You are happy with work and you get one of those ‘out of the blue’ calls from a recruiter. Your instinct kicks in and you ask yourself, why you should answer the call?
I know how you feel and I understand. I also share your careful approach but I suggest that you take a more open approach to these calls.
Open Mind = Improved Career Chances
I have a bit of insight and encouragement on why it makes good career sense for a prospective candidate to be a little more open-minded when they get one of these ‘out of the blue’ recruiting calls.
Oh, and if you already know all this, then feel free to forward this to a prospective Career Changer. They will love you for it!
For starters, the best time for a prospective career changer to evaluate an opportunity and company with a clear mind without any negative influences or external pressures is when you have a job.
I guess you know what I refer to – the worst time to go shopping is when you’re hungry. You’re more likely to buy food that you know is not in your best long-term interests. I get the occasional reminder of this when I look at my waist line.
It’s no different when it comes to only talking to recruiters when you are actively looking for a new job.
Recruiters receive gazillions of contacts and calls from candidates who only call when they are in time of need and the recruiters don’t appreciate that either!
I know from personal experience that opportunities appear to be more appealing than they really are when you’re unemployed or currently unsatisfied in your position or company.
When you look into an opportunity when you are happy, then you are more likely to see how the opportunity would positively or negatively impact your career since you are not as pressured as when you are job hunting and your main objective is not just trying to get a new job.
A lot of feedback on social media sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo also highlights the fact that employees are more likely to settle for a lesser position when they’re unhappy than they would have if they were currently content. Desperation most often doesn’t lead to the most considered decision making.
Hold your cards – and leverage
So, my personal recommendation to you is to park your reservations as life is better as a recruited candidate than a job applicant. Why? Because you have the better deck of cards in your hand and you have the leverage when you are approached and referred or recruited by a recruiter.
When someone ‘applies’ for a position, the hiring manager screens and qualifies them since they’re the one looking for a job. When that same person is ‘recruited’, they are the ones conducting the review and qualifying the company and opportunity to determine whether or not it will help them grow professionally. The coin is flipped – the tables are turned. Since they’re happy where they are, if the opportunity doesn’t provide career growth or other substantial benefits, they have the leverage of staying where they are.
Think of this and try to remember if you experienced it in a similar situation, when you were unhappy or looking and ran away from a current situation, being desperate to make a change, resulting in the company you applied to having the leverage – the final word so to speak. In hindsight – not really a smart move?!
So, even if the opportunity provided by that recruiter out of the blue doesn’t entice you enough to move forward, in today’s employment environment and, particularly in the corporate world, the only job security you have is the security you give yourself.
I firmly believe that if you don’t look out for your own career, no one else is going to do it for you. So always remain alert and if you have the opportunity, dig the well before you’re thirsty. Having a connection with a good recruiter who knows you, your background and your career aspirations is one way to do that.
Looking back, my best career changes were in times when I was generally happy and when I was performing well in my role. It was the best time in my career as I was more marketable. It is the best time in anyone’s career to take their successes and accomplishments and test what they’re worth to another employer, whether that’s for a more challenging role, an emerging company, or exposure to a better brand or industry. Take a pick, I am sure you will work it out as the opportunity is explained to you.
Now is the right time – to check …
So, next time the phone rings and you get one of these chatty, friendly recruiters … remember that the best time for you to keep your options open is when you’re satisfied with your current role or job.
After all, you don’t have to consider the recruiter’s opportunity unless it meets the criteria that you have set for yourself. It’s an opportunity on a silver platter and a great time to gain insight without the often unrewarding application and interview process.
Job searching is a FULL TIME JOB and it can also be very stressful. Career Changers who get ahead don’t sit around and wait. They are alert and keep their options open.
So, keep an open mind when the phone rings and always remember to hunt wisely!