Job hunters - maintaining your 'un'common sense, huh?

In the recruiting business our job as recruiters is to understand the motivations of our canididates. Why are they speaking to us? Why are they looking for another job? As a job hunter, it is important for you to take the time to accurately understand the reasons you want to make this change. And in order for us to help you, we have to know these reasons. We don’t live in a black and white world, a lot of factors get in the way of how we feel and the way we think. Uncontrollable external factors make prioritizing and staying true to these motivations uncommon.

I recently placed a candidate in a position with a growing software company. My candidate was active in his job search and towards the end of the search cycle he was presented with two offers, one through me and one not. When I learned of the offer not through me, and the fact that the salary was close to double of what my client was offering, I thought I was definitely back to square one in my search for the perfect candidate. So when my candidate accepted what my client presented, I was surprised, as anyone would be.

Why would a person take a job offer for 50% less salary? At the time I thought, where’s the sense in that? Here’s my candidate’s rationale…

In the high paying job, he would be working alone as an individual contributor, on a team of zero. There would be no guidance, no opportunity for career advancement and no one to work with and learn from. In my candidates eyes he was not ready for this challenge. And not only the risk of failure and a tarnished resume, but also not working with and learning from other people is not worth the amount of money being offered.

This situation reminds me of a quote by motivational speaker Les Brown, it goes “aim for the top, flap your wings now and learn how to fly on your way down” or something like that. Sorry Les, I love watching your videos and all, but in my candidates position, how is he supposed to fly when his egg has barely cracked?

You might read this and think, this guy has no confidence and is just scared. Well, I think not. Self-aware is a better descriptor. He knows he still has learning to do and he knows what kind of structure and people he needs to fulfill his goals. In the lower paying job he would be working alongside a Vice President whose an expert in the field, and a team of smart, successful and established like-minded people.

It takes courage to step back and look at your own career situation, remove the ego component that creates self-image and realize and accept it for what it really is. Knowing what you want, where you are and how to get where you want to go are the questions to ask yourself at the beginning of a job search. Maintaining this ‘un’common sense throughout is crucial now for getting where you want to go soon.

Sharon

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