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Podcast: Mark Talks With Nick Corcodilos about Enforcing Oral Promises and Effective Job Search Strategies

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On this episode of the Employee Survival Guide Mark Carey has an interesting discussion with his friend Nick Corcodilos from  The focus of the hearty exchange is about oral promises of employment and how to enforce them when the employer gets cold feet.  They also discuss job search methods and how to conduct a successful job search using targeted job search strategies.  Mark and Nick share stories and tips from their combined experience handling employment law matters and counseling clients regarding landing a job.

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For more information, please contact our employment attorneys in Connecticut about your employment case at Carey & Associates, P.C. at 203-255-4150,

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Unknown: Hey, it’s Mark here and welcome to the next edition of the Employee Survival Guide. I’m talking with myself and Nick Corodilos, And we are going to talk about topics abroad relating to being offers of employment and problems that occur. And then we’ll get into the the meat of it right away. Right. Today we have the Nick and myself were to have a conversation about getting a new job offer and what problems do arise that we’ve experienced both Nick has his stories, and I have mine in terms of prior clients and what we’ve done to resolve the issues. So Nick, why don’t we start with the discussion about example that you remember that were an individual got a job offer and things went south? Yeah. Unfortunately, Mark rescinded offers are more common than you might expect. On as the head on are calm, I get a lot of questions and complaints from my readers who run into these unfortunate situations. And the sad story that I encountered was a woman who got in touch with me to explain that her husband had gotten the job offer across the country, it was a good deal, he took it. And he moved on ahead, she stayed behind to basically break the apartment lease and take the two young girls out of school, pack everything up, start heading west, only to get a phone call from her husband, who explained I got here and they told me the offer was rescinded. She said my two girls started crying, they broke into hives. I’m feeling well at all. I’ve been getting headaches. This is terrible. We don’t know we’re gonna live without the movement of my parents. What recourse do I have? And I tried to give her my best advice. But realizing this was a legal situation. I had to refer to an attorney. At the time, I didn’t know you, or I would have sent it to you. But I’m curious what your thoughts are, what your advice would be to someone in a situation like that. I’m surprised to hear it’s more common. We do encounter that problem and have dealt with it in a non litigation way. We try not to beat up use litigation as a last resort. But the example is really an issue of an oral promise being made by the employer. And the employee accepted it, sold the house, had a tax sale and then started heading west to the job and incurred all these expenses obviously. And then when the job is taken away from him, he has a claim for essentially what’s called a breach of an oral contract. There’s also additional claims you can use based upon representational state about the employer the job offer. Well, what did the employer know at the time of the job offer? Do they know some set of facts that they knew that the offer wasn’t, you know, valid, because there was another set of facts that was also going to control the outcome is that essentially ended the the offer without the employee knowing, of course. So you get into what’s called an intentional or fraudulent representational type of claim, and then a lesser degree claim, the knew or should have known claim, which is like negligent, negligent misrepresentation. And we’ve brought that claim before to employers, public companies, where this happens, and it takes several weeks to resolve it, but the employer understands that it should resolve it and avoid litigation. Because it’s somebody made an enormous mistake inside. So from our stick, we don’t see the claim happening as often being brought to us. That could be for a variety of reasons. But there would be a claim there they would with the cab dealt with there be a substantial recovery. And I think enough money to allow the person to be put back in the position they were before the egregious act occurred, meaning go back to where they came from, find a new house are the expenses related to that, and then loss of income because they’ve given up their job. Most jobs don’t accept you back. But if the old job does accept you back, well, that’s a mitigation measure that is required parties in breach of contract cases. So that’s really the analysis that you will want to go through to assess that situation. When we were talking earlier about this, Mark, you use the word reliance. By that you mean that the new hire relied on the new offer before he quit his old job, got rid of his apartment, move this family. Can you explain a bit about what what reliance means? Well, it’s when you think about contracts. You think about somebody offers something like here the job and the employee says or the executive says okay, except at that juncture, he starts to make decisions about you know, things about moving to the west coast and East Coast and selling the house. And so he’s relying upon the oral agreement being made, even though there’s atwill situation basically means you still can have an oral contract, because nothing sign that says that will, the offer letter may say at will. But you have this really unusual circumstance where, you know, one party made a mistake, either intentional or not. And the other person relied upon it. And we got to fix that. And so that’s where the it’s a contract, legal argument that a court would evaluate, literally, is that that reliance reasonable under those circumstances, the storyline of the fact pattern you gave, you know, I think I’m hearing more about rescinded offers, then you are, because people I think are hesitant to think about getting legal counsel, I think they become accustomed to human resources department, sometimes abusing their