When it rains....
September 30, 2013 6:25 PM   Subscribe

I am not looking for a new job but I got a call from a recruiter. It would be the perfect opportunity if I didn't already have an almost perfect job.

I like almost every aspect of my current job A LOT. My position is giving me lots of opportunities to expand my career, too. Even the sucky days are usually learning opportunities. I am involved and inspired almost every day. It's great!

I recently got a call from a recruiter with a job posting that fits my skill set like a glove. Compensation sounds good too, and the commute would be a big improvement (over the only bad part of my current job...a gross commute). I understand that an onpaper description is one thing and that I would need to do some investigation and interviewing before making a decision.

But as the moment comes for me to send an updated CV and put myself officially in the running, my feet are getting colder and colder. What do I gain from this? I have big qualms about interrupting my current tract. I would so much rather stay where I am, because I am happy enough, than even investigate a place that could be 'better' but might be worse. I know I will reach a day in the future where I do want to look elsewhere, but I am on a good run now, and would love to finish my current project; it would be the biggest thing I could 'boast' about on my CV so far. What 'danger' am I putting myself in, since this is all taking place in Boston biotech, where a lot of people know a lot of other people? What would you do? Is there a right way to handle this?
posted by Tandem Affinity to Work & Money (16 answers total)
But as the moment comes for me to send an updated CV and put myself officially in the running, my feet are getting colder and colder. What do I gain from this?

You don't know. That's why you put in your CV and go find out! The answer may be "nothing" in which case you do nothing, because that is what exploring a job move commits you to: nothing.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:29 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You don't have to apply right now just because the recruiter called you. If you're not interested in making the move, call her back and tell her the timing isn't right, but to keep in touch. (It sounds to me as if the timing isn't right, since you're in the middle of a project that would be a big feather in your cap once you get it done.)

(It's rare to be "involved and inspired" every day at work. Congrats on having an awesome job.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:29 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: p.s. sorry for threadsit, but I forgot to mention this is an agency recruiter rather than the actual firm. I think that is contributing to my cold feet/worries about people knowing each other, etc....
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:35 PM on September 30, 2013

Could you perhaps tell the recruiter that you are about 98% happy where you are right now, and unless this job promises payment in solid gold bullion and lets you work from home and miracles are worked on a regular basis in the office, you're not super interested? I mean...it's a recruiter, not the actual firm. They're fishing for you, but it's not the actual company begging to have you. It's still going to be a lot of work for you to investigate the birds in the bush, and you really just don't sound interested in putting in that work when you're really happy where you are.

Tell 'em to call back in a few years.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:08 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm of the opinion that it never hurts to talk to anyone because who knows, maybe they'll blow you away. However, my tolerance for stupid recruiter tricks drops significantly when employed. So be honest with them to not waste their time but also don't let them waste your time.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:13 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Interview and worry about the decision once you have an offer. The recruiter is trying for a "send in".
posted by oceanjesse at 7:15 PM on September 30, 2013

Best answer: If it's an agency recruiter and you're not really interested then DEFINITELY don't pursue this now, because what if, say, in 8 months you are interested... but they have your resume in their database as submitted by this agency recruiter, with a price tag on it equivalent to 30% of your first year's comp, and their contract with her demands that they not hire you without paying her? They may not even have approved the expense; she may just be hoping to get them to do so by showing them an amazing candidate (you.)

I'd stay where you are and finish your project and then see if you want to do a job search.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:24 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Oh, I don't know how it is in the UK but in the US if you can get a look at the job description, you can usually drop phrases on it into Google and find the actual company with the listing because they usually are too lazy to rewrite it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:51 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Recruiters can be useful and valuable at times but don't imagine they're your friend, you're their product.
posted by sammyo at 8:16 PM on September 30, 2013

In your situation it's probably a good idea to avoid the agency recruiter. If you do want to make that move in the future, you're in a stronger position to apply directly.
posted by Ashlyth at 2:50 AM on October 1, 2013

I don't know how big or gossipy the Boston biotech industry is but, if it's anything like the biotech industry here in Ireland (and by which I mean the whole country and out into Europe, it's very inter-linked), then yeah, people talk.

Which is a good thing in many ways because you should be able to fairly easily find out what the culture etc is really like in the other place you're considering. Also your good reputation will precede you so things like your big project have real value.

But is also bad because if you're officially applying then word can get out about that too pretty easily. I'm one step removed from our biotech industry and I still have stories I can tell you that I maybe shouldn't know. I'm not sure if being a third party recruiter makes this better or worse to be honest (since they're also a bit outside the companies in question so maybe less plugged in to the gossip?).

There is nothing wrong with telling the recruiter you're happy for the time being and sticking with you current position, it sounds like you're in a really good place. But then movement between companies isn't an unusual thing in the biotech sector so I don't think it would be totally weird to go for the new job either. But I'd find out more about the overall culture of gossip etc and think carefully about what kind of risks you may be taking before going for it.
posted by shelleycat at 3:13 AM on October 1, 2013

You are in the best position for negotiation. You do not need the job. Use this time to hone your interview skills. If they extend an improved offer, yay... if they can't improve your situation, then loyalty wins.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:53 AM on October 1, 2013

If the job weren't a step up, I wouldn't bother. But, if it is, you owe it to yourself to at least check it out.

I'm not a fan of working with 3rd party recruiters to be honest. I'm much more interested in working with HR recruiters.

My opinion about jobs is this:

1. I am as loyal as my compensation package.

2. If my happiness depends on my manager, that's pretty precarious.

3. If they decide to go with a new software system, I'm hosed.

So I always have irons in the fire.

Work for YOURSELF, not a company.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:53 AM on October 1, 2013 [4 favorites]

I'd respond: I'm quite happy at my current position, but would be interested in talking to the company. I'd also be really active in trade organizations, software user groups, etc. Meeting people in your field is always a good plan.
posted by theora55 at 10:22 AM on October 1, 2013

Best answer: How much better is the commute. If you drop 1/2hr each way that's like getting an entire work day of extra time each week to work on other things. Which for me anyways would be a very large benefit.
posted by Mitheral at 1:51 PM on October 1, 2013

Best answer: Recruiter with 18 years' experience responding ... (and yes I know we get a bad rap; some deserved and some not)

You are clearly not in the right frame of mind to begin a job search process. Your hesitation is obvious and well-founded. The further along in the interview process that you get, the more angst you will feel and that will become a problem for you AND the recruiter. The bar is already so high for something that might be an improvement over what you have that it's really not worth your time to start.

Speak to the recruiter (email is a shitty way to do this) and say a short and sincere version of what you've written above. Deliver it with calm confidence. Offer a personal email address that the recruiter can use to stay in touch.

What do I gain from this?

Not enough to even start.
posted by John Borrowman at 3:39 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

« Older And that is why they call me Rolf.   |   How often do I HAVE to see my shrink? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.