We all know there is a balancing act you must perform when searching for a new position while you have a full-time job. In many cases, it does not reflect well if your boss finds out. Although, I’ve always contended that there is nothing wrong with doing some “comparison shopping.” Just like when thinking about buying a new house or car, you first compare what’s out there with what you’ve got. Perhaps you should be happy with the status quo because it really is better than alternatives available to you. But how would you know if you didn’t do the research?
The problem is that although the research might be just a cursory look, management may not see it that way. Best not to “advertise” your efforts. My latest article for job-hunt deals with the tenuous balance of being “available to talk” and keeping your research “off the radar.”
As always, feel free to add your comments or experiences within this article’s Comments section.
Article: How to Find a Job While You Have One
Most job seekers know that there are some tough odds in landing some of the best possible positions. It is a bit of luck and a lot of hard work that tips the scales your way when the opportunity is the right fit for both sides. There are many ways to get noticed by decision-makers, but you must be careful about the reason you get noticed.
Recruiters tend to be a little fussy about candidates playing games with them. And sure, you can just move on to the next recruiter and hope they have the right opportunity for you. But what if you gave up the perfect job simply because you weren’t following some simple rules of game? That would make everyone involved a loser.
Check out my latest article for job-hunt.org to see if you’re staying out of trouble and playing by the “rules.”
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.
Recently, I wrote an article for Job-Hunt.org regarding the value of references and how to make them an effective part of your job search. Many job seekers see references as a just a minor piece of the puzzle. But in reality, references can sometimes be the “tipping point” to you whether you get the job.
How you prepare them for the call from the hiring manager or recruiter can make all the difference. Take a look at this article to make sure you’re doing all that you should. And as always, feel free to share your own tips and thoughts in the comment section on this blog entry to share with others.
Most recruiters are pretty good at reviewing resumes carefully and looking for any yellow flags before engaging with you. Before presenting you to their clients, they need to be sure they understand your full work history. When there is a gap in employment on your resume, they will typically ask about it. In most cases, it is best to have some professional activity filling that gap. In my latest article for job-hunt.org, I discuss different possibilities to consider. As always, feel free to comment on this blog entry with ideas of your own to share with the readers of my blog.