Sunday, June 27, 2010


When you talk to anyone trying to make a career change these days it doesn't take long before you realize that while there are lots of the questions being asked, the answers vary all over the lot.

To many of us this comes as a very frustrating and unhappy surprise. This is especially true for those seeking executive level jobs since most come from positions of executive leadership and are very used to asking questions and getting answers that don't start with "well, that depends..."

In short, I think the discomfort comes from the fact that the dynamics of making a career change are, at its core, made up of a process that despite all the hoopla around assessment instruments, interviewing, resumes, etc., based on the subjective judgment of both the executive recruiters and the candidates.

While I don't see anything on the horizon that is going to change this anytime soon, the good news is that with the freedom of expression and access offered up by the Internet, the ability to seek and digest the opinions of many on whatever issue it to which you are seeking (or wishing) there was a definitive answer is only a click away.

What most of us do is check out as many sources as we can before we either run out of the energy to read one more "opinion" on the same subject or come down with carpal tunnel syndrome - whichever occurs first.

So, it was with this in mind that I came across a blog post by Mark James. Mark is a career executive recruiter and executive coach. He also, I am happy to say, has been hosting ExecuNet networking events* in the San Diego and Irvine area for several years so naturally his is one of the blogs I follow.

What caught my attention on this one was the title of the post: How to Make the Right Decision Every Time. Now I wasn't so naive as to really think that Mark had come up with the "universal solvent" when it came to decision making, especially when it came to the managing of careers, but the title certainly got me curious enough to check out the post which, of course, was the purpose of it in the first place.

So, why do I share it here? Answer: Because while it remains only one opinion of many, Mark's post does speak to an issue that in the heat of the job changing process often does not get the attention it deserves - i.e. what to consider when making the call on accepting or rejecting an offer.

Point being, with the pressures created during a job search, it is very easy to say yes for the wrong reasons.

I am not saying that Mark's post will make it easier to make a call, but at the very least it provides a perspective that is not on a lot of the check lists created to give people the "right" answer.

He talks to People, Challenge, Balance and Worth and if you are hoping that your next gig will be "for the duration" these are four things to be thinking about not just when you finally get the offer, but critical criteria in terms of what you are seeking.

His arguments are pretty persuasive.

* Meetings around the country and in Canada are open to anyone. More info here.

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