A smart move – or back into the fire?

Q: I’m going for a job in a company that I regard very highly. However, the position I am chasing is not at the level I would want – or, perhaps more to the point, not in the area of the business I would like. I think this is a philosophical question, as opposed to something harder edged: should I go for the job and take it if I get it just to make my way into the company, or will that go against me somewhere down the line in there? (SC, email).

A: It is indeed a philosophical question and can therefore only be answered in a similar vein. In theory, I don’t have much difficulty with you attempting to take this step to get in the door, if, in so doing, you put yourself in position to capitalise down the line – but only, and this is important, if the value of getting into the company outweighs the value of anything you might achieve working elsewhere.

By that I mean if you’re currently climbing the ladder as a sales manager in your existing employment, I don’t think it would be a clever idea to go into a junior administrator role in the new company. Sometimes we change ladders, but in changing them, we should try to minimise the number of downward steps we take. Getting up the ladder requires effort – don’t shin back down too easily.

What are the benefits?

So, I think the question you need to ask yourself is, what would put you in the best position in three years’ time to get into the actual job you’d like to secure in the company? Can this be best achieved outside the company, continuing as sales manager where you are, for example, or is there a clear, tangible benefit to taking the leap now.

When you study that very closely, and perhaps get advice from some friends or colleagues, you will reach a conclusive answer.

Getting into a company can be overstated: equally, it can be understated.

You also need to think about how your move would be perceived by the company in question. Will they see you as a bit desperate if you come in doing a job that does not suit you and seems to lead you down a blind alley, or will it go down as a mark of enthusiasm, determination and ambition. Again, only you can answer that: but be very rigorous in how you ask the question. Will you be able to tell them what you’re up to?

Think before you act

People leave companies for the wrong reasons all the time. They hop from the frying pan into the fire. Is that what you are thinking about doing? Are you fooling yourself in how you look upon this potential move? Are you being truly honest with yourself?

Again, consider those questions very carefully. The “frying pan to fire” move is all too common, and I look out for it very closely when working with clients at time of change.

So, I’m not giving you answers, in effect. But I hope I am suggesting questions that will help you reach your decision. And, when you’ve made your decision, go for it, and don’t look back: strive to make it the right decision.


Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.

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