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offer letter issue

interviewed with company several times, current IT Director will be retiring in the next 18 to 24 months.  I am "the guy" to be the successor, however, offer letter does not state that.

I know any job is a Leap of Faith on both empolyer and employee, but can't they mention my future career path?

Any ideas??

Bill Mueller
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I think it would be perfectly acceptable for them to include that in your offer letter. In all of the offer letters I've received, the title/actual job was in the first or second sentence. You definitely want to iron this out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Offer letters tend to be very brief.

I would accept, subject to the signing of contract.

You then thrash these issues out, including salary, bonus and terms of employment later.

They are normally covered in the contract.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Just out of interest, it seems highly unlikely that such a senior position would be guaranteed to you this far ahead.

Is you acceptance of whatever role you interviewed for conditional on you getting this future role given to you in black and white?

I would never give a newbie a position with guarantees of VP role in two years. It is one thing to be recruited for the role and have to shadow the main man for a couple of months. This though, does not sound right.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Yes 18-24 months is too long a period for it to be any more than sugar coating.  Put not ye faith in promises.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

It can't hurt to ask.  But remember, they might be reluctant to guarantee a position to a new hire - for all they know, you might do an about-face and decide to cruise because you know you're going to be IT Director anyway.  They're probably just protecting themselves.

Rather than ask for a promise of the position, make the contract spell out the specific performance metrics you must hit in order to get the job.

Always remember - if it's not in writing, it's a lie.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

If he is retiring in 18-24 months, then I can't imagine that the sole reason you are being hired is to take over his position.

If it was, then they would really only need to hire you a few months before the guy left.

So I think you must have a good deal of other stuff involved in your role, and therefore probably another job title and description.

I doubt that taking over from the other guy belongs in the letter...just my thoughts.

Aussie Chick
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I don't think it is appropriate for them to put it in writing, for the reasons mentioned above, but also because the current IT Director may well decide to stay on for an extra year, or something that the company cannot foresee. This might be, for example, to take advantage of new stock options.

It would be silly for them to force the current guy to retire just so you can take over at some pre-determined date. Also, what if you decided in a year that you didn't want to be IT Director after all, they shouldn't force you into it. A lot can change in 12-18 months, for you, the company and for the current guy.

Steve Jones (UK)
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Thanks for the wonderful comments and ideas.

The company is in the process of defining thwir succession plans in all departments.  They will be sharing with me these documents, which will show me in line as the successor, which makes me feel better about the whole scenario.

Bill Mueller
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I think that, without anyone's making promises about the distant future, it's certainly appropriate for them to say what your *current* duties are expected to be ... and, these duties may include shadowing the current IT director, acting as a vice-director, or whetever it is you're expecting to start doing as soon as they hire you.

Christopher Wells
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

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