor vs. an HR department has set off my job search anxiety here and I don't want to seem pushy or weird. Help me deal with this situation Metafilter, you're the most professional folks I know!
posted by geegollygosh to Work & Money (3 answers total)
I am assuming your deadline of Monday is to give two weeks notice - call your future supervisor and explain the issue. This feels like something that can be expedited, perhaps by emailing you the letter vs. waiting for postal mail.

I have used the exact script to get paperwork rolling below:

"I'm going to need two weeks to properly leave my existing employer in good standing, so any delays here are going to push my start date out further and further. I've really enjoyed working for them and am sure you appreciate why I care to ensure the people I work for are well cared for even as I leave."
posted by notorious medium at 10:54 AM on December 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well, it's a bit different than that. My actual employer has been informed that unless things fall through my last day will be the week before Christmas-- I wasn't planning to work the following week anyway. (Again, they knew that I'd applied and that I'd probably recieved an offer).

However, I want to give as much heads up at the school as possible -- I don't need to give them formal notice as they are not my formal employer, but goodbyes and wrap ups will take time and we're up against the winter vacation.

I'm thinking of sending this email:

Hi ---,

I was wondering if the offer letter was made up yet? If so, would you be able to send over a copy via email? I've told some folks at [my organization] about moving on but I haven't let anyone at the school know yet. I'd like to have plenty of time to wrap things up there as we go into the winter break.

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday!
posted by geegollygosh at 7:50 PM on December 7, 2017

The standard advice about waiting for an official offer letter before giving notice to your old job is fine, but somewhat pointless--an offer letter in almost all cases in the United States is not a binding contract, so there's no legal reason why it would matter. If you trust the new company to follow through, I wouldn't worry about having a letter in hand. If they're going to flake on you, they could just as easily flake after the offer letter is sent out, and there is nothing you could do about it.

I like your idea of a gentle reminder email. In almost all of the jobs I've ever gotten, the offer letter has felt slow to arrive. I think it's a combination of small organization's HR teams being very busy, and the excitement and anticipation of a new job makes things seem to happen slower than they actually are happening. Good luck!
posted by tybstar at 1:22 PM on December 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older Can I fix my Roland digital piano myself?   |   Utah Ski Resorts - Local Resource/ Message Board? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.