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Very new to corporate world, offered a substantial promotion and would appreciate some advice please.

(3 Posts)
JobOffer Tue 25-Sep-12 19:49:56

As the title says really. It's a very specific industry so I would like to be a bit vague but would appreciate some seasoned advice please as I don't have anyone neutral to ask.

I was approached this afternoon by the head of another department. I have very good academic credentials and outside work experience but very little industry experience, which is crucial to many roles. I am currently on paid work experience and was hoping to move into a lower-rank position in order to gain a wide hands-on experience (many of the senior staff have many years of this and are much respected for it) before applying for a transfer back into one of the top teams.

The position has been open for a long time with "no suitable candidate". Based on my CV, which was put forward to them by HR, they would like me to start as soon as my work experience finishes, subject to a satisfactory review by my current manager.

The role is extremely responsible and at least one management level above where I am now. It would report directly to department head and occasionally deputise for them. There are negotiation responsibilities (serious ones) with external orgs - I have zero experience of this, which they know. There would be a set hand-holding period on a temp contract before I and they decide whether I should formally apply for the role. Something else would be found within the team if I wanted it instead (all of this info I have received is verbal). It was all phrased as my choice and "only if you want to" rather than them assessing me.

I have asked to take it home and think, which I am doing now and I have some questions about how to proceed.

1, Salary. I can't find anything online, save for one advert. There is nothing on the description I was given. The advert is in an industry magazine but may have been written by the magazine, rather than my company. It offers a "circa 30k" salary, double what I am on now. How it is best to enquire about salary please? Should I just ask what band the role would be in? I have so little experience that I am unsure they would offer it, but the responsibilities and hours mean anything less would be a bit off.

2, I am currently working in shift patterns so I have midweek days off. Is it acceptable to ask to use these to meet with people that I need to engage with (e.g. finance team - I would have to closely liaise with them) to get an appreciation of their aims as I am new to both the industry and the company? If not meetings then access to briefs before I start the role so I can hit the ground running and get a better appreciation of where I am? I will have a review shortly so could offer to do this pending a positive review outcome (e.g. when it becomes clear I am on track to be taken on and can have access to confidential material).

3, Is it acceptable to ask to shadow the current position holder (there should be two, ATM there is only one), particularly in negotiations with which I am unfamiliar? The negotiations side is fairly critical and whilst I really want to do it I don't want to mess up. The advert asks for a lot of experience and knowledge that I really don't have and that they know I don't have so they must be expecting to hand-hold to an initial degree.

Sorry this is long... my head's in a bit of a spin as I've only been there a week! Any advice gratefully received smile

DiddyMary Tue 25-Sep-12 22:22:07

1) This may vary somewhat from company to company, but I'd simply ask what salary will the post have. (In my previous company knowing the band wouldn't have given much info - bands were very wide and overlapped quite a bit, and it wasn't uncommon for a role to be described as suitable for e.g. someone graded O4 to O6.)
If they give you an answer don't assume that's set in stone. Depending on company culture etc it may be reasonable to negotiate for more.

2 and 3) Those sound like good ideas showing initative. Given that they are aware there are gaps in your experience and knowledge it's reasonable to discuss exactly what training will be needed (on and off the job) and expect a firm plan to come out of that discussion.

Also, as there is nothing in writing yet it would be sensible to summarise your understanding of the situation in an email and asking them to confirm your understanding is correct. This isn't just a matter of having written proof, it's also about making sure your understandings really are the same.

They clearly think you have the potential to do this, so how do you feel about it? Do you want this jump in responsibility at this stage? (Assuming of course that they do provide the back up necessary for you to fit into the role.)

JobOffer Wed 26-Sep-12 08:05:20

Thank you smile I have decided to go for it. I had a look at the more junior role that I would be offered if the set period was unsuccessful and decided that it just wasn't as exciting. I have no worries that they will provide the back-up, just wasn't sure how to ask for it.

Going in twenty minutes early to let my manager (who called me back yesterday and passed me on to the other dept head) know as a courtesy I will be taking it when I finish with her and then will tell him yes. Going to ask about how whether they have any ideas for a 'personal development plan' to help me hit the ground running (rang my corporate cousin quite late at night blush and asked for advice and she said don't sound like you're unsure, so no specifics) and what salary they are offering. If they say 25k then I will mention the 30k I saw advertised and see what they say. I won't push but I have seen another role with a different company that has less responsibility and is offering 25-30k.

Thanks for the email tip. I will email the head of dept after I have the next conversation to confirm what was said. Am very nervous but quite excited!

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