my boss keeps asking to borrow money, employer wants to know how much my other job offers are, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Employer wants to know how much my other offers are

My question is whether my wife, who is graduating with a masters in nursing, should disclose details on the offers she has received to the company she really wants to work for? She interviewed and received offers at two companies. She now has an upcoming meeting with a third company, where the hiring manager indicated that they will give her an offer. The hiring manager knows that she’s received offers from the other two companies, and asked her if she could share what the two other companies were offering, so that “they would know whether they are in the same ballpark.” My wife likes this third company the best, so she doesn’t want to alienate them by refusing to disclose the other two offers.

“I feel uncomfortable sharing other company’s specific offers, but I’m looking for a range of around $X.” After all, this isn’t an auction where the highest bidder gets her (or if it is, she at least shouldn’t imply that).

2. Why does my recruiter from two years ago want to talk with me about my new job?

This week was my last week at a job, and I’m starting a new job on Monday (yay!). Today, I decided to update Facebook and LinkedIn with the new information and not an hour later, I got an email from a recruiter I worked with to get my Old Job. It was a brief email saying he saw the update on LinkedIn, doesn’t know about the company, and would like to chat with me on the phone.

The email seems very weird. I was at Old Job for a year and 8 months, so I doubt any commission he received from placing me was jeopardized. I actually enjoyed working with the recruiter the last time around, but the new gig sort of fell into my lap (no outside recruiters involved). I’m finding this message pretty bizarre and wondering what his motivations might be. Do I respond to the email or schedule a call out of courtesy? Do I ignore it?

Yeah, I don’t think this is about any kind of commission. It’s more likely about him wanting to keep his network current. He saw your update and he wants to know what you’re doing now, to update his records and keep in touch with you. Depending on your job, he might also want to pitch you using his services for your new company or pick your brain about candidates for roles he’s working to fill. No reason not to talk to him, especially if you might want to work with him in the future.

3. My boss keeps asking to borrow money and doesn’t pay it back

I lent $220 to my manager last December. She promised to pay me on the second week of January, but has not mentioned anything about it til now. How can I ask for the money in a polite and professional way so as not to ruin our working relationship? Also, please give me more excuses not to lend her money because in these three months, she has tried to borrow five times again. I lent her some the fifth time and again she has not paid on the agreed date. The amount this time is $45.

To give you a brief background, I live in the Philippines. My manager is the best boss. That is why I have not asked her to return the money these three months because I am afraid our relationship will turn sour. I also like my job a lot. I am also an introvert who has difficulty in expressing my intentions verbally. Another problem is I can’t help but feel some disrespect for her because she broke her promise. Well, I have noticed that she easily breaks her other promises to me too. Hope that you can help me because I am running out of excuses to not lend her money. I am afraid that I have to resign to avoid lending more money.

To get back the money you’ve already lent: “Jane, you were going to pay me back in January. Can you give me that money back today?” If she says she doesn’t have it, say, “I do need it now, so when do you think you’ll be able to repay it?” (Keep in mind though that you may or may not get that money back. Generally with lending money, it’s smart to only lend an amount that you’d be comfortable not seeing again, because that sometimes happens with personal loans.)

To refuse further requests: “I’m sorry, but I can’t lend you any additional money.” Or you might be more comfortable with, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have any money I can lend.” And you definitely should start refusing — lending money to your boss is a bad dynamic to get into.

4. I didn’t get a bonus and I think it’s because I took FMLA leave

I found out that I got “Inconsistently met expectations” when I busted my butt all year for my company. I was supposed to get about a $10,000 bonus based on company funding and got zero. I think it is because I took FMLA. The negatives on the review are so trivial and being in a client facing role, not a single client complained about me. In fact, several took the time to write positives and talk to my boss about me in a positive way. What recourse do I have? Should I talk to HR?

I am so steamed that I am about ready to blow. We had many extra duties this year and I did them all.

Yes, if you think that you were penalized for using FMLA, you should talk to HR, since they’re going to be much more versed in the legalities here than your manager probably is. (And yes, penalizing you for taking FMLA violates the law.)

5. I want to reach out to a professor who offered to mentor me two years ago

A couple of years ago (2012), I took a summer course for my graduate program. At the end of the course, the professor approached me and mentioned that she would like to be my mentor. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I didn’t keep in touch with her and now I really regret it. She has a lot of knowledge on a unique field, and I’m finding myself with a lot of questions about career development in this arena that I think she would be able to answer.

It may or may not be important to note, I am not hoping that she will get me a job, and that would not be the subject of any conversation I would have with her. However, I know it could seem like I blew her off earlier, when really I just didn’t understand networking/mentors and the opportunity she was giving me. At several points since then, I’ve thought about getting in touch, but it always seemed like too much time had passed. Is there any salvaging this? If so, how should I make that first contact?

You have nothing to lose by trying. Send her an email letting her know what you got out of her course, what you’ve been doing since then (ideally talking about how her course helped you with that, if you can), how much you appreciated the offer she made you to mentor you, and how much you’ve regretted not following up with her about it. (You could potentially say that you weren’t sure how to follow up at the time.) Say that you’d love to get back in touch now, and ask if you can buy her coffee to reconnect.

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