Here you are happy as can be in your current position when out of the blue you get a call from a recruiter (or a friend drops you a line) saying they've got an amazing opportunity for you.You weren't thinking about leaving - you like your job, your boss is a peach and life is running like clockwork. So you might be tempted to turn down the opportunity to go on the interview, after all, you're busy, why waste anyone's time?
Well, there are some great reasons to take the interview, and not all of them center around finding a new job.
1) The Best Laid Plans
As they say, the only thing you can count on is change. One day things are running smoothly at work, and the next day you come in to find your company is being acquired. Or maybe your boss gets promoted or leaves and now your team is learning how to work with a new leader. The new boss may not think as highly of you like the old boss, they may have a style that clashes with yours or they may simply have someone else they want to put in your position. You certainly can't plan for this kind of upheaval.
On the other end of the spectrum, you never know when you might stumble into the job of your dreams. We've all heard the stories of people who reluctantly went on an interview only to find their dream position.
Taking the time to meet for a coffee or lunchtime interview may just be the best thing you can do to maintain control of your destiny.
2) Loyalty Can Be A Slippery Slope
Long gone are the days when a career spanned 25 years and ended with a retirement party and a gold watch. In fact, the new normals for millennials are to spend an average of 2.5 years at any one position.
And even if you do find yourself in a long term position, you might be selling yourself short. Chances are incremental raises and promotions will not carry the same kind of bump in $ a new job will (unless of course you are given a counteroffer). Then too is the reality that there's a limit to how far one can climb at the same firm. While your boss may think highly of you, if you are looking to move into a new area or take on responsibilities that greatly vary from your current position, you might just stand a better chance of being thought of in a new light somewhere new.
And finally, the truth is, when cuts need to be made some companies will look to cut the costliest employees first. If the choice comes down between someone who is working near the top of the pay grade and a newer hire, chances are you very well might be the first on the chopping block.
3) There's No Such Thing As Wasted Time
Just as going on vacation is a great way to re-energize and open new pathways of thinking, so too is talking to other companies.
Gaining insight into how other companies operate and other teams engage can act as jet fuel for your current position. While you're certainly not taking these meetings to spy, you can use it as a window into industry trends.
Information is power, so even if you're not interested in pursuing the opportunity any further, the worst thing that will come of the interview is insights into market trends. It might also highlight just how good you have it at your present job.
4) Stay On Your Toes
You know you should be keeping your resume up to date and your LinkedIn profile current, but if you're not always looking for the next great opportunity, most of us simply won't do it until we need to. But if you wait until you've either left or lost your present position, you're putting yourself at a disadvantage. No one wants to have to do that under duress.
5) Build A Better You
There's nothing like getting out in the world to see yourself in a new light. Even if you get nothing else from an interview, it's an opportunity to test how you rate in the marketplace. Afford yourself the chance to test which of your skills are in demand and which you are lacking. You'll be able to see how the marketplace views you and get a better understanding of your strengths and where you need to learn. Any chance to brush up your interview chops is one you should jump at.
There are however a few words of caution you must keep in mind:
- Don't make phone calls on company time
- Do not use company equipment to make phone calls, send emails, faxes or do research
- Remain focused on your job while you're at work
- If you can avoid it, don't schedule an interview during work hours
- Don't make any mentions on social media
- Don't use current co-workers or colleagues as references
As long as you remember these few rules, we encourage you to take advantage of every interview that comes your way, you never know where it will lead you!
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