Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A Great Career Move…What Does That Look Like?

A Job Opportunity or a Career Opportunity?

Every day of my business life for the past 23+ years, I’ve reached out to unsuspecting prospects with the intention of talking to the prospects about one of my client’s job openings.

Notice that I didn't call the job opening an “opportunity” by default.  I don’t know what an opportunity is for another person until I’ve had the chance to get to know that person.  An open job becomes an opportunity for someone when critical components align with the next step in that person’s career development.

I reached out to an unsuspecting prospect recently for a Cyber Security Leadership role I have to fill.  The person’s response was to show initial interest but not to ask about the job and the makeup of the job to determine if the job might be an opportunity.  Instead, he told me that he would need a particular compensation level in order to even consider the job.

Don’t Get Hung Up On Numbers Too Soon

Last week I spoke with a prospect candidate in Sunnyvale, CA who was interested in what I had to offer.  I was recruiting to fill a Director level position in Las Vegas, NV.  It turns out that Las Vegas, the city I was attempting to recruit him to is 43% less expensive to live in than Sunnyvale, CA.  Housing in Las Vegas is 85% less expensive than it is in Sunnyvale, CA. 

The person I was talking to in Sunnyvale, CA was earning $175,000.  Translated to Las Vegas, NV dollars, $175,000 in Sunnyvale, CA is equivalent to $76,319 in Las Vegas.  The great news here is that the position I called this individual about is priced in the mid-$100s with bonus and stock.

There was one more significant issue to consider before we stopped crunching numbers.   On a scale where average city USA is 100 on the scale, housing in Las Vegas currently comes in at 70 while housing in Sunnyvale, CA comes in at 485.  The person who might not be able to buy a home in Sunnyvale most certainly could afford to buy a home in Las Vegas and it would likely be a very nice home.

My point here is that this California resident would receive a huge raise by moving to Las Vegas even if he took the same salary or a lower salary in Las Vegas.  The money part of the equation would work out. I was trying to learn about the prospect's career aspirations so I could determine if my client's open job aligned with this person's idea of a forward / upward career change.

Is It a Great Career Move?

When you consider opportunities that might represent a solid career move, consider the merits of the opportunity long before you consider what the job might pay. Take these thoughts into consideration:
  • Is this role a job change or a career move?
  • What will this role set me up for in 3-5 years?
  • Why is the position open?  Did someone get promoted or did someone leave the company?
  • Is the person I will report to qualified to lead me?
  • Will the person I’ll report to be a strong mentor?
  • Oh, by the way, what does the job pay?

There are many more questions to ask before making a solid career move.  These questions were provided to get you started.'s Security Recruiter Blog