Five Questions to ask before you take that next job

In keeping with my Five Questions series we will talk today about some of the key questions you need to ask before you leave your present firm and go to another firm.  Some of these I have asked from my own experience.  Others I ask in my present role in the executive search practice that I lead here in the Nashville, TN area.

Leaving your present job is a big step.  Too often people get angry over some little thing and they let that small issue fester and become a much bigger thing.  Leaving your present employer to join another is a big step and it should never be taken lightly or without significant due diligence.  We will talk more about that in one of the upcoming questions.

Some of you will read these and think that I am trying to talk candidates out of moving from one company to another.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I think that every firm I represent is a quality firm.  On the flip side I don’t want a candidate to have “buyer’s remorse” in three months.  When that happens I get to work for free when I replace them.  I want to find people who move for the right reasons and not the the wrong ones.

  1. Why do I want to leave my present firm?  Too often this leads to a long pause and a variety of rambling excuses.  Be sure you want to leave before you choose to “pull the plug”.  Leaving a firm is a big deal and how you do it makes all the difference in the world.  (more about that in a future post)
  2. What does the new firm offer that I don’t have now?  We all know the phrase “the grass is always greener on the other side” and this has never been more true than in the practice of moving from one firm to another.  Leaving your firm to join another is sometimes akin to seeing an attractive person and wondering what they would be like to talk to or be with.  Personal relationships are very fragile and must be handled with care and the same holds true for work relationships.  Be sure you know what is on the other side of that fence.
  3. How does this move fit into my long-term career path?  Too often people look to move in order to satisfy some short term issues and not to focus upon a long term goal.  Many careers just happen as a result of this type of “knee jerk” movement from one job to another.  Never move from one firm to another without fully considering how this fits into your long term plan.
  4. Who will be my advocate in the new firm?  Being with a firm for some period of time has advantages as well as disadvantages.  One of the distinct advantages is that you end up having advocates in the current firm.  These advocates can be of great help when you need a sounding board or just need someone to talk with.  This doesn’t mean you cannot have the same kind of resources outside the firm, but having them on the inside is always of greater value.
  5. What will I gain in making a move?  Knowing what the new firm offers is just one part of the package.  Knowing what you will lose is also part of the issue.  When you look at both sides of this situation you end up having to decide what you will really gain in making the move.  If there is no net gain, especially in the long term, why move at all?  Too often emotion is part of the reason others move.  They get made about something someone said or something someone else got.  Taking things out of context makes hasty moves more common than they should be.

Five simple things to consider any time you consider moving from one company to another.

I encourage you to weigh each one of these whenever you consider leaving your current role.

You will be glad you did.