Insight Blog

Keeping an Open Mind in This Active Job Market

If you’ve looked at any job boards lately, you probably noticed the abundance of open roles. When this is the case and talent is limited, it’s referred to as a candidate-driven market. The U.S. has been experiencing this type of market for several years, especially in the sectors that Helbling & Associates specializes in - architecture/engineering/construction, facilities management, and real estate  development.

Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job and engrossed in your current one, don’t be surprised if there’s a role and potential employer out there that would pique your interest. As search consultants, we’ve witnessed this scenario with hundreds of professionals. After all, the whole idea behind utilizing a search firm is to identify, attract, and secure passive candidates - those who aren’t actively looking for new jobs but are open to considering attractive opportunities should they come along.

Most always, our candidates are satisfied at their current organizations and in their roles. When receiving our calls, they either politely decline to continue the conversation, refer us to another colleague who may be interested, or give us a few minutes to describe our client and its opportunity. Regardless of the scenario, what we typically find is that, even though they are happy with what they are doing, they still find themselves naturally pondering the questions of :

  • Is there a better role and cultural fit for me?

  • Can my employer offer the career progression that I want? If not, how can I progress my career?

  • Do I want to do something different?

You may even be asking yourself these questions now.

Look at the upside. If an opportunity presents itself when you aren't looking for one, maybe it was meant to happen and it’s good to keep an open mind. After all, the best time to consider a new job isn’t when you need to do so or when you’re unhappy with your job. Exploring new career opportunities should be exciting and fun. And, you don’t want to feel “under the gun” when making such a significant decision. If you do feel pressured, there’s a greater chance to make a wrong decision.

Being passive to new job opportunities actually puts you in the driver’s seat much more so than when you want or need a new job. You can carefully consider a role and organization, and if it’s really what you want. You know that you are truly interested in a role when you’re pursuing it even though you have a great job already. That’s always a good sign that you’re following your gut instincts.

As we all know, following your gut doesn’t always lead you in the right direction, and this can certainly be the case when considering a new job. That’s why analyzing your motivations and thoroughly evaluating a new opportunity before making the jump are critical to ensuring you’re making the right decision. Consider these questions the next time you find yourself pursuing an opportunity, and you’ll be confident you’re doing the right thing.

The role:

  • What are the responsibilities and challenges of the role? Do they intrigue me?

  • Do I possess the skills that lead to success in the role?

  • Will the role expand my skills and knowledge?

  • What are the short- and long-term expectations of the role? Am I confident that I can develop and implement such initiatives?

  • Will I flourish in the role?

  • Does the opportunity support my long-term career goals? Is it a step in the right direction?

  • How does the role impact the organization? Will I have an opportunity to truly make a difference?

The organization:

  • What are the organization’s values and principles? Do they reflect my own? 

  • What are the organization’s short- and long-term objectives? 

  • What is its corporate culture? Will I like that type of environment? Is it a place I can see myself working? 

  • What are the traits of its successful employees? Are they similar to my own? 

  • What is the immediate supervisor like? Will I be happy working with him/her?

Compensation and Other:

  • Is the compensation package attractive to me? 

  • What are the core benefits (i.e. medical, retirement)? How do they compare to my current ones?

  • Does the company offer other benefits or perks (i.e. tuition reimbursement, child care, flexible schedule) that are valuable to me?

  • Is the commute satisfactory? Are the travel requirements doable?

  • Does the opportunity complement the work/life balance I prefer?

  • Is there any other component to consider?