power. And suggesting to a new hire to work to a candidate. This is just the way it is. It might say for example, well, we had a business reversal that we didn’t expect, sorry, see later. In most candidates, I find that I’ve been giving advice and head running for over 25 years, you’ll be surprised how often a job candidate will meekly step away from a situation like this, without realizing that getting legal advice need not cost an arm and a leg. I’m not giving a commercial for lawyers. But when you’re in a situation like this, where someone has made representations to you, you’ve relied on what they’ve said, it’s cost you money, it’s set you back. I’m glad you’re explaining it the way you are. Because I hope people who find themselves in this situation realize the best thing to do is get help. Yeah, I can. I’m not gonna pitch for lawyers. But the way we handle it is, you know, there’s an ethical obligation by the lawyer to help the client, not to drag them into litigation not to, you know, rack up the legal fees. So we, you know, just in terms of our own practice, we ensure we are finding out what’s the goal of the client what they want to accomplish, it’s obviously not litigation. So you, it’s relatively, I guess, the point I’m trying to make here is if you have a situation like this, spend the hour or two talking to a lawyer first, control the legal relationship with the lawyer with your expectation of what you want to have happen, you can decide based upon the review by the lawyer, whether it’s worthwhile to pursue it or not. And it’s really, obviously lawyer percent Pacific, we’ve dealt with this where we have gotten the resolution via severance settlement, but not litigation. I mean, that’s what we do at the time. 20% of our cases, result in litigation, because we can’t avoid that. So it’s really about getting the advice very early on taking a stab at it, because where’s that money going to come from to put you back to the position of going back to the east coast, get a new apartment or a new house and doing all the things you need to do, and who’s going to pay for that. So that’s where you really have to search out the lawyer that’s going to help you do exactly that. If you’re in the alternative method or a different message, have spent a lot of money given large retainers which we don’t do, and you are through three months a year down the road, that’s not the wrong decision on lawyer there. That’s that’s the wrong choice of a lawyer. It’s really again, in summary, do a short triage of it, factually figure out what’s the chances of success or not, and then approach the employer directly, quietly, without litigation, see if you can resolve it, and do it very quickly. Like that, I hope people find, yeah, so I noticed you had other topics that we were talking about offline. And we got into the issue of job descriptions, titles and alike. And in terms of the, you know, making the offer, and the offer is, you know, given to you but when the job I suppose is where the the issue is going, you know, the offer or the job is actually different. What the offer was made? Is that, is that something your clients encounter a lot? Yeah, so I’ll tell you another story about a fella who got in touch who had gone through a lengthy interview process then negotiated a good salary, he was happy with the definition of the job. And it included a two week training period. So he appeared when he was supposed to resign his old job. And after the training was over, he was brought into a manager’s office and it was explained to him that because of changes in the business, he was being reassigned to another department at a $20,000 lower salary. He was shocked, got in touch with me and asked me What’s my legal recourse and I never pretend to be a lawyer. But what I suggested to him was that he might have done something during the offer acceptance process, or he might have done something with the job offer in terms of making some modifications to it and getting the employer to agree that would perhaps say your minimum offer will be x. Again, I’m trying not to sound like a lawyer. But when I when I hear stories like this, I get very frustrated, because the sense I get is that when HR brings people on board, rather than being totally transparent with them about their options and about what may or may not happen once they come on board, it leaves the candidate hanging candidate job seekers really relatively naive when you consider that changing jobs is considered one of the three most traumatic experiences in your life. And how little care is really taken by most employers. Maybe they assume job seekers know what it’s all about, but they don’t. So in a situation like this, what what legal rights is the company have to change the title, the position, the role and the money? Yeah, that’s unfortunate. It’s ironic, the way you phrase it being one of the probably four or three most stressful events in your life changing jobs. It’s kind of an offshoot, similar discussion, we haven’t before about what the employee thought when they first had the offer. And then they got they got the they got to the company town, and they said, okay, you know, here’s what the new deal is. I was asked a question of what you think you were getting when you when you accepted that offer? And then I asked a follow up question, had you known you’re going to get$20,000 less than pay? Would you have accepted the offer? And you know, the answer is always No. And so you get into this same, or Ops, even those off letter without the word out, will implement used in it. It’s the same argument, again, of misrepresentation, oral argument, or oil agreements, and you take it to a lawyer, if you’re want to leave that job, because you felt like you’re kind of, you know, hoodwinked in it. And it sounds like an example, you provided that the person was, and in fact, misrepresented of what the job was. And it’s really not just fair, so left their job before, if they didn’t leave their job, that’s actually an important fact, if had a job and left it, that’s one measure of damage, if they didn’t have a job, and they were out in the market looking. And they took this job, that’s a different measure of damage. Because if they left the job, we’re, you know, with a $200,000 salary and went down to$150,000. salary. We know what the damages are. And so that’s basically $50,000. And you