Career / Personal Development
It’s a decidedly different job market for technology professionals than it was even two years ago and many tech pros may find themselves evaluating several different job offers at a given time.
If you find yourself in a position to consider a single new job offer or several offers at a time, or even consider a job change to begin with, you should be thinking strategically, not tactically.
Consider your long term objectives and what sustains your interest in your work. This is not the time to make decisions solely based on a 5% or even a 20% jump in salary. If you love what you do and you follow your instincts, the money will follow, as well.
Keep in mind the following as you evaluate your options:
- Consider how you manage your search: Keep a spread sheet that tracks where your resume was sent, whom you met with, whom you are networking with. You are not a commodity, you are a person and should both expect and display common courtesies when interviewing such as….
- Have a mentor: Have someone on the “outside” to help you navigate the waters. They can offer objective perspective and guidance and prompt you with the right questions to help you get at the things that are really most important to you.
- Consider opportunities with companies that offer professional development, ongoing training and advancement. Most companies offer tuition reimbursement but a few offer structured in-house training programs. Most tech folks are motivated by learning new technologies since hot tech skills often mean higher salaries and increased marketability. The ability to learn a new development language or attain professional certifications are benefits that have lasting implications on one’s career.
- Consider whether the new position is in an industry that really interests you. Changing jobs too frequently can be a career killer; you need to be able to commit to at least one year after taking on a new job. Hiring managers often refer to job hoppers as “flight risks” and want to hire a candidate who will be with them for the long term.
- Ask tough questions: It is perfectly appropriate to ask potential employers questions about why a position is open or to describe the corporate culture. Answers to these kinds of questions can really deliver valuable insight that can help you make the right decisions for you.
- Ask to meet with other members of your potential team and look online at sites such as glassdoor.com and LinkedIn for candid insight into a company or a department that you might not get from a traditional interview setting.
- Think carefully about commute. Most candidates cite a long commute as a deal breaker when considering opportunities. Think it’s not a big deal and that you can handle it? We suggest a couple of dry runs in rush hour to make sure.
- Don’t forget about your benefits…. Nothing is more disheartening to a new employee than finding out that their salary increase will be eaten away by increased benefits costs. Health benefits, vacation, telecommuting, and 401K matching plans are often overlooked by job seekers. Make sure you know what your out of pocket costs will be before you accept that new job.
Making the wrong career move can age you 20 years in six months. Think beyond the money. Think about the last time you were inspired or proud to be a part of a really great team. What inspired you to come to work every day? Once you have a handle on those all-important aspects of the job, you can be better focused to seek out those same qualities in a new position.
Kathy Harris is a Managing Director with Harris Allied. With a focus on Technology and Quant Analyst recruitment, her expertise is the recruiting and placement of professionals for corporate growth initiatives. Her expertise in the convergence of technology and the business makes her uniquely qualified in a constantly evolving industry. She is regarded as a consummate professional who consistently delivers great results to clients while maintaining discretion, judgment and integrity throughout the search process.
Growing up in a family where her engineer father, among other things, evaluated emerging computer technologies for IBM, and a brother who is now a Senior Project Manager at Harvard University, dinner table conversation was both creative and visionary. This fueled her passion for the practical application of technology to solve business problems and the people who solve them.
A graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, where she received a BS in Psychology, Kathy’s first position was as a placement counselor for a staffing firm. After a few years, Kathy was recruited by Huntington Learning Centers, the first tutoring center for children in the country, and worked directly for Eileen Huntington. From there she was asked to run the Admissions Department of a technical school.
After senior positions with the Solomon-Page Group and Robert Half International, Kathy was recruited by Liquidnet, a premier institutional investment network that facilitates institutional equities trading for asset management firms worldwide.
Kathy has been the recipient of several awards, including Chairman's Club Winner for IT Search based on revenue growth, and the President's Club Winner for her individual contribution for IT search based on billings. She is also actively involved in the NY Chapter of the Children's Miracle Network and Women's Breast and Health Initiative.
Contact Kathy Harris : email@example.com; www.harrisallied.com; http://www.youtube.com/harrisallied
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