Published on August 22nd, 2012 | by Amy Edwards0
Should you stay or should you go…?
By Amy @BubbleJobs
Picture the scene; you normally love your job but just recently you’ve been feeling a bit… well, uninspired! Then along comes a recruiter who finds your details on LinkedIn (remember, you forgot to say that you weren’t open to job offers!) with the temptation of another job at another company.
Do you: A. Decide to give your current job another chance, thank the recruiter for their message and turn them down, B. Say adios to your current job and snap the recruiter’s hand off as soon as you’ve finished reading the message or C. Panic and phone a friend! OK, so unless you’ve already established a long term career game plan, C is going to probably going to be the only viable option.
The decision about whether to stay where you are or go has always been a tricky one (remember, The Clash were discussing it back in 1981!). It’s like that old ‘grass is always greener on the other side’ syndrome: is the new job actually a better prospect than the one you already have or is it just that it’s something different that’s the tempting part?
Sadly, when it comes to this kind of thing there are no right or wrong answers. Because everyone’s personal circumstances are different the right decision is different from candidate to candidate, however there are a few things you can do which might help you to make your mind up.
Firstly, find out a bit more about the new job prospect – it’s easy to do this out of office hours and of course, the recruiter in question should be able to understand how delicate the situation is and should be willing to act discreetly to any requests you make. Do some digging into the prospects of the new job; where it’s based, who it’s working for, what the salary could be and what the possibilities for progression are. The recruiter should have all this kind of information to hand so should be able to fire it back to you relatively quickly.
The next thing to do is to think about the prospects at your current position. Does it offer you everything you need and/or want or did you simply take it because it was based in a convenient location and paid a decent wage? When you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to think about how easy it would be to arrange a meeting with your current employer about your future prospects without raising too much suspicion. If you’ve got a monthly appraisal or quarterly review coming up, that could present the perfect opportunity to broach the subject of the future. Employers normally expect questions like that during these kinds of meetings so asking them shouldn’t set off too many alarm bells.
OK, so now you know about the prospects at both jobs, it’s time to do some good old fashioned thinking. Put the two jobs side by side and compare them on everything from salary and location to role, experience and future prospects. After you’ve done this, you should be able to come to three different conclusions: 1. You like your current job more than you thought, 2. You hate your current job more than you thought or 3. The two job prospects are still neck and neck.
If you’ve come to the conclusion that you’re actually really happy where you are, it’s pretty obvious what you need to do, however if you’ve decided you’re definitely interested in the new job or you’re still not sure, it’s time to formally apply and see how far you get. Obviously if the recruiter has already contacted you, that stands you in good stead because they must think you already have the right skills for the job from your LinkedIn profile. This means if you go ahead and formally apply, it’s highly likely you’ll be granted at least an interview.
But how do you get time off for an interview when you’ve already got a job? Well hundreds of people do it everyday so there must be a way! Obviously here at Bubble we’re not condoning ‘pulling a sicky’ or anything like that, but sometimes little white lies are called for when it comes to bagging a new job.
Now the interview stage should really help to seal the deal about whether you should stay or go. Depending on who conducts the interview, you should be able to get a feel for the company and your possible prospects there. OK, so the recruiter or employer are effectively interviewing you for the job, but there’s nothing to say you can’t ‘interview’ them too regarding your prospects at their company – remember, this is a really important decision so you need to be sure you’re making the right one!
Following your interview, you should have a pretty good idea about whether you should stick with your current job or go for another one, regardless of if you actually formally get offered this position! Sometimes it takes a bit of a wake-up call to realise how good we actually have it or how much we actually need a change – don’t waste yours!