Preparing for Unexpected Opportunities Part 2 – Contact

Welcome to episode 54 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two VMware Solution Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we discuss how to prepare for unanticipated career opportunities, part 2.

Original Recording Date: 09-30-2019

  • John’s last day at VMware was 10/4/2019. Listen carefully to his reasons for making a change. Do they sound like advice you’ve heard before?

Topics – Preparing for Unexpected Career Opportunities, Part 2

04:10 – After Initial Contact, A Methodology

  • Go back to part 1 of this series if you missed it.
  • Some basic assumptions
    • A great job at a great company won’t last forever.
    • Most people don’t work for the same company for many years / retire from the company where they started in the work force.
    • Companies get acquired, make acquisitions, and go out of business.
  • Contact was unsolicited
    • Should you respond to every unsolicited request from a recruiter?
    • If you aren’t interested, be honest.
      • John recommends communicating the mismatch, the reasoning behind it, and being polite. Feel free to borrow his script.
        • Offering to pass along solid candidates to the recruiter is a great way to build rapport and will help your network.
      • Politely saying no to someone can actually benefit you in the long run. This could be a chance for the recruiter to recognize talent and dig into what you really want in a new opportunity (at some point). It’s probably best not to offer this information unless you get asked.
      • Should you accept a LinkedIn request from a recruiter, or is that a red flag that you might be looking for work elsewhere? Nick and John weigh in.
    • Is not looking for a new job an advantage when speaking with a recruiter?
      • Absolutely – if you don’t need a job, you begin in a power position and can entertain only things that are interesting.
    • What if you are interested?
      • Things recruiters say to hook you…
        • Perhaps there is a mismatch (a position level seems wildly out of step with where you are now even though the industry may be similar). This could be an opportunity to get feedback on how you’re marketing yourself and how it is perceived by others. John has an interesting example to share.
        • I noticed you’re showing "not interested." Can you share 3 things that would cause you to rethink that and pursue an opportunity elsewhere?
          • This is a blatant Sales tactic. But it’s effective and really makes you think. Would you be able to answer these?
        • Similar industry, similar position, all the right trigger words
        • Each of these scenarios make for an interesting next conversation.
      • Evaluate your own situation so you are ready for these conversations. No one can answer the questions for you.
        • What if you’re looking to do more or less travel?
        • What if you want to move to a different industry?
        • You never know what is possible until you think about it.
        • Maybe it’s a list of 5 things you like about what you do / where you are, 5 things you dislike, and 5 things that are stretch goals.

25:11 – To Tell or Not to Tell Your Boss This Happened

  • Should you tell your boss a recruiter contacted you?
    • It doesn’t seem like there is an advantage to doing so.
    • If you are unhappy in your current position, you should be discussing an improvement to the work environment during 1-1s on a regular basis.
      • If 1-1s are not happening, maybe that’s a red flag.
      • Don’t wait until a recruiter contacts you to say you’re unhappy.
    • If you must make a change due to current life circumstances, there is no advantage to letting your employer know ahead of time. But it is polite to give proper notice once you have a signed offer in hand.
    • Talking with the recruiter could open your eyes to how your current role could change or to something you might like in a new role.
      • Is there a way to incorporate something you heard under your current manager or a new goal you need to set? Bring an interesting idea to your manager based on what you learned.
        • Maybe your current manager can help you get there.
        • Are there projects that would help fill skills gaps in the mean time?
        • Listen to the Jon Hildebrand episode where we found out Jon’s manager saw he needed something different even before he did.

Contact us if you need help on the journey

One Reply to “Preparing for Unexpected Opportunities Part 2 – Contact”

  1. About podcast (54)- Preparing for Unexpected Opportunities, both parts 1 and 2.

    Just a note about companies behave to share their free content, like pdfs, free-online training,…
    They always ask for a work email, so if you just lost your job you can’t use your gmail, msn, hotmail, yahoo… Companies should rethink on this…and maybe linkedin likes should do something to this point…. Even somebody that has a work email, I may not want to have a company sending emails to my work email…what about if I want move jobs… I hope that through your podcast a better alternative can be found for this experience.

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