get into a discussion of settlement with the employer directly and try to work out a deal. So very similar to the first example. Here, it’s, you know, taking an AP an offer letter, even though it’s an offer letter, and they say it’s all its employment at will, you know, I? I don’t really. But the issue is, what did you do Mr. employer to the employee, in this instance. And so if you find yourself in that situation, go talk to an employer, not just any lawyer, but employment lawyer, and you should get the same type of discussion that we’re going through right now, the analysis, could a job candidate kind of inoculate themselves, once they get the offer? They sign it, they agree to start the job? Could they inoculate themselves to some extent by sending an attachment, some kind of written note to the employer stating that going back to your concept of reliance, I don’t have a job now. But I’m taking this job and I’m relying on the salary that you’re offering me. And on the specific position and title you’re offering me, as I accept this position? Does that gives you as the attorney any kind of additional ammo to help make a case? It does, it’s it’s only bolsters the skill, you know, the previous analysis we went through. And it’s really, you’re always dealing with the same level of argument about the misrepresentation, the old promise, that happens and so it you can get into various iterations, factually, but it’s all gonna boil down to that same legal argument. And the same process again, your your, we really haven’t talked too much about it. But it’s, it’s the Lord telling the employer in the way that the the form of it takes is we would write we would actually do an affidavit without from the client, like what happened, they would sign a notary to it. That’s the investigation of the case. And then second, we would issue a notice of claims letter to the employer, which is, and then we do a demand letter, which is very similar in letter, but it makes it all look very serious to the employer like Well, listen, and this attorneys coming after us, so it’s designed to get into the bargaining table quickly. And that’s the idea. So the other thing I was thinking of various things you were as you’re speaking about, what? And forgive me for a second, you know, if the employer, you know, we all deal with this issue about well, employment and people, again, don’t really have a full working knowledge of what it means they know what it means when to ask them a question, but what do you do when you’re faced with, you know, situations that challenge the employers actions, even though at will. I want people to understand that you can take action to do certain things with your employer, or future employer to if this situation we’re describing happens to you and don’t have any fear of doing that, because you may get the compensation, you’re gonna get the job back when that was offered to you taken away but or the deal you really wanted. So don’t hesitate to challenge the employer, it’s not gonna you’re not buying a lawsuit, you won’t actually avoid that. Don’t talk to lawyers who, you know, say litigation is, we’re gonna put you in a suit, it’s like, that’s the wrong answer. That’s just creating legal fees for lawyers. Because I’m not a lawyer, but I hit on her, I tried to give candidates sort of a prophylactic approach things they can do to avoid a problem. And sometimes I find that it’s as simple as realizing that once you have the job offer in hand, the company has made a commitment to you, now is really the time for you to interview them. Because they’ve made you an offer, they’ve committed to you you’ve committed to them. You haven’t accepted the offer yet, this is the time to ask a few tough questions. And the kinds of things I suggest are things like this. I like I’d like to spend half a day shadowing my my future manager, I’ll start in two weeks, but I’d be willing to come in before those two weeks start to shadow my manager spend a little time with the team got to get to know people, and getting a better idea of what the day to day is really like. Now, some companies may say no, I’ve had companies have actually said yes. And they’re frankly impressed, the candidate is willing to do that. The trick here is that you’re kind of the foot in the door, you know, deal you by getting your foot in the door and talking to more people, they have more of a commitment to you, it becomes more personal, you also get to look under the rug a bit and see what kind of dirt is down there are people happy are the problems in the company. If you don’t want to go so far suggesting that you come in. After you accept an offer, you can do that you can say to them look, or interviews have been great. But I’d like to interview and talk with a couple people on the team that I’ll be working on. So I’d like to get a better sense of how we’re all gonna fit in together. So once you’re in there, I find companies are a little more hesitant to do something they probably shouldn’t be doing. And they know they shouldn’t be doing they shouldn’t be rescinding an offer, they shouldn’t be changing your title, it becomes more personal, huh? Do you find that actually is happening more that companies are willing to kick the tires of the employee and they allow the employee to do that more common, there’s a there’s a new trend, I think it’s a very low level, you don’t hear about it much. I don’t hear about it much. But I’ve heard about companies who actually want to try the candidate out. Now that that’s different from hiring someone on a contract to work for you for six months with an option to hire you full time. This is really a situation where the company says we’d like you to come in so we can try you out, you can try us out, which is a very enlightened approach to hiring people. HR departments are so bogged down in these applicant tracking systems and this rope, keyword and mechanized automated process of bringing people on board that most of them would never think of doing something like this. And yet, when you decide to marry someone, you don’t do it because you just met and dinner asked one other bunch of questions, you date for a while, you spend time together in different contexts. Yeah, it makes sense, view another’s behavior. My editor, a penguin when I went when they published my first book, said to me, I just realized that all these methods you