In these circumstances, I do not recommend that a candidate should change their job

Morgan McKinley November 15, 2013 4 mins read

A candidate contacted me several days ago saying that she wanted to change her job. When asking her the reason for doing that, she said that another “hard-working” headhunter keeps trying to persuade her to give up her current job for a higher position and better salary, and she has become somewhat convinced.

I have known her for more than three years, and it was me who recommended her the first job that she has held since then, and I am as familiar as can be with her situation. I told her, quite firmly, that it was not the right time to go job-hopping, and that there are no persuasive reasons for her to change jobs. She joked with me, asking how can you ever be successful in business if you reject candidates who come to you by themselves?

My understanding is, however, that although I need to do business, I will not do so by simply focusing on completing tasks. I want to be a professional consultant who is capable of solving problems for my clients, and providing the right suggestions for my candidates instead of persuading my candidates repeatedly to change jobs. I would like to suggest therefore that under some conditions, candidates should think carefully before job-hopping. For example:

1. A toxic relationship with your boss. I prefer candidates to evaluate the external environment of the company, and whether working for this company can be beneficial for your career development, the acquisition of new skills and building professional credibility.

2. Working less than one year for a company. It looks bad on your CV if you frequently change jobs. You will have to learn new things and adapt to a new environment at the beginning, but you will neither acquire new skills nor show the value of your work if you quit a job too quickly. So don’t be in a hurry to change your job unless you are affected by force majeure (e.g. company closing down, etc.). Every company has its own uniqueness, and advantages for surviving in the market. It is better for you to accept your current situation, and try to adapt to the company’s culture and to learn from its advantages. Compared with frequent job-hopping, isn’t it a better idea for you to think about changing to a better position when you are much more experienced and qualified?

3. Dissatisfaction with position and salary. I always believe that if you have done well enough in your current job and have met the requirements for taking a higher position, most companies will give you a promotion at an appropriate time. In the recruitment market, in order to attract talents for sought-after jobs, companies sometimes will have to offer competitive salaries and high-level positions. But a careful judgment has to be made before you decide whether it is a suitable job for you. During that decision-making process, I think, a “title” should not be your main consideration. You should try to find out whether this new job has wider working responsibilities, whether it will improve your professional skills, what the prospects are for career development in the next three years, etc.

4. It is also not suitable for candidates who are still being trained to change their jobs. You need more time and spirit to adapt to a new job, and during the training, it might be quite difficult to balance work and learning. It might affect your career development negatively if you give up a job in the middle of training and have not received related certifications or acquired certain skills.

Most headhunters are not simply profit-driven. Every day, we deal with candidates and human resources managers. We understand our business from a unique angle of our own with the goal of becoming a trusted partner for our clients and candidates. All headhunters wish to become friends with their candidates. Each professional, in fact, should also have a reliable headhunter friend who can provide the right suggestions for his/her career development at a proper time. I wish I can be that friend for more and more people!

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