A 5-point assessment to help navigate a career crossroads

Editor’s Notice: Every week Maynard Webb, former CEO of LiveOps and the previous COO of eBay, will supply candid, sensible, and typically stunning recommendation to entrepreneurs and founders. To submit a query, write to Webb at dearfounder@fastcompany.com.

Q. I’ve been approached by a firm with a nice new alternative. I’m at a nice firm already. What ought to I do? 

-Senior exec deciding whether or not to keep or go


Pricey Senior Exec,

Because the pandemic begins to ease and issues have modified with work and households, it seems that a lot of career motion is starting to occur.

I’m an advocate for gaining as a lot data as attainable about all of your choices. This consists of actually assessing the place you’re and discovering out all the things about the place you would possibly go.

  1. Know the place you stand. If you’re in a nice firm and have a good job you first ought to decide your prospects at this firm. It’s attainable you recognize this already. If not, discover out via asking a collection of questions. You may ask issues like, The place do you see me in 5 years? What is perhaps the potential position or roles? How can I’ve a long-distinguished career right here? What do I would like to work on? By asking questions like this, you aren’t making calls for however studying the place you stand and what’s attainable.  It’s important to know this whether or not you’re weighing a suggestion from one other firm or not. In the event you resolve to take one other job, you’ll quickly learn the way a lot your organization likes you. Will they do all the things to prevent and supply extra money and one other position or will they thanks and want you properly? It’s all the time higher to know the place you’re earlier than you strive to resign and discover out. 
  2. Weigh the brand new alternative. What are the prospects on the firm you’re contemplating? What is going to they rent you to do? The place will this job lead? How a lot are you able to personally contribute? Typically good executives at one firm are recruited to be prime executives at one other firm, however that firm might not have the identical long-term potential. What are the corporate’s strengths and weaknesses? Take into account all of the elements. What’s the stature of the corporate? Many individuals are drawn to becoming a member of pre-IPO firms, however not each firm on the IPO path has a profitable providing or finally ends up being a transformational enduring firm. You may nonetheless do very properly in public firms. Additionally, asses the expertise that’s there. Who will you be working with? What’s the tradition—what does it really feel like inside? How a lot do they emphasize innovation? How a lot enjoyable will you’ve got?
  3. Determine what you need going into any discussions about leaving. These conditions create anxiousness for you and the corporate. I’ve seen a lot of people that thought of leaving find yourself changing into retained. The corporate may struggle for you and throw issues out to strive to get you to keep—it could cash, or guilt, or love, so it’s necessary to take into consideration what you need earlier than somebody tries to flip it round. When you have actually determined to go away it’s finest to make it clear that you’re not searching for them to discover a method to have you ever keep; don’t open the door for a counteroffer. Be gracious and thank them for being an necessary a part of your career and journey and ask how to help make a easy transition for everybody. 
  4. Dwell up to your commitments. Suppose lengthy and exhausting earlier than saying sure to a suggestion from one other firm however when you do, typically you need to dwell up to that. In the event you dedicated and don’t go that leaves a unhealthy style with the corporate that made the supply. It additionally requires that you just rebuild belief on the firm the place you determined to keep as a result of they know you have been wanting to go away. (That mentioned, issues are very completely different than once I began my career and the thought of loyalty to a firm has modified as expertise is extra within the driver’s seat than the employer. Individuals not get fired for different job alternatives and employers perceive that people are those in charge of their careers.)
  5. In the event you make a mistake, typically it may be corrected. In my trade we have now individuals who go away and discover the brand new alternative isn’t all that they hoped and so they return to the corporate they left, which is commonly comfortable to have them come again. We name them boomerangs. If it’s all actually about expertise for firms—which it has to be—firms ought to struggle exhausting not to let somebody nice go, and they need to even be keen and delighted to have them return. 

Lastly, each individual wants to handle their career and selections properly and totally. It’s in your arms to resolve the trail that’s finest. It’s up to you to resolve the place you may be most fulfilled and sure to develop your potential.