talk about are the same things that we do when we’re dating. That’s all about it’s all about getting to know one another. I don’t hear that story as much am I and I usually just hear, you know, because everything’s being told you in hindsight, you know, the offer was made and accepted. I really rarely, if ever have heard this scenario being presented to me by any client. It makes sense. And I really do actually do approve that. I think what hinders most employers is that, you know, they get into this kind of HR mentality of, we have to make the hire, we have to check the box, we have to do all that, you know, it’s all these things, typically driven by benefits, you know, insurance companies need to know, what’s the hire date and being terminal that they’re at will. So that means they can they can be hired one day, and next day, they can be fired. So I think there’s flexibility built into the process already. It’s just that there’s an old default that employers follow on that. So essentially, a bad habit. And I think that your scenario, what you’re describing would actually benefit everybody involved. I mean, how much can you know about a person by job offer, or an interview, I can’t do that I have to, for me, I slow hire, and I spend, you know, two, three hours with people. I mean, I really want to know, you know, natural, flowing conversation and get the vibe I’m looking at what’s this person like? Which is kind of similar to what you’re describing. I don’t actually have the person come in, but maybe I’m gonna start to think about that as well. And it’s Welcome to hey, here’s what we do. I just had a person, I did that actually similar. Looking for a new candidate, Associate Attorney in the office, I said, we do a lot of writing and marketing. Can you write me a piece? And she did. And it was, you know, I could build on what she was produced. She, eventually, this past week said she was not interested. But it was, you know, I liked the power approach, because it allows me to kind of in people make decisions, and it’s not the honeymoon effect, you’re, you can think about, if this is the direction that that person really wants to go into. I mean, in my case, it’s plaintiffs in employment law practice, and she’s actually working in a defense firm right now. So it’s a different cultural shift. So I like the approach you’re taking, I’m actually gonna consider doing that more. I actually want to interject something that’s real current of an issue right now that people probably should be aware of. There’s because the pandemic and the reopening is happening. There’s there’s claims if you read the press, I won’t mention which paper, I read an article in a major national paper last week, where they said that the you’ve heard this before, will the employees get to choose and negotiate better terms, because you know, they’re in a, they’re in the driver’s seat of the of the economy right now. And every time there’s a recession, then we come out of one, you have the same discussion, but it goes nowhere. And the reason I’m bringing all this up is because if we’re really having a transformation of the social events that are happening around us are changing. We, my my, my I doubt whether any firm changes will occur in the future, who let’s say, for example, I’m a big advocate of getting rid of the app will implement roll and get it and replace it with the termination. And that’s a higher standard of termination. And so, but a lot of people don’t know what this debate is about. Congress does. Montana does, because that, oh, is there and the only state in the country that has this, but you know, if we’re really making made major changes, you need to know that when you have this kind of recession, can you bargain for a better position, try telling your player I, you know, I’d like to be a termination for cause and, you know, if I screw up break the law with a DUI, you know, you can fire me if I, you know, do certain things. Just by the way in our office, we actually have, we don’t have an implemented will, cannot implement will state. And by the way, there’s no statute saying implement, we’ll just a case law thing developed by by the courts. So in our office, we have termination for cause. And it takes a lot in basically Performance Base to get fired. Or and I live LA, live an exception to the rule, if there’s economic issues, like a pandemic, that’s an out for the employer. I mean, you got to have some type of safe harbor, so to speak. So that was a thought I want to throw into, you know, where we’re going in this reopening employees? Yeah, you know, maybe you start to start less fear more bargaining and, you know, stand for what you You mean, what value to the company and see what you can get? Because if you don’t ask, you’re not gonna get moisture, you hear that a lot. This should really be a big topic right now. I agree with you. It’s very timely. I think this is why it’s a good idea to get a lawyer and head on her into a room hashing this stuff out? Because I’ll tell you from from my standpoint, as a headhunter what I will advise a candidate to do is question what’s in the deal? What’s in the offer? Most job offers? employee policy manuals, what have you are, you’re aware as I am, they’re boilerplate. And run a company shoves a piece of paper and says here, here’s the deal we already negotiated, sign it, if I’m on board, well, wait a minute, let me take this home and read it. I’d like to think about I want to make sure I listen, I want to take the job, I’m gonna come on board. I’m thrilled for the offer. Thank you, thank you, thank you, I’m really want to work with you. I’d like to go over the terms more carefully to make sure I understand. I don’t think any company would ever argue with that as long as you’re reasonable about the timeframe for getting back to them. But when you look at this document, and you see some of the terms in it, or you notice that things are missing that you would like most people make the assumption of the company is just never going to budge. It’s in there, they’re not going to take it out. I’ve had candidates cross stuff out and stuff, and then speak to the hiring manager over to HR and say, I want to come on board. Everything’s great. Just a couple of terms I’m a little uncomfortable about Would you be willing to make this change or this change? This is the real negotiation about a job