Tricked? Sticky situation with new employer

  1. I'm so frustrated right now. I recently chose to accept a four month job offer from ABC company*. In their job description listing, and interview, they explicitly stated that I must have a valid passport for USA and international travel. They have many subsidiaries in the States, as well as in Europe and even some countries in Asia like Singapore, that my interviewer said needed to be monitored and tested by the team I would be joining. She mentioned I would be travelling with a small group of 2-3 members. They did not explicitly promise that I would go to those the more exotic countries (like UK or Singapore), but the possiblity was there, and there would be travel within Canada and United States for sure. After accepting their verbal offer early March, I applied to renew my passport.

    Now, over a month later, I finally get their offer letter, and their travelling clause states:
    This position will involve travel between ABC Company* sites in the Greater Metropolitan Area*. Access to a vehicle is required.

    Am I justified in feeling that I was duped? The last time I checked, a passport was not required to travel on my local highway (not to mention gas will be coming out of my own pocket, as opposed to being expensed if I was travelling). Extensive travel was the main reason I chose this position. I turned down another lucrative position that offered concrete travelling within Canada (like Halifax, Montreal, Edmonton, etc), paid more, and even offered to rent me a car to drive long distances if I did not want to use my own, to take this ABC's position.

    Not to mention, they are giving me a much lower salary then is expected for a person of my experience and education. I am in my last year of undergrad, and senior year student at my school averages a salary of $50-55K. They are offering substantially lower. As a matter of fact, I made more during my previous two positions at different companies. The pay ABC is giving me is akin to a first or 2nd year student in my program.

    I have not signed or returned the offer letter yet. However, all the other positions that I had been offered had been passed on to the next candidate, and obviously, I can no longer go take those instead. Is there anything I can do about this? Or should I chalk it up to poor decision making on my part? It is only four months, but I feel so tricked, and very disappointed.

    *name changed
  2. go back to the recruiter from the other company that offered you more and talk and see if that is still a possibility. you never know they have increased the headcount or the person may not have accepted the offer yet

    As for this company, you should address the travel situation with the people you interviewed with and HR. and you should also negotiate for what is market salary for your position. The average may be $50-55 but it depends on whether those are comparable positions.

    you said you were a senior but your 2 previous jobs paid more. i'm a little confused about that statement but assuming you had 2 other similar jobs previously that should give you a sense of what you should be getting and also that the employer should at least match or increase your pay from the last employer.

    it's not poor decision making. you asked the questions and the answers seem to have been less than accurate. sometimes this happens. don't blame it on yourself.

    However, i don't have good vibes about this company. why did they take FOUR Months to get you an offer letter and their bait and switch thing makes them a little less than desirable.

    If i were in your position, i'd go back to that first company and see if you can persuade them to take you back and go with them. Even if you work these out with this company, they seem a little unreliable. and from my experience, if they are unreliable now, they're not going to be more reliable once you are "tied to them". just my opinion....
  3. Sorry, I meant to say this is only a four month position. (My program is a work-study schedule, so 4 months of school, 4 months of work in your related industry, and so on. This will be my 5th and last work term, so I already have some experience under my belt w/ similar positions) It took about 6 weeks for them to get back to me. From what I've heard and what they told me, this company is going through rapid change at the moment and things at HQ are very hectic right now, so I was expecting that.

    I know the person who ended up getting the position I turned down.. he already accepted. Unfortunately I don't think it is an option to go to the first company. I'm basically stuck and cannot pull out without major repercussions from my school (possibly affecting my degree).

    I guess I'm looking for tips on how to
    a) renegotiate - how do I do this without seeming greedy?
    b) bring up my dissatisfaction of the travelling situation without alienating my employer, or
    c) basically anything to make my
    current situation better.

    I start work in about three weeks.
  4. Cupcake,

    OH ok good to know that info.

    Just talk to the person you interviewed with and HR if needed and say thank you for the letter but it doesn't reflect what both of you discussed. you understood that this position included traveling to X,Y,Z region and that was a key point in what attracted you to the opportunity. You want to confirm that that is the case and you would be more comfortable if they would redraft the letter to reflect what was discussed.

    they will either say it's a misunderstanding and they will redraft it or the terms have changed. if the latter, talk to them and try to figure out how you can still get the exposure and opportunity to travel. maybe just the nearest subsidiary vs region X,Y,Z. if they won't budge, there's nothing you can do but at least you tried.

    as for salary, say you understand the market rate is A and that this was reflected in your previous job as well and you would like them to match that. can your career services ppl help you? i mean if they are going to be pissed with you for pulling out of this job then surely they have to be able to offer some help to you!

    just talk nicely but be firm about it. and you won't seem greedy or rude. you're not asking for more than what you should be getting.

    And in the worst case that the company doesn't budge. in the big scheme of things, it's only for 4 months. i'd be more concerned if this was your full time job and i know it probably seems like major and your whole world right now but it's ok. it's just a work experience. make the best out of it, learn as much as you can, be nice to people so you'll get a good recommendation. in the end, that's what it's about.

    good luck!
  5. yep, I agree, try to work out the terms and if it fails, it will be over in 4 months. to be honest, I really do find it strange that they promised you this kind of travel for a 4 month job anyway.

    other than that, I really do advise against going back to someone who you rejected in the first place. it doesnt look too good IMO. maybe the other places were more realistic in their offer. next time you will know, especially when it comes to your 'real' full time job!

    hopefully you have good 4 months anyway.
  6. Thank you bubbleliciousis. That was some great advice and thank you for the comforting words! I did get in touch with the person who interviewed me, and she clarified that travelling outside of the city would be a component of my position, that travelling clause was the just the standard wording for all positions at the company. So I'm glad that worked out. As for salary, I decided not to bring that up again because after all, it is only a four month gig. While it would've been nice to make more to offset the atrocious tuition for my program, as you mentioned, gaining experience is the most important thing right now. I can worry about salary once I graduate (and will use your negotiating tips you mentioned!). I also know how important working relatonships are (for now and in the future as a networking tool) and I certainly do not want to strain them.

    lara0112, thanks for the good advice as well. It is only a four month engagement and right now things are looking up.. I will make the best of it. It is actually not uncommon for travel to be part of the job in that industry, but they were the only company that was offering travel outside of North America. For my previous two positions, I was sent out to cities across Canada and the US, and it was a wonderful experience. I guess that's how I caught my travelling bug. I can no longer see myself working at a desk day in and day out! You're right though, I do need to be more wary in the future about positions that sound too good to be true!

    Thank you for the tips ladies, I will be sure to keep them in mind when deciding and negotiating future opportunities! :yes:
  7. Wow not sure what to say....