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“Should I consider working for a direct competitor?”

Thursday, February 19, 2015  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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A direct competitor has asked me to consider interviewing for a job that would be a step up. How do I explore this opportunity without adversely affecting my current job?

Before we can even begin discussing this, I need to ask you a few questions:

  • Do you have a personal plan for success at your current organization?
  • Do you know how the organization sees you on the succession plan?
  • Do you know why your eyes are roaming?

Get really clear about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Then, if you still want to entertain the idea of a move — and you are not legally bound by a non-compete clause — there is nothing wrong with having exploratory conversations. In fact, if you are a really good employee (and I mean really good, as in "a star”), you can use this to gently remind your current organization that you want to advance your career.

Simply talking about how the skilled labor shortage is causing head hunters to be more aggressive than ever is a gentle way of reminding your boss that the market sees you as valuable. As a result, your boss (if he or she is smart) will read between the lines and catch a clue.

One last point that is important to remember: Don't ever move for a "position” or for money. Move for the culture and the leader you will be working for. If the culture and the leader are messed up — no matter how big the "step up" will be — you’ll be miserable.

Good luck!

Trudy Bourgeois is happy to answer your career questions. Please email them to NEW Communications & Engagement Manager Barbara Grondin Francella.

Trudy Bourgeois is founder and CEO of 
The Center for Workforce Excellence and NEW Executive Leaders Forum conference designer.

Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.

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