suggesting that one term or another be changed a bit. You’ll be surprised how often an HR manager or hiring manager will bend. Now sometimes they will bend in violation of company policy. So you want Make sure you have the change in writing because your manager might get hit by bus knows, you want to make sure you’ve got something solid. But my real point here mark is you can negotiate, as long as you do it professionally forthrightly, gently politely managers, employers will listen, they may not agree to do something. But as you said, if you don’t ask you don’t get so you don’t have to get yourself in the hot water. But you have to be aware that making this decision to accept this job doesn’t just mean the job the title, you know, the window office, the money, it’s the terms, you’re going to live with terms, you have to live with these people under these terms for who knows how long. So this is the time where you really want to pause. You’re excited about the opportunity, you want to just jump right in I fed senior managers, executives who just will not pause they want to dive right in, and so thrilled, this is where you have to stop. And I say to them, try to think like an attorney. Because you have to be a little bit cold about this and make sure you understand what the deal is because now is the time to modify it if you want to. Yeah, I agree. And I don’t know why. I is just such an excellent point. I don’t know why people have that fear, the fear to ask the fear to negotiate. It’s so prevalent, and I call the default rule of employment, because the default is the manager or the employer is controlling it. Essentially, what are they doing? They’re saying Take it or leave it. And we don’t want to take it away. But I’ll tell you why I think this goes on. And this is an important point that you’re making. Why do job candidates allow themselves to be treated the way they are? And I think it’s because the employment system, the way it’s structured, tends to put the applicant in the position of a supplicant. It’s as though you’re begging for a job. And it’s not that’s almost literally true. Because when you go online, and you apply to 50 jobs in 10 minutes, because you can, all you have to do is hit hit the enter key, bam, bam, bam, you pledged 50 jobs. Well, you’re begging, because you don’t know what this job is really all about. On the flip side, when HR in the old days with the very least that they rejected you, you’d get a nice little postcard in the mail. If you’re us mail that said, thank you very much for coming in, you know, hope you find a job somewhere else, you’re not right for us. Thank you for coming in. HR manager stop doing that. With the advent of applicant tracking systems and automated recruiting. That’s the first manager I brought this up to say to me, Well, there’s a simple reason for that, Nick. So well, what is it? Well, it’s because in the old days, we would talk to a dozen candidates. And we could send out 11 notes, it was no big deal wanted to be polite. But now we have so many 1000s of people applying for a job, and you can possibly get something out to all of them that’s meaningful at all. And my response to that is, wait a minute, you’re making an excuse, you created the problem yourselves, you are soliciting 1000s of people knowing full well, that a tiny proportion of those will even be potential candidates. So what you’re doing is programming the job seeker market to accept abuse, if you will, and I call it abuse, more than I would agree with you. Yeah, I would agree it’s a form of abuse, you keep wrapping a puppy on the head, you know, with the newspaper, you’re not not hurting it. But you’re training it, to believe that it’s going to be abused whenever you want to abuse it. So rather than responsibly having human to human contact, responsible contact, this mill that’s been created, where 1000s and 1000s, millions of jobs are online, millions and millions of people are online. And it’s almost like you’re trying to put together a puzzle rather than actually have people talking to companies about how we can all work together and do profitable work. So it’s really a psychological issue. I think it’s almost a form of brainwashing. We own the job, you’re the beggar. We’ll give you what we want. And you have to live it right. But well, how? How are you going to reverse that? How can we, you know, come to the table, you know, and saying, I want something better than what you’re willing offer. And I had this, this a real giant pet peeve of mine. And I have two points to say to you is number one is, you know, it’s like dating you’re, you’re basically going to dress your best behavior and the employers and roll out the red carpet because they want to show you their best behavior and we’re inclusive and diversity and all that sound bites they’re written saying these days, but when you get in there inside the business and you realize that was all just a bunch of lies, that creates a problem for the the management of that employee because they’ve been lied to, you know, they’ve been sold a bill of goods. So employers need to understand you can’t abuse people like that with your nonsense because employees realize that. So that’s one point. The other point I had was, I call it the LeBron James rule and even know who he is. He’s a great basketball player. worth a lot of money, and he can basically pick and choose where he wants to go. And I’m not saying every employee is like that has that leverage factor. But, you know, everybody has their leverage walking into a deal. That’s why they’re, you know, the employer recruited them or the employers, you know, finally said, we’ll make the offer to you, because you have something to give to us figure out what you’re giving to the employer, figure it out, because that’s your leverage to get additional terms, maybe compensation, or maybe removing that non compete out of the situation that’s been thrown at you, you didn’t see it until after you started working usually happens. So, you know, think about those two components. And I say this from a really neutral standpoint, that I say I say the same things, who earn multi six figure salaries, I say that to people who earn under $100,000. It’s the same principles that apply Do you really have to seize control of the that side of the bargaining table and realize what you represent, you’re just not a