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Should I stay or should I go? Evaluating new opportunities

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As a recruiter at Intel, one of the main components of my job is to find experienced and qualified candidates that would have potential interest in the available position we are looking to fill. Many of the people I contact for those positions are rarely looking for a new job, nor have they even thought about leaving their existing employer. However, in some instances, the timing is right when I reach out to them and they then ponder the question: “Hmm, SHOULD I consider working at different company?”

So let me ask you, how long have you been employed at your current company? Five years? 10? 20? Have YOU ever considered working at another company? For some people the thoughts of being employed elsewhere can create an internal dilemma. Most people find staying at one company for most of their career to be easier as it affords them stability. And, quite honestly, we’re creatures of habit; it’s easier to stay with what you know. Plus, you don’t have to think about updating a resume, interviewing, starting all over again in a new environment, etc. However, changing companies for a new opportunity has definite benefits, even if the opportunity you may be considering is a lateral move.

Before I get into this further, let me caveat by saying, there’s nothing wrong with working in one place your entire career; however, there ARE benefits to expanding your career at other companies as well. For example, let’s say you’re a senior software engineer; you’ve been working at your current company for 12 years, straight out of college. All you’ve been exposed to is one company’s culture and philosophy, one way of problem solving, one management style…..you get the idea. When you work at multiple companies, you have the opportunity to be exposed to different software tools, systems, different management styles, a whole new set of challenges and how to resolve them. In essence, you gain multi-dimensional experience and perspective which is valuable to most employers.

If you’re at a crossroad in your current position or career but aren’t quite sure if you’re ready to make the leap, do your homework first and evaluate the pros and cons.

1. Research companies within your field of interest or industry. See how they’re performing and what others are saying about them. Do you want to go to a larger or smaller company? Both have pluses and minuses.

2. Talk to existing employees in the same field as you and get their feedback on some of your target companies.

3. If there are negatives in your current position or company that you would like to change or leave behind, use those areas as your primary baseline when doing research.

4. Based upon your skill set, determine if another company could offer you exposure in an area that you may not get at your existing company.

5. Do a self assessment: Are you sufficiently challenged or just coasting along? Is your career transitioning as you had planned, or, are there other areas you’d like to explore that currently may not be offered to you?

6. Explore the potential drawbacks of leaving your existing company? (401K vesting, stock, promotion)? Is it enough to keep you there or are there other non-tangibles that you would consider of value at another company that would offset potential financial disparity?

It’s a lot to think about, I know. However, if you’re good at what you do, chances are you may receive a call or an email about a new opportunity that you didn’t solicit. Before you politely respond back with “I’m happy where I’m at.” Take a little time and really think about it. Imagine what new possibilities may lie ahead for you before you say no. Remember, “Do what you love, love what you do”.

Don’t want to wait for a call? Go ahead, explore Intel’s career opportunities!