• Making a career move? What questions should I ask myself first?

    Posted on 13-03-23 by Jack Woolsey

    Matthew Marshall is a Divisional Manager at Clear Edge.  An experienced recruiter, here he shares some valuable points to consider when thinking about making a career move.


    We’re told that changing career can be one of the most stressful things we can do. It could be likened to moving house, getting married or starting a family. I’d argue the latter is infinitely more difficult!

    As an exec search organisation, we have a responsibility to our network to support them as “career managers”, not CV spinners who transactionally reach out to their network with no intention of doing what’s best for both client and candidate.

    It’s challenging to think this way when operating in an industry that is at times seen to be fuelled by targets and commission. That said, most of the career recruiters I have met take a slightly different view on this. If we look after our network now, whether we place them or not, the longer-term partnership with those individuals always pays dividends in the future.

    So, what should you be asking when considering a career change?

    1. Why are we considering a move in the first place?

    2. What is important to me personally and professionally moving forward?

    3. How can I and my employer improve things if I stay?

    4. What will change if I move?

    5. Who would I like to work for and why?

    6. What could I do before engaging with another business / recruitment consultancy to make sure this is the right step for me?

    There is no right or wrong answers to these questions.  What is important is that we are honest with ourselves.

    However, from all the above, point 6 is the most important step that I would encourage everyone to undertake.

    Sitting down with your line manager, exec team or c-suite and asking the questions that are most important to you, will make a difference. Most leaders are good people. Equally, they are busy people, juggling management with their own work which can lead to things being missed. Having an open conversation with them about what’s important to you, could lead to positive steps being put into place that will create a more positive working environment for you. Equally, it could affirm that nothing will change and that a move is the logical next step.

    One final thing we must think about when considering making a move is how much would it cost my current employer to lose me? Be conservative but do consider downtime, up skilling and retraining, recruitment fees, consultancy costings etc. and how will I react when my current employer tries to retain me, once my notice has been handed in?

    Thinking about this at the start of the journey is far more beneficial to you than you might think. By doing so, you remove any emotive response during a counteroffer situation, leaving yourself open to making the best and most pragmatic decision both for you and your career.

    To find out more about how Clear Edge can help you with your career development visit our Candidate page here.

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