By Howard N. Karesh, APR
I’ve learned a great deal while searching for my next full-time role, and I’m pleased to share the following encouragement and guidance to my fellow searchers, at every career point.
- Just because you’ve labored to earn an offer does NOT mean you have to take it. If you decide the opportunity isn’t right for you, decline. It’s scary, and empowering. Also, many search professionals will tell you – and I agree – that if you accept an offer and a better one comes along, take the better offer! Companies won’t hesitate to make changes to their employee count when they need to, so you owe it to yourself to make the best choice for you, even and perhaps especially if it’s your first job.
- It’s perfectly acceptable to make compensation important and a filter for decision-making. If you’ve been at it a few years, taking a big step backwards in compensation, or embracing a comp model whose risk profile doesn’t work for you, can have long-term consequences for you and your family. Conversely, it’s also perfectly acceptable to take a position that gives you the experience you are looking for, even if it means a lateral move with little or even no improvement in compensation. This can be a hard decision – trust your inclination.
- Speaking personally, the moment a company isn’t interested in me, for whatever reason, I change my focus instantly (sometimes that means forcing myself to do so). It’s not a democracy and my opinion no longer matters. So why invest more emotional and intellectual energy in a professional affiliation that isn’t going anywhere? Embrace the sting, and move on.
- If you have a nagging feeling that your resume and LinkedIn profile aren’t telling the story you need them to tell, change them. Ask a friend or colleague to read through them and tell you what they take away; if it’s not what you want, put in the hard work to rewrite your personal branding materials.
- I have had some bizarre experiences – an understatement – while interviewing. If your gut is telling you to run away, trust that instinct. If it’s weird and off while you’re interviewing, imagine what it’s like once no one is trying to sell you on a position.
And the end of the day, the message is this: put in the work to identify and shake loose opportunities that may be right for you, stay strong and follow your gut.
The next great gig is out there! Go get it.
Howard Karesh is a Chicago-based corporate communications leader and consultant; he and Ron worked together at Ketchum from 2006 – 2007. Follow and connect with Howard on LinkedIn for frequent missives on life and business, communications and more. This article is based on a March 28, 2023, LinkedIn post that you can find here.