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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Leaving the Perfect Job

Dear Sue: The job I have now is perfect. I love the people I work with, the location is great and everything fits. I've been offered an opportunity to go through a training program which will help me gain more knowledge and potentially, more money.

The problem is, if I go through the program I will be placed in another office, which I don't want.

What should I do? Go with the program? Or tell my manager at my next review that I want to stay where I am? Please help me.


Sue Says: I wish I could tell you what to do, but only you can determine what you really want. What I can do, however, is give you some "food for thought."

What motivates you to get up each day and go to work? Is it the security of a job you like and working in a predictable environment? Or are you driven by advancement opportunities and a big paycheck? You really need to think about what you want.

At some point you will need to decide if what you have right now is enough, or if you want more out of your career. And you need to ask yourself how happy you will be if the other people you work with accept future offers, which could leave you in the same place of employment physically, but without the people you know and love to work with.

You have found happiness with this job and chances are you will find it again. And you need to be careful, because if you turn down too many opportunities, eventually the offers may stop coming.

Change can be scary, but it is inevitable. If you stay put, eventually things will change right where you are. When that happens, you could regret the fact that you didn't take another opportunity when you had it presented to you.

It's easier to leave on a high note when things are going well and opportunities are plentiful, than it is when you are drained and searching for a way out. I suggest you do some investigating into the new opportunity before you turn it down.

Dear Sue: After a grueling four-month search, I finally accepted an offer from my former employer, which is one of the biggest public relations firms in the United States. I'm happy about the long-term opportunities there - but I'm insulted at the salary they offered me. I've done some research and think that what they have offered is several thousand dollars under the market value. Actually, the company is notorious for underpaying people.

Within two days, I've received four phone calls from other firms requesting interviews. I don't know if I should continue interviewing (just to see what they offer) and risk botching my new job (and my reputation at the company), or call the prospective firms and tell them I've accepted another offer, and forget about the money for awhile.

- Confused

Sue Says: Basically, it comes down to making a decision about what you need and want. Can you forget about the money for awhile? It would be awful to start a new job feeling cheated because you don't believe you are being compensated fairly.

Thinking long term about your career goals, would it behoove you to work for one of the biggest public relations firms in the United States? Perhaps the experience and prestige you will gain from working with this firm overshadows the smaller salary you will be paid. Will you feel good about working for another firm that may be less prestigious but is able to pay you what you want?

Don't accept any interviews unless you have made the decision that you are willing to lose or give up the job you've been offered because the company you have accepted the offer from may find out about what you are doing.

You might consider being up front with your new employer about what is taking place. This could open up the salary negotiation again or have an adverse affect. Think about the risks involved and the possible consequences before you decide to say anything.

Dear Sue: I would like to know what questions I can ask at my next review, that will persuade them to pay me a higher salary.

-Need a raise

Sue Says: Come to the review prepared. Bring documentation of any and all of your accomplishments. Rather than simply asking, "Can I have a raise?", provide the reasons you feel you have earned one. Be prepared to discuss how much of an increase you want and why you feel it is warranted.

In addition, prior to the review, you may want to talk with your supervisor and mention the fact that you would like to discuss salary, and ask if there is anything he/she would like you to prepare. This way, you both will have the opportunity to think about it in advance. Let me know how things turn out!

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
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