When It’s Time to Move On

“Rob, I wonder if you could talk about development folks making a move to a new organization. What should we consider before signing on to support a mission?”

Before you think about making a move, count “one Mississippi, two Mississippi…”  Has your current position really run its course?  Many have hurt their careers by moving before they should.

There are two occasions when you will have the chance to learn.  One is during the interview itself, when you will be asked, “Do you have any questions of us?” and yes, you do!  But only a couple.  More can be annoying.

The second opportunity is once an offer has been extended to you.  Hands down, this is the best time.  The organization wants you and will be as forthcoming as possible to get you on board.  Ask for a meeting to discuss the offer in person and to go over the questions you have.

There are 7 things you want to know about a potential new job:

Will you and your new boss be a good fit?  All else pales by comparison.  Can you and your prospective new boss have coffee? Take a tour of the organization. What does your gut tell you? Listen to it.

Salary.  Will it be minimum 10% higher than your present salary? A word of caution: Be careful about a salary that is 25% or more above your present compensation.  High salaries come with even higher expectations.

What are the expectations your new boss would have of you, in the first month and in the first year?  Are those realistic?  Look at those expectations with sober, honest eyes.  Walking into ridiculous expectations is the leading cause of failure in a new job.

Can you represent this organization with pride and enthusiasm?  Passion is an overused word.  Will you be proud of your new place?  Can you get revved up about it every day?

How many development staff have left in the last 18 months?

A question to ask of your potential boss: “What upsets you?”

And finally, are the CEO and the Board engaged in making visits and opening doors? Or is that someone else’s (your) job?

As much as you want that new job, make sure it is the right one for you.