You just won the job – congratulations! You gave notice and quit your old job. Or maybe you have been looking for a long time and you finally landed the Big One. Yaay!!!
But your new job doesn’t start for another 3 weeks. What do you do?
First, be sure you have a written offer.
Don’t be insulted by this suggestion. Many seasoned professionals assume, “Organizations are honorable. They will keep their word.”
Usually that’s true. But I personally know 2 professionals — each with over 10 years of experience in their fields — who experienced huge losses when a future employer failed to follow up on a verbal offer.
If you don’t have a written offer, you don’t have a job yet. Keep looking!
Second, if you are still working at your current job, continue to turn in good work.
Do not offer to return after you’ve left. If your skills are still needed, your company will pay you — or someone else — as a consultant.
Do not disclose the details of your new job, no matter how strongly you’re asked. Some employers actually say, “How much will you be earning? We need to know this for our recruiting.”
You are not responsible for their recruiting or for helping them determine the market value of your replacement. Worst case, simply say, “I have a written contract that forbids this disclosure” or just turn and walk away.
Third, if you are not working, you have a mini-sabbatical. Make a plan to use the time effectively. You may be able to anticipate knowledge requirements for the new job, so you can hit the ground running. Or you can plan activities that will be satisfying to you — extra time for family, sports, reading, movies, and more.
And just as you don’t offer to help your past employer after you’ve left, don’t offer to help your future employer before you arrive. If they have pre-employment requests, they’ll come forward.
From beginning to end of your job, communicate non-verbally, “I work for you when I am on the payroll.” You’d never say those words aloud, of course. But your own beliefs will communicate themselves.
Have you even been asked to take a job without a written offer? Or asked to help your company after you’ve left?