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Dear Landa

Another installment of advice to the joblorn, where questions are sometimes real, sometimes not – but try to imagine the ones we can’t print.

Dear Landa,

I recently witnessed a co-worker getting a really nice raise and a better title—all because she told the powers-that-be about a job offer she had from a competing firm and they really wanted to keep her.

So, I figured I’d do the same thing. I asked for a raise and told them if I didn’t get it, I would leave for a competitor. They said, “hasta la vista baby.”  Of course, I didn’t have another offer, so I lost my job. I just thought since it worked for her…

Where did I go wrong??


Unhappy and unemployed


Dear Unhappy,

In short, what were you thinking??? Do I really need to point out the obvious? Threats are rarely effective and empty threats are worse. First, you’re not telling the truth (i.e. a nice way to say you lied). Next, any threat is a very offensive move that no one likes to receive.  Third, you don’t really know the situation with the co-worker. Office gossip is rarely, if ever, reliable. So, to risk your job on such an idea is not a great idea.

A better idea might be to research negotiation skills and tactics and approach that discussion armed with some information. Also, it does help if you’re a productive and over-achieving employee. Someone who tries to take a shortcut is not really promotion material.

Also, just so you know…your co-worker who accepted your employer’s counter-offer probably won’t be in her job in another few months, anyway. Counter-offers have a terrible track record, as money doesn’t solve whatever underlying issues caused the dissatisfaction in the first place.




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