Note to the Passive Candidate: Don’t Overthink the Process

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Have you ever had this feeling as a candidate? You have had it! You know you are absolutely ready for a job change. Your manager did something to make you so angry you could just scream! You are being asked to do twice as much as you have ever have done before. You are getting the same salary you have had for years. You just don’t feel fulfilled in what you are doing anymore.

If you haven’t had these feelings, you are one of the few. At some point we are just vulnerable. We have, without realizing it, become the passive candidate. Your resume is not updated. You aren’t applying to roles. You are however, voicing how you are discontent you are at your job and people are listening. Then one day you get a call from a recruiter. They catch you at the exact right time! You say, “absolutely I’ll listen”! They tell you about the job and you could not be more excited. You go home and tell your spouse. She says, “It is okay if you listen, but you have a pretty good job”. You go into the interview with the attitude of “What is there to lose”?

The phone interview goes great. They ask you to come into the office for an onsite meeting. You meet the entire team. It is a great fit. Then you go home, not really ready to make an immediate decision, and go on with your day.Then the phone call comes. We are prepared to make an offer to you Mr. Smith. Wait! What just happened? This kind of just fell into your lap. You were not expecting to get an offer so soon. After all, you have been with the same company for 10 years. The offer is great. It is a pay raise. The perks are great. The people are great. Why are you so hesitant? I’ll tell you why. You aren’t ready. You can’t commit to such a major change. As a recruiter, I see this every day. You may feel one of the following:

10 excuses a passive candidate makes when thinking about new opportunites

  1. You haven’t interviewed with other companies
  2. You truly don’t know your value and your worth in the marketplace
  3. Your spouse isn’t 100% on board with a change
  4. You are giving up benefits, time off, and seniority
  5. You are leaving good friends
  6. You are leaving a comfortable environment where you know what people expect
  7. The company is not financially doing as well as it should be doing
  8. The commute is too far
  9. There is too much travel involved
  10. You may feel overwhelmed with the workload they will give you

So after thinking about it and talking it over you decline the offer. You may have made a huge mistake. You may have made the right decision. You may never know.

My advice in this scenario is to go with your gut. If you feel that there are too many doubts or uncertainties, you have to say “No”. There will be other jobs. You can interview other places. After interviewing, you may realize that you have the perfect job for you at that time. Remember, all jobs are temporary. It may be the right fit for you today, but it doesn’t mean you will be there forever. Take some time to think about it. Never feel pressured to make a decision! You will always regret it.

I wish you the best of luck if you encounter this situation.

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