YOUR NEW JOB OFFER… FROZEN DUE TO COVID-19
By Ken Schmitt & Victoria Willenberg
Your resume outshined them all. You survived five rounds of interviews and the offer of a lifetime was extended… Then COVID-19 hit. Now, you are embroiled in the longest game of limbo known to mankind.
You’re not alone. For many active and passive job seekers, their transition to a new organization and role has been put on ice for an unidentified amount of time. If you signed an offer, you can breathe easier. Your job should be secure when things “return to normal” (whatever that looks like, right?) Your start date may be pushed out a bit or is yet undetermined, but you can be confident that the signed agreement is still in effect. For those of you who had a verbal offer without your John Hancock, things might be a bit more uncertain. Your potential organization’s new normal might look a bit differently than it did 2 months ago and it’s reasonable to expect structural changes that may impact your pending role.
HERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU CAN DO AS YOU WAIT FOR YOUR NEW OFFER…
Stay engaged in your current role
We know this is easier said than done. Senior-itis can creep in pretty quickly, but that kind of attitude can be detrimental to your reputation and your future. In an environment like today’s, things are fluid. You cannot be 100% sure you are out the door until you’ve got an official start date in the books. Avoid burning bridges with your current employer by remaining fully engaged, wrapping up projects to the best of your ability, and leave them wishing you’d stay forever
Ask for an updated projected start date
It is well within your right to ask your future employer for an update regarding your start date. It may not be set in stone, but it allows for you to make plans for a smooth departure from your current role, wrapping up existing projects, and making sure key players are in place. Be prepared, however, for a non-answer or a fluid one, at best. We’re all navigating uncharted territory here.
Ask your new employer what you can do to prepare for Day 1
The number of organizations using a strategic onboarding program is on the rise! (Thank goodness!) Perhaps there are components of the onboarding process you can begin while still engaging with your current job. Connecting with your future team, engaging with stakeholders, completing paperwork, or assessments ahead of time allows you to hit the ground running Day 1. It also shows your new employer that you continue to be excited about the role and meshing with the culture as smoothly as possible.
Seek out ways you can assist and support your new team or boss
Many employees are working reduced hours in light of new circumstances. This gives you the perfect opportunity to connect with your new team and offer support and assistance. There may not be a leadership role midway through a project (if that is your new role), but becoming a part of the team on the ground allows you to get to know the players and their dynamic- great intel before you officially start.
Don’t harass the hiring manager!
Waiting isn’t easy, we all understand. But continually calling or emailing the hiring manager/recruiter for updates is not going to make a decision come any faster. Is it ok to check-in and ask for updates? Of course! This demonstrates your eagerness to join the organization, work ethic, and commitment to the team. Limit your check-ins to every 2-3 weeks. Better yet, ask them for an expected “hear by” date. If they are radio silent at that point, reach out again. Those doing the hiring are in the same holding pattern you are. Trust us. They want to officially close the role as much as you want to start. Work together stay in communication respectfully.