This is why you don’t want to be headhunted accidentally

I was chatting to someone recently and they told me they were moving to a similar role in a new company. (As a former headhunter and a current career coach, people often get talking to me about such things.) I expressed surprise and said I hadn’t realised they were open to a move. The conversation continued like this:

‘Oh well I wasn’t really, but I got headhunted and accidentally said yes.’

‘Tell me more?’

‘Well, I got approached for an opportunity and it was super flattering and I felt like I could do all the things they wanted, so I went for it, and got the job!’

‘Wow, congratulations! Do you want the job?’

‘Um. Well, I have accepted now…’

So, some big ticks. They are:

✓  Being found by headhunters – yay!’

  Having networking conversations with headhunters

  Coming over well at interview

  Cleary a very credible leader in their field.

But I had one big question for them. What’s important in your future career and how does this fit in?

They confessed they’d never really stopped to think about what’s most important to them. They just keep progressing in their field because they can.

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should!

A while ago I worked with another individual who got straight into their specialist field straight from school. They studied and qualified in it and worked up the corporate ladder in it. They shared with me that they can’t think of any periods of happiness in their career, but they were motivated by the money, the peer pressure and family expectations and the increasingly senior title. They kept going on that corporate career elevator until they fell off.

It’s rare that long-term career happiness and fulfilment comes from salary, title and progression alone. In my experience, it comes more from finding your purpose, being excited about your work and getting energy from what you do. Ideally this will also come with the salary you want.

So, before you say ‘yes’ to an opportunity, here are some coaching questions to consider:

  • What are your values and what’s important about the culture of the organisation and the values of your boss?
  • What are your energising strengths and what do you want to spend your time doing?
  • What have your career highlights been so far and what do you want to do more of in your next role?

Use these questions to visualise where you want to be in the future, and to build your list of essential and desirable qualities for your ideal next role.

Then for any opportunity that arises, compare it to your ideal role and ensure it fits. If it doesn’t, don’t feel bad about politely declining the opportunity. Share with the headhunter what would be a great fit, and take a more planned approach to your moves.

Just because you could do a role doesn’t mean you should!

If you want to get clear on your strengths, values or career highlights, head to the Resources section for some helpful coaching exercises to download.

If you would like to work with a coach as you get clear on your ideal career steps, you might be interested in my flagship programme ‘Your personal recruitment coach’.

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