If you have reached the point in your career where you feel that the time has come to consider making a move…then this advice is for you. Explore every possible career opportunity. Explore every opportunity! Take the Interview. Take the shot! Being employed is often the absolute best time to start a search. Why? Because when you are employed, you are in the driver’s seat. You don’t NEED a new job or career path, you want one. You don’t have to settle for the first thing that comes along. You can take the time to really dig through opportunities and explore the market…find the right new company and position that is the right fit for you.
By no means am I suggesting that you should go take an interview at every company that calls you. If you are a skilled Sales Manager in the Building Products industry, and you just received your 4th call of the week to come sell life insurance for a “great” company and make “$100k+”, obviously, this is one you likely pass on.
But if your situation fits the criteria above…you are ready to make a move and/or you find yourself unemployed…you should take a good long look at any serious opportunity that is in your skill / compensation wheelhouse.
The WORST way to decide on a company and a career opportunity is through second hand information. Your co-worker previously worked there and “hated it”. Your friend knows someone who worked at that company and it is “awful”. You looked them up on Glassdoor and “you should stay away from this company”!
***Side note on Glassdoor, or any type of job/company review sites. Understand what you are looking at when you are relying on these sites. ANYONE can post to these sites. Be cautious of the negative reviews. The happy employees are not posting here. Because why would they? They are happy in their job. The bulk of negative reviews on these types of sites come from the disgruntled employee…likely an underachiever, someone that was fired, someone that has an axe to grind. And EVERY company, no matter how great, has disgruntled people. Also, be cautious of the great reviews. Again, anyone can post to this site. A great review can be done by someone inside the company, who wants to trump up their company’s reputation. There is very little authentic information you can gain from these sites. And if you are relying on this second hand, third party information to make your decision to interview, your decision is flawed from the start.
Take the Interview
Why should I invest this hour of time? Here are the benefits of an interview:
- The Opportunity is Amazing! – You invest that hour in the interview only to find out that this company and job are absolutely perfect for you! The role they have open if a perfect fit, it pays more than you thought, the benefits are amazing, and the team you will be working on is incredible.
- The Compensation Package is So Much Better! – You were unsure on the compensation, but find that because you did so well on the interview, there is some flexibility to improve the compensation to better meet your needs. We tend to hear this feedback a lot. A lot of times, a Recruiter or Hiring Manager have a very general conversation about compensation. They don’t want to say too much before the interview, and a lot hinges on experience. And with sales, it takes some time to really learn the commission and bonus package. A lot of time, your success in an interview can determine the ultimate pay. And the final package is often stronger than what was stated in general terms in an initial e-mail conversation.
- There are Other Opportunities at the Same Company, that are an even better fit! – As you suspected, the position is not an ideal fit for you. But, by investing that hour in the meeting, you found out that another position in the company could be an ideal fit for your background and experience. And since you did so well in the initial meeting, that hiring manager is now going to highly recommend you for this other role. And best, this position has been unadvertised, so you would have never known about it had you not invested that hour of time.
- The immediate position is not a fit, but you are on the company’s radar now. – Showing a company your skills, and building a relationship with a respected hiring manager can certainly payoff for you and your career, even if not immediately. There are many times, months after an initial interview, where a client will call us asking if our candidate is still available, as a new position opened up. A good hiring manager will always remember talent!
- The Opportunity is not a fit, and you can cross that off your list. – When the perfect position comes along, and you are ready to accept that position, you don’t have to worry that something better is out there. You can be confident that you are accepting the right position, if you have taken enough time to explore as many other opportunities as possible.
- Any interview you do helps you practice and improve your interviewing skills. – No, you are not looking to take an interview just to brush up on your interview skills. If you are 100% sure you would never take the job, don’t take the interview and waste someone’s time. But, even if it turns out to not be your dream job, you have gotten better at interviewing, and are even more ready to land that dream job when the opportunity comes up!
Take the Shot
We hear people say “I don’t have an hour to spare so I just can’t interview”. Honestly, in your normal day to day life, are you maximizing every hour of every day? We all have an extra hour…spend that hour going out on a limb, meeting new potential employers, and you’ll see all kinds of new pathways to success open up.
An hour of time can be incredibly valuable! This is your career! You don’t want to regret not taking that shot. These days we often spend more time deciding what to binge watch next on Netflix than we do on our next career move. If a company sees something in you, and wants to talk to you about a suitable opportunity, go explore the company and position, even if you “don’t have time”, even if you “don’t feel like it”, even if you “aren’t sure”. That interview isn’t just about the company screening the candidate, it’s about you deciding if this company is the type of place that can make your life better.
As the quote from Wayne Gretsky says: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Take the shot!
By Jason Connors, Co-Founder of AllSearch Professional Staffing – National Search Firm focused on placing skilled Sales Professionals in North America since 2002.