widget, you know, you’re actually something of a commodity to that of value to that employer. That’s really the kernel of the solution, I think. kernel ke r m e, l. You don’t have to be a little Bron James, you don’t have to be a star in your field. But you have to be good at what you do. And I really think the root of the problem again goes back to this mass application, mass solicitation of candidates problem where everyone is fungible, one candidate is almost as good as the next. When you apply for jobs. Forget about the fact that companies will solicit 1000s of you’re going to apply. Think about the fact that you shouldn’t be pursuing 1000s of jobs or companies. There’s an article a whole article on my website, as senator calm titled, there aren’t 400 jobs for you. Back in the old days, you could wake up in the deal was you wake up in the morning, you’re still in your jammies, drinking your coffee, and your your objective is to get 20 resumes stamped and put an envelope and mailed out before you have breakfast. Now, you know, you’ve done something to find the job. Well, today, today, the the version of that is to apply for 1000 jobs a day 100 jobs, it’s just too much. You cannot be LeBron James, you cannot be a star you cannot be the person they really want. And you cannot then negotiate with them from a position of strength. Unless you know you’re applying for a job that you’re probably one of the two or three best candidates for. So you have to reel the whole system back in and say, You know what, I’m not gonna apply to 10 jobs today, I’m not gonna apply to three, I’m going to try to find one where I can study the business, talk to people, right? company, right? insiders, outsiders, I say, Go talk to the vendors, contact, have customers, talk to the lawyer, talk to the accountant, talk to anybody who does business with them, learn what you can. And when you approach the company, be able to do this in the interview. And if you can’t do it, you have no business going to the interview, be ready to walk in, walk up to the whiteboard, and outline how you’re going to do this job. If you’re not ready to do that, you’re in no position to negotiate anything, they have to want you. So you have to stand out from the next 50 candidates. That’s how you get to negotiate and get away from all this nonsense. Well, I’ll be the devil’s advocate for some of your clients. Probably this is familiar to but you know, if there’s automation of resumes, and there’s algorithms, and there’s search terms and keywords and stuff, and you have to get through that first, how do you compete? How do you show you know that you did all your homework beforehand, and you’re still in a lot of 1000? You know, or more resumes, that that some computers handling that? I mean, what was that research? And by the way, I’d hire that person because that person took an interest in my business. And I want to hear Yeah, it’s kind of a, it’s kind of a Zen approach. I’ll take take you back to how you just started saying you started saying, because it’s automated. And it’s a mass approach, blah, blah, blah, well, the Zen approaches, there’s a story about the novice who was in the monastery with the monks. And he studied Zen. And he’s trying to find the truth. And he’s trying to find the way and he goes to the master and he says, Master, I need to go to the next village to go to Xyz. But there’s a mountain, the mountain is too high to go over. It’s too wide to go around. What do I do? And the Zen Master says to him, there is no mountain. There is no mountain. Well, great. In this case, you don’t have to use the system. There is no reason why you need to apply online. That’s great advice. You don’t need to apply the 50 jobs. When I coach candidates, by coach. I also do coaching one on one for people that I’m not working with as candidates myself as the head on her. And what I try to teach people is you need to break this mindset that you have to use the system you know it doesn’t work. So don’t use it. Instead, spend your time picking out companies you really like to work for, study them, make contacts, you want to date a certain person, and they don’t know you from Adam, and you don’t want to get pushed away. You want to be successful when you ask them out? Well, don’t approach them. Take the Zen approach, work around, find out, they play tennis somewhere, are they part of a bicycling club? Which church they go to? Where do they hang out with their friends, and then become part of that circle. Introduce yourself that way in a context where they feel safe. And they feel like you’re someone who has some kind of a connection to them, whatever, however, 10 years, it might be whether you go to the same church or whatever you bicycle together. That’s how you get closer. And that’s how you get in the door. And you can do the same thing with any company. Today, online, it’s far easier. You go online, you do a search for a company, you take a look at what articles been written about them in the business press recently, was probably a story that mentions three or four managers in the department you’d like to work for. Shoot them an email, Hey, I just read this article. But you guys, you pull off a really great deal. Can you tell me what you’re reading nowadays? That that’s influencing your work? Because I do similar work. I’m just curious. It’s breaking the ice. And having some kind of a shared experience with this person, talking shop, getting them to talk to you. Suddenly, you’re not a job candidate. You’re not a key word. You’re not a resume in the system. You’re a human being. Yeah, that’s that’s true. I think that’s sage advice, Zen advice. I like the out of the story. Let me add one topic to our discussion. And it’s kind of similar to in spark some interest. So as soon as I say it, but what happens when the employer is throwing a certain agreements to you that like, like a non compete, or an arbitration agreement, and they’re saying to it maybe either shows up in the offer letter, or it shows up at a later point in time, typically, after you hard kind of two different examples. But let’s say it shows up on the offer letter, you know, what can you do about it? You know, you, you bet they’re not competes going to prevent you from working for a competitor in the future, when you leave the company, an arbitration agreement, if you didn’t want that is means