Answer: The hiring process can easily take 6-months. Evaluate the benefits of staying with your company and how your earnings and promotional opportunities may improve. Also, family circumstances may dictate you stay where you are. Consider these issues early in the job hunting process; don’t make life-changing decisions under pressure.
- Your current situation may change for the better where you are. Your salary review may occur during the interviewing process. The increase may be significant and the new opportunity will be in a range that is now comparable to current earnings (so taking a new job is not worth the risk.) Or, you may quickly alert the potential new employer of the need for an adjustment and see if that is possible.
- You may be alerted to an internal promotion that is being developed for you. You may be able to adjust your career path in the direction you would like to go within the structure of your current employer. If you are not highly motivated to leave your organization, these developments will be sufficient reason to stay where you are. If that is the case, decide if you should withdraw from consideration and move quickly. Do not risk your reputation as an honest, mature professional by delaying. You may wish to reconnect later. Stay on the best terms.
- Also, the process of thinking about a new situation may trigger discussions within the organization that give you career options you find appealing. If you are a valued employee, this discussion should not happen when you have an offer in hand. It should occur weeks ahead (assuming the discussion can be held without putting your current job at risk.) Otherwise, your only option is to wait for an offer and then decide what to do next.) I do not generally recommend seeking a counter offer.
- On a personal note, your spouse may be offered a promotion where s/he is and that may mean you need to remain with your current employer. Or, you may have family demands that require you put your career plans on hold. Carefully evaluate the financial implications of your partner’s earnings and the implications of a career move. This discussion should occur at the beginning of a job-search process.
- If a relocation is involved, not only is a partner’s career an issue, but family considerations (children in high school) may override the decision to begin a job search and wait until they graduate. Where a family has young children, the network of support (families, relatives and professional childcare) in the community may dictate the decision to stay. Or, instead of a family move, the decision is to commute home on weekends and rent a small apartment near work during the week.