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Pachter's Pointers:
Business Etiquette Tips & Career Suggestions


9.18.2013

Nice Offer… But I Wasn’t Looking for a New Job


I have blogged often about how to conduct a job search. Lately, however, I have been asked an interesting related question: If you receive an unsolicited job offer when you are not in an active search, how do you decide whether to accept the new position?

Consider these individuals and what I call their “good problems”:

• One young woman who works for a large financial company was asked to return to a similar position in her previous department, but with more responsibility.
• A sales consultant was asked to relocate to a similar position in a larger division of his company.
• An account executive was approached by a former colleague to join her new company.

All three of these business professionals were happy in their current positions, and had planned to stay in them for the foreseeable future. It is flattering to receive a job offer, but before you make the often-difficult decision on whether to accept a new position, you need to consider the following:

1. Who will be your boss? Do you know/trust/respect this person? Does this person have your best interests at heart? Do you want to work for this person?

2. What kind of work will you be doing? Are you interested in doing this particular job? Will you gain new skills or valuable experience? Will this position help you achieve your career goals? Consider your answers carefully as you decide.

3. Will there be a significant salary increase? Salary isn’t the only consideration, but it can be an important one. Does the salary justify the risk of leaving your current position? Also, if the potential new job involves leaving a company, your current employer may offer to match the new salary. Would this affect your decision?

4. Are there others you can consult? Don’t go overboard, but check with a few trusted advisors and mentors. It’s your decision, but they may provide valuable insights.

5. Will there be any negative ramifications? Will you be burning bridges? Will your current boss hold your departure against you? If so, will this matter?

If you decline the new offer, you don’t need to tell anyone. If you decide to leave your current position, tell those who need to know (boss, coworkers, customers, etc) as soon as necessary.

Years ago I was in a similar position as the above account executive. It was a difficult decision for me, but I chose to move to the new company because I would be working for a brilliant, experienced woman. Over twenty years later, she is still an important mentor in my life. Clearly, leaving my old position was the right decision for me.

Additional career information can be found in my new book, The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success (McGraw Hill).

Pachter & Associates provides seminars and coaching on business etiquette, career development and communication. Contact Joyce Hoff at 856.751.6141 or Joyce@pachter.com for more information.

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