essentially, it’s, it’s confidential. Resolution, nothing in court can’t fight like you. certain companies have this. It’s called forced arbitration because no employer or employee wants this. And by the way, no employee wants a non compete, by the way. So I’m sure you hear you’ve heard that have come up with your clients I have definitely have. One of the first legal terms that I learned as I head on her was the term incorporation by reference. Yeah, and what that means my lay understanding of it is you get a job offer. And it says we’re offering, we’re happy to offer you the position of XYZ at a salary of $100,000 a year. And, you know, on your part, you know, you agree to give us references, do background checks, and so on, and so on. And you also agree to abide by our employee policy manual, so on and so on, and so on. So you look at this, look at this and say, oh, cool, I can live with all this, you sign it. So you start work. And then you see the employee policy manual, which says all employees agree to sign a nondisclosure agreement. All employees agree to sign a non compete agreement? Well, the worst example, the nastiest thing that I see when this happens, is the candidate in the interviews thinks they can get a better job offer if they fudge their current salary, when they when they ask you what your current salary, if you’re making 80,000, you figure, well, I make 80,000. And I’ve got a potential bonus of 10. I’ve got really good benefits. I’m really bummed out about $100,000. So you told me making 100 grand, you signed the offer letter, you show up for orientation. And they said you we need to see three pay stubs, please. What do you mean, we see three of your most recent pay stubs your old job, you’ve seen that that’s private, confidential? No, our employee policy manual, it says that everyone who signed who signs up to work here has to give us three pay stubs. So now you’re on the spot. And I believe you can get fired for cause because you’re violating the policy. If you turn over the stubs, well, you just prove to them that you lied to them. You misrepresented your salary. So it’s like resume fraud. It’s you kind of stuck. So my again, I’m not a lawyer. But what I say to candidates is, whatever documents are referenced in the in the offer letter, included by reference, so I’m actually there. Whatever documents are referenced in the offer letter, ask for copies before you sign the offer. Offering will say well, we don’t give out our benefits package until you’re on board because we consider it a competitive secret. So okay. If you’re not willing to Give it to me. I don’t know what kind of get what Don’t worry, your insurance is gonna be great. The best in the industry will show it to me. Because right? Why would you buy a house without going inside and seeing what it looks like? So, stay out of trouble. Stay out of trouble by making sure you understand what you’re agreeing to. It’s far more than that single page offer letter. Yeah, but what if the employee says, Well, I asked that question. But they still weren’t willing to provide that information to me. And I have this response as well. Tell him lawyer that you’re not so sure about the job offer. Because if they’re not being willing to be transparent with you, you might be moving elsewhere to another position or the job somewhere else. I think, from a business standpoint, this is your legal view. from a business standpoint, it’s the old story about the guy who wants to read roadster more than anything else, this is the car he wants, he goes to the car lot, finds the red rose roadster, the salesman knows this is all you want, and you’re going to pay whatever is necessary to get it. The same thing happens the job owners, you have to be ready to walk away. If the person on the other side is not doing a good, proper, mutually beneficial deal for you. So sometimes the hard answer is you may need to decide to walk away from the deal if they’re not going to be reasonable with you. Yeah, let me give you also a real quick legal resolution or solution issue that’s, that fits in well here. And I tell people this and they’re kind of like, they don’t understand that the solution but I’ll go through very quickly. You know, let’s say you’re given a non compete, and you asked for it, they didn’t give it to you, you told them that you’re not they’re not being transparent and you really knew the job and you can have that’s typically what I see happens and they take the job. And there’s a non compete and down the road. They call you again saying Two years later, I need to get out of this non compete. And we saw we asked Okay, when did you get the non compete? Did they give you money for it? Was it given on the first day of employment or later on? quick solution? before you ever sign any offer letter or any non compete draft an affidavit that says I never intended enter into this agreement, no way shape or how and notarize it and then put it in your I don’t know your in your safe and hold and hold it out. Pull it out later on when you need it. What it does, it says to a court in the future or so to some employer wants to seek to enforce it more likely, without before the litigation starts. He says he had no intention of entering the contract. If there’s no intention, then how can you hold on to the contract? Because so that’s a real quick way to stymie the employer and their attorneys who think they have a home run against you. And meanwhile, you have this affidavit that says you never intended to enter into the agreement. We’ve used it several times it does work. So that’s a quick, you know, piece of advice to help you in the event that you need to go up because, you know, you need to pay your expenses. And you can’t go on sabbatical for a year just because the employer wants a benefit that only benefits them. Now, wait, I’m confused. Let me make sure I got this right, you’re gonna accept the job offer. And first write an affidavit that says you didn’t intend you don’t intend to accept the job offer. Right now that the the non compete? Oh, okay, gotcha, gotcha compete, or the arbitration provision, whatever, whatever the provision, they’re willing, not willing to negotiate, you got to enter the contract rate budget, it was involved that and then use that later. And so you use it later, and you being an overhead? Obviously, he’s an employment lawyer. And you also