All the craziness and turnover at the White House has many Americans wondering what anyone joining the Administration is thinking. But I see it all the time. Folks either desperate for a job or getting an offer that's off the charts decide they can handle whatever a difficult employer throws at them.
First of all, let's look at that off-the-charts offer. It sounds too good to be true, but you have an offer. They promise a contract is forthcoming but it never does. You still leave your job or move across the country for this great opportunity. If the contract didn't show up before you started, it's probably never showing up. You were scammed.
Better yet is the offer to give you a piece of the company. It's verbal only, but you trust them. Still, they never put it in writing. Surprise! Ownership never happens.
At the very least, confirm any offer you get in writing before you accept. Just email them, with a read and a delivery receipt, something like, "Thank you for meeting with me on Thursday. This will confirm my understanding of your offer to me. The salary for the janitorial supervisor position is $10 million per year and I will be conveyed a 50% ownership interest in the company after one year. If this is incorrect, please advise me within 24 hours. I appreciate the opportunity and will advise you of my decision within 48 hours."
If they respond and say yes, that's the offer, then if you accept in writing you have a contract. Offer+acceptance+consideration=contract. If they call you to confirm, then put that in writing too. "This will confirm our conversation today where you confirmed that the salary for the position of janitorial supervisor is $10 million/year with a 50% ownership interest to be conveyed in one year."
Anything important to you, confirm in writing. If you are going to be made General Manager and right now you are a salesperson, put it in writing. If you are going to have relocation expenses reimbursed, put it in writing. If they guarantee that you will have a job for at least a year while you prove yourself, put it in writing.
That won't keep the boss from being a jerk, but at least you have something to prove what was said and take to someone like me.
Now, back to the jerk. It's hard to turn down a job in the White House or the corporate suite. But sometimes that's the best decision.
If you find out (and you should do some due diligence, like checking Glass Door, LinkedIn and other sources to find out about the company and its turnover rates) that there have been 5 people in the position you have applied for in the past two years, run. This is not a good place. Even if they all died of a mysterious illness, maybe you're dealing with a serial killer or toxic mold. Odds are, someone in the company is awful to work with. Maybe the job isn't what was promised. Maybe the boss hurls staplers at people and punches holes in walls.
Or maybe the boss just likes to scream, "You're fired!"
Try to avoid employers with high turnover. Your health and your resume will thank you.
Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.