The Corporate Freshman: Test Drive a New Job by Alexandra Levit appeared on The Huffington Post yesterday. It discusses the pros and cons of a job candidate taking a "trial" position with a company before coming on board permanently. At the end of the probation period, the employer and candidate decide if it's a good match, and whether to sign an employment agreement or part company. The article even suggests that a job seeker propose such a no-risk trial arrangement as a means of being chosen above other candidates.
This "trial" concept is a creative one. It reminds me of my friend who was offered a job with a salary that was about $3,000 less than what she wanted. To negotiate a higher paycheck, she handed the hiring manager a resignation letter that was postdated three months from her start date. She told him, "If, at the end of three months, I haven't proven to you that I deserve that $3,000 more per year, you can use this letter of resignation to let me go." The woman got the job, got the extra $3,000; and her resignation letter was eventually shredded.