A: If you are happy in your job and you have a good, secure relationship with your employers then talk to them first before you make any decisions. Tell your boss that you have been made a substantial offer by another company. Your boss may not be able to offer you as much money, but you may be able to negotiate a pay increase and some extra company perks.
It is becoming increasingly common for employers to counter-offer when members of staff reveal that they are being lured elsewhere. If you are a "marketable" employee who has good skills and five-to-eight years' experience, you will be difficult and expensive to replace, and therefore in a strong position to negotiate better terms.
If you do not feel that you could approach your employers, then ask yourself if you really want to move. Are you only interested in this position because of the money or does the role offer you greater prospects and career opportunities? Are you in line for a career review where you are? Would it include a pay rise? And are you entitled to the company pension or share option scheme? Find out, as these benefits may be equivalent to a pay rise.
Having weighed things up, make sure that you have plenty of information about the rival firm. If you are still interested, it could be worthwhile talking to them. As they say, nothing ventured nothing gained.
If you have good skills and five-to-eight years’ experience, you will be in a strong position to negotiate better terms
Q: I have been offered a job that gives me the choice of a company car or a car allowance. Which is the better option?
A: The norm is still for construction companies to offer employees a company car. This is usually fully serviced by the employer with MOT, insurance and tax. The disadvantage is the heavy tax burden it incurs. Company car drivers in the middle mileage band of 2500 to 17,999 miles a year are taxed at 25% of the car's value. From April 2002, the percentage of tax paid will depend on the CO2 emissions the car produces. Another disadvantage is that when you leave the company, you will be left without a car.
The car allowance offers an additional monthly payment of about £400, which can be used to contribute towards the car of your choice. The advantage of the allowance is that it offers much more flexibility, so you can buy a car using a bank loan or choose to purchase a secondhand model outright. Also, unlike a company car, you can take the car with you when you leave the company. The employee is usually expected to pay for the upkeep of the vehicle out of the car allowance.
If you have a question for Robert about your career, email firstname.lastname@example.org.