want to shake him down? And what do you what do you what is your goal you’re trying to get out of the non compete? Sure. So either you’re gonna get paid some money and get out of non compete or just get out of the non compete typically just get out of the non compete, and it works. Or they reduce it to like, you know, a month or two, the head honor solution is, and I’ve negotiated these deals for my candidates many times in the past. So you want my candidate to sign a non compete, which will take them out of the market in their business, which they’re well known for. And that’s fine. So you’re getting a benefit, you’re avoiding costs and losses, because you don’t want to compete with this person. So there needs to be a compensation for that. So my my client, my candidate will sign the offer letter and accept the non compete, if you will produce a severance package a severance deal, which says, if the if the employee leaves the business, they agree not to compete with us for a year, and we agree to pay them for the next 12 months. Right. So there’s a price to a non compete, it’s not free. And what I find and again, this is a negotiating issue, not a legal one, although obviously tied together. What you’re doing is is asking to get something back fairly in return. So if I’m giving you this, I’m it’s gonna cost me money. It’s like I can’t work in this business. So you got to give me something to compensate me for that. Now becomes a negotiation. You might not get exactly what you want, and they may not either, but hopefully you come to some kind of accommodation where you agree to something they You go to something and you’re all happy. This is where Yeah, frankly, I would want an attorney involved at this point. And I’ve brought attorneys into these deals before. But you want to be careful. Yeah, we were talking about the flip side of the same issue, you’re doing it in advance in base and providing the solution after the fact, because typically 80% of employees can’t negotiate themselves out of non competes, because they need the job, typically. But for the executive ban level people I’ve negotiated, there was a president of a public company. And I can’t really name names, but they, they had about both the severance agreement that you describe, sign in advance, you’ll get paid X dollars, and then they had a situation describing, they also had a noncompete pay period as well, which is highly unusual, that they negotiated in advance of that person’s higher. Well, so that’s the extent on the far extreme of what can possibly happen. But that doesn’t apply to most folks. What you’re describing is essentially, if you exchange for something that’s beneficial to the employer, the non compete, II, which basically is targeting its competition, it’s nothing about you, unless you sell, if you steal a sales list, whatever it is, then you have a right to get, yeah, you should expect to be sued. But it’s, but if you’re gonna put her on the bench like that, during the game for a year, we got to pay you because someone’s gonna pay a court case where I said, the judge said, Judge, you know, someone’s gonna pay by the diapers for this young family or do this, that the other the mortgage, and it sunk in. And the reaction by the judge was, Well, why don’t you guys just go out in the hallway right now and see if you can work this out, because she didn’t want to make that decision. So but it’s, we’re talking about the same aspect, and there are solutions to people, we’ve given them on the on the, on the discussion TV, given them, they can utilize and not have any fear about this, it really can change the game, and you can have a better situation, you’ll feel happier at work, I suspect, because you didn’t negotiate for yourself. And the employers gonna respect you because you didn’t negotiate. I mean, you didn’t take it lying down. So that’s really important. Your lawyer, you’re there as the lawyer to clean it up and fix it after after the fact. Because the candidate that you hire has no choice. My job is to try to help them up front. And again, what I try to drill into candidates, JOB, JOB applicants brains is everything is negotiable. And it’s given take, you want this, I want that, for example. This is pretty common in middle level management jobs, or staff jobs, where you move to a new company after you’ve been at your old company for 10 years, you’ve earned six weeks vacation. Well, new company, standard policy, new employees get two weeks vacation, as well, wait a minute, I go with seniority, I earned my six weeks, I’m not giving up my six weeks. So we can’t change our policy fair, everybody, well, I’ll settle for the two weeks, perhaps you’d be willing to give me a starting bonus, maybe payable every six months for the first year, there can always be some kind of compensating factor. You can use it on negotiation. So I tell people before you go into a job offer acceptance process, ask yourself, What am I willing to give on? And what am I willing to ask for? So you have a list on both sides. So you go in prepared, knowing what you’re willing to bend on and knowing what you’re willing to fight for. And you sort of rank order them, you ask for the toughest stuff first, and then you work your way down. But you want to make sure that you know what, what what your your coin is really good. You’re Is this a form of exchange? It’s not it’s not it’s not just money. It’s terms all agree to this term, if you agree to this term. Yeah, and important to say here that you’re not going to get your full, you know, dealing I really want your you got to understand your own, you’re negotiating to get set 5% of what you want. You got to have that expectation, because that’s the reality. Exactly. We’ve talked a lot about the offer and how to deal with employers who make you know, other decisions when the offer is made and change it and what you can do. Nick has provided his solutions that he’s advised his clients this nice died in hope this is a very enjoyable and informative discussion for you and helps you when your next your next negotiation. Thank Nick for coming on. And we’re going to do more of these. So more exchanges on various topics to give you the listeners, you know, a new resource to turn to, because there’s not a lot of information out there about this, these topics. Thanks, Nick for coming on today and we’ll talk to you next time.