Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Good Job Seeker’s Dilemma

Job seekers oftentimes must make such decisions at some point in their careers:

     ·         Stay at my current company or go to a new one? 
     ·         Which new job offer is the best opportunity for me? 

What to do???

For those of you unemployed and reading this, having trouble getting one good job offer, this might seem like a dream situation.  However, the fact is that for those that find themselves in such a situation, sleepless nights are the norm.

In these cases, whether you employed or not, the situations are actually very similar, with the only difference being whether one of the options is to remain at a current position.

These types of decisions require left-brain/right-brain agility, meaning using some element of logic as well as paying attention to your gut (emotion). 

The financial element is always present, and for some job seekers, the only issue of importance. 

For many though, besides compensation, the company itself and a person’s anticipated fit into the company are equally important.  How the job seeker perceives the environment of the new company and the people they will be working with is oftentimes critical, and this is why the interviews and conversations with potential bosses and/or co-workers are so important when making the decision. 

It is so easy for a candidate to think of the recruitment process as one-directional, trying to convince the employer that you are worth hiring.  However, the other aspect is equally relevant – deciding if the company and specific role is appropriate for you.  So, while the company is trying to make its determination, you should be doing the same.  Identify, even before you visit the company, those issues that are important to you, professional and otherwise, and use your powers of observation from your time at the interviews themselves to glean what you can.  Is the work environment quiet or loud, are people working in groups or alone, is it clean or messy, what is the average age – all of these can be factors depending upon who you are and what you want.  These are not necessarily the types of things that will be clear in interviews, but at some point you generally get the opportunity to see the actual working spaces and sometimes even have the chance to speak with potential colleagues, so take advantage when the situation arises.

In addition, most job candidates don’t make an effort to reach out to people that are working at or have knowledge of the company, instead relying upon impressions from the people they meet as part of the official recruitment process.  However, just as the company asks the job seeker for references, job candidates can also take it upon themselves to use their network of acquaintances together with websites like LinkedIn to research the company itself, and speak to individuals that have an understanding of the employer.

Besides the specific details of the alternatives, there is a big intangible as well.  Something in the DNA of the person that plays a big part in these types of decisions, a person’s ability to accept risk:

·         I have seen a number of times that a person currently working gets a job offer from another company and ultimately decides to stay at their current employer, even when the conditions (financial, professional and otherwise) at the new company were considerably more attractive.  Nonetheless, risk and change can be so undesirable for the individual that they decide to stay with the known and comfortable option.
·         The converse is also true.   Someone jumps to a new company for an extra 500 shekels a month, and quickly learns that the new company is not so stable, finding themselves out of a job in a short period of time.

During your job search, choices are always a positive, but they don’t make things easier for you.  Think carefully, speak with others, and learn as much as you can about the alternatives before making a decision.

I have a dilemma of my own these days.

My team, the Golden State Warriors, is playing in the NBA finals against Cleveland, with their Israeli coach David Blatt. 

I allude to a similar far-fetched situation in a previous article about searching for work, loyalty, and sports: http://jobsearchinisrael.blogspot.co.il/2010/10/loyalty-at-work.html.  Now, amazingly, it has come true.

My childhood (and current) favorite basketball team is playing in the NBA finals against a team with an Israeli connection – whom to root for? 

Because I am getting grief about this from all sides, I feel the need to publically respond. 

I am a big David Blatt fan, and appreciate what he has accomplished throughout his career as a proud Israeli, including leading his team in his first year in the NBA to the finals.  He is the ideal representative of Israel for the sports world in America.  My brain makes a strong case for his team.

However, I simply can’t force myself to do it.  My heart tells me the Warriors, a team that has not won a championship in 40 years, is the only choice for me.  I can hopefully mitigate the potential ill-feelings by others in Israel with this choice by pointing out that the star of my Warriors, Steph Curry, has a Hebrew phrase tattooed on his arm.

Go Warriors!

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