Beware when push could become shove
As may be commonly known, we make job moves due to a combination of “push” and “pull” factors. The “pull” factors are the attractions of the new role and the “push” factors are the reasons why we are looking to move from our present employer
My conversations with several candidates during my days at H&S and RRA showed that many of them made a poor job move when the push factors were high, especially when the person was out of work for some time and felt the need to get back into the workforce at the earliest. Therefore, their decision-making was hurried or clouded by emotions and this resulted in a job move that they would not have made in more normal circumstances.
Some of the learnings that could benefit persons who have high push factors are listed below:
Don’t make a “short-term move: Sometimes, one may feel the need to make big compromises and take a new job role as a stop-gap arrangement. This happens more often when the markets are bad and one has been out of work for a long time. However, it is my view that such moves are not worth making since they could have longer term consequences. Firstly, the chances that one will make a success of that stop-gap role are very low because one is constantly looking for a new role and not focused on making a significant contribution to that role. Secondly, it is difficult to justify to the next employer why one is looking for a change so soon, since one certainly cannot say that “I took it up only as a stop-gap measure”. Most importantly, the short-term move will always be on one’s employment record and could come up for discussion at job interviews even a few years later. My recommendation is to be realistic about the new role one could get in that market situation and then work towards getting the best possible role with at least a 3 year time-horizon in view.
Due-diligence on new employer: It is of paramount importance that anyone making a job move must go in with their eyes fully open and this is achieved by asking lots of questions during the interview process as well as by making one’s own investigations with former employees of the new employer, its clients, suppliers, business partners as well as anyone else who could share some valuable perspectives on that organization. Therefore, irrespective of the push factors being high, one must never lose sight of the due-diligence that one needs to do on one’s prospective employer
Maintain focus on career objectives: One’s career objectives are the 5 to 10 broadly defined parameters which one looks for in any job role. When push factors are high, one may fail to evaluate whether the new job role ticks off many of the career-objective boxes or not and therefore, it could be useful to take time out and evaluate to what extent each of the career-objective parameters are likely to be met in the prospective job role
Phone a friend: When push factors are high, our brains may become clouded by our emotions, e.g. a fear that one may be made redundant or fired if one doesn’t quickly make a move. Therefore, our ability to take a cool-headed decision on the prospective job role may be impaired. I therefore recommend that one must speak to a few close friends or mentors who have one’s best interests at heart and will give honest feedback on whether one should take up the prospective job role or not
Be realistic about new job role and compensation: Many prospective employers are very cut-throat when they are making an offer to a job seeker or to someone who they know has very high push factors. Therefore, the designation could be at the same level or a notch lower than one’s previous role or the compensation package could be lower than what one earned at one’s last job role. One may be forced to swallow a lot of pride in order to accept the terms of the new offer. I am of the view that one needs to be realistic about one’s circumstances and may decide to walk away from some offers if the compromise to be made is too large. However, for offers that are in the ball-park of one’s previous role, it may be useful to have a conversation with one’s new boss on how performance is evaluated in that organization and to understand the time-frame within which one could expect to get back to a similar designation or compensation package as one’s previous role. While the new boss would get the message that you are making a compromise by accepting the offer, it would also put a positive spin on the whole thing by focusing on the future and delivering superior performance to overcome the compromise situation
Hope this has been helpful to those of you who are currently in a “job-seeker” status. Would love to receive your comments on the above pointers as well as any other aspects that job-seekers could find useful to make a better decision on their new job role
Feel free to share this on your LinkedIn or Facebook profile or pass it on to anyone who may find this blog useful
You can email me directly at email@example.com as well.