JOB HUNTING AND CAREER TIPS

Is it OK to leave new job if better offer comes along?

By Kathleen Furore and Tribune Content Agency, Careers Now

DEAR READERS: Job hunting is a challenge: You interview for a few jobs and don't get an offer from your first choice, so you accept a position with another company and start your new job. And then you get an offer for that job you really wanted in the first place! What should you do? Take it. That's the short answer from career experts I consulted.

"If your dream-come-true company just called with a job offer or an invitation to an interview, pop the Champagne and celebrate," says Maciej Duszynski, a career expert at Zety (zety.com). "Why? Most people do not love their work. Some may tolerate it, but only a small minority get to do the job they are truly passionate about."
 
It's not only the best option for you -- it's best for the company you want to leave, too, according to Fiona Arnold, a career coach and current director of Red Crest Careers (redcrestcareers.com).

"This is because the discontentment at knowing that you are settling for less in your current position is likely to lower morale and performance, particularly during the most difficult periods of a current job," says Arnold, who has over 20 years of experience in HR and recruitment in the U.S. and the UK. "It is therefore in the best interests of both the employee and the employer that the employee seeks new pastures in this instance."

And according to Duszynski, it might not come as a complete surprise to the new employer.
"Most HR managers have this option counted into their hiring risks. Guess what? Companies do the same thing; this is what the employees' trial periods are for," Duszynski points out.

The key, he adds, is to leave with class.

In a perfect world, the employer (or your recruiter, if you've worked with one) knew you were exploring other options.

"The employee should be completely transparent about the other options on the table, ideally before employment takes place," Arnold says. "Employers will respect this honesty far more than an out-of-the blue resignation, and it will help them make contingency plans."

Of course, that probably isn't the situation in most cases. But whatever the situation, the key is to let the employer or recruiter know you want out quickly in a constructive and respectful way, Duszynski says.

"Demonstrating your superiority or nonchalance towards a rejected job and an employer is unacceptable, and it may backfire at you when you're looking for a job in the future," he says. "Also remember to thank them for the opportunity and for the fact that you have been trusted as a candidate -- this will soften the message and show your class."

(Kathleen Furore is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has covered personal finance and other business-related topics for a variety of trade and consumer publications. You can email her your career questions at kfurore@yahoo.com.)

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