It’s easy to get excited about starting a new job. It is also common to be anxious to leave your current one to get started as soon as possible. But we all know the expression about never burning down bridges. Your reputation in the working world, or even your specific industry, can hinge on this old adage. I cover the specifics on how to ensure you leave your current job in a professional fashion in my latest article for job-hunt.
Article: How to Gracefully Leave Your Old Job
Once in a while, when a job seeker submits their resignation and offers a two-week’s notice, they get a surprise in return: a counter-offer. Quite frequently this includes a match on salary with the new company and sometimes an increase in responsibility. In this situation, many things can go wrong for all involved.
The Candidate Perspective
I once had a friend go through this experience and he was perplexed as to which path to take. He was the one to instigate a job search process, so I was a little surprised there was even a decision to be made. After all, once you start a job search, it’s likely you have already decided, for whatever reason, that it is time to go. The counter-offer covered both money and responsibility. Even long-term growth potential. My friend had a long list of concerns, but in the end, I asked a simple question: “When you drive to work each day, what is it you want to do when you get there?”
In other words, no two jobs or companies are exactly the same. When the current company offers you reasons to stay, you need to remind yourself why you wanted to leave. Will those issues be addressed? Even if there are promises to address them, will they be able to live up to their intentions? Does past performance indicate they are true to their word? Without an employment contract, their word is all you have.
Just remember, money and title are nice. But 40-70+ hours of work per week is a long time to spend doing something (or being somewhere) you don’t enjoy. Most people want to accomplish something professionally. Be sure to consider which opportunity truly offers this chance?
The Current Employer Perspective
No one likes to lose good employees. Especially if we have groomed them, trained them, and depended on them for a long time. However, when an employee makes the hard decision to leave, you must accept you missed the boat somewhere and didn’t address the issues along the way. Trying to band-aid the situation by keeping them on board will likely prove to be temporary. The joy of a raise and new title is short-lived in the working world. Six months later, they will realize they still want to move on.
Sometimes the boss offers a counter just to protect their own reputation. Are you the first to leave the group in a while, or part of a series of folks leaving? Is the timing really bad for the company? You need to assess why the offer is being presented. Is it simply because you are too good to lose? And if so, why did it take a resignation to prompt this kind of action?
If you accept the counter, you should realize that some companies will start a search for a replacement anticipating your future departure. This is a disastrous situation as you may be potentially fired (or overlooked for future promotions). Instead of people moving on and new people moving in allowing for growth for all involved, the situation turns stagnant, and sometimes unfriendly.
The New Employer Perspective
No company has time to waste in a job search. They do not like interviewing candidates who turn out to be just “kicking the tires” and “seeing what’s out there.” They want to meet candidates who are ready to join their team, not consider it.
When a candidate rejects an offer to stay where they are, the relationship between the two is strained or severed. In essence, the company feels the candidate was not honest during the process.This impression is all they remember (and likely marked in their records/database).
If you are only curious about opportunities at a company, take one of their current (or past) employees out to lunch so you can get a true perspective of what it’s like to work there.
When considering whether you want to leave, make a sound decision. Ask yourself right at the start, “If my company countered an equal offer, would I consider it? And why?” You may just need to have a heart-to-heart with your boss and ask how you can improve your current situation through increased responsibility or redirection of your role. If you do decide to leave, don’t look back unless you’re absolutely certain your old job will become better than the new job.
Clearly, there is no end to amount of advice offered on resume writing. However, every day I read resumes that have glaring mistakes. Not simply grammar or spelling. There are resume pitfalls that can cause doubt to arise about you. It may seem unfair. At the same time, can you really expect a perfect stranger to know how well you fit the job if you’re conveying a different message?
Although there are many who can provide advice on resumes, including professional resume writers, I thought it would be helpful to share a few of the common errors I see. Check out my latest article at Job-hunt.org to learn more. Feel free to add your own advice by commenting on this article within my blog.
In this article written for Job-Hunt.org, I cover five popular misconceptions about working with agency recruiters. The article also references several links that may be helpful in understanding how this process works and what to expect. These misconceptions include:
- Recruiters will find me a job.
- All recruiters are the same.
- Recruiters are career counselors.
- Apply for all the jobs the recruiter has listed.
- All I need is a simple LinkedIn profile and the recruiters will be banging on my door.
If you’ve never worked with a recruiter before, this article is a “must read.”
Article: Working with Agency Recruiters
I have stated many times that external recruiters can be helpful to you even though you do not pay them. I know this may seem counterintuitive, but the reality is, they cannot do their job without you. Even so, many job seekers keep them in the dark about their job situation or requirements. It is important to realize, it is hard for a recruiter to do their job well (on your behalf) when they are unsure of your specifics. Take a look at my latest article for job-hunt.org for more details on this tedious balancing act.