Every now and then along comes a career opportunity you weren’t expecting. It’s exciting! It’s flattering. It’s an OMG moment as you realise that this is serious and you have to make a decision quickly!!!!

Headhunting is a common recruitment method. The more experience you gain and the more successes you have, the more likely you are to be noticed by other companies. LinkedIn is a perfect scoping ground for recruiters to locate ideal candidates and approach them with an alternate employment offer. In fact the power of social media to showcase our employment history has taken the stress of job hunting away for many job seekers and the ambitious looking to build their careers. Those of you who are savvy at building personal online profiles can attract the attention of job recruiting agencies. And by turning the tables and becoming the hunted you eliminate the strain of writing cover letters, distributing resumes and preparing for interview after interview, after interview. Now doesn’t that sound nice?

As with all things, there are pros and cons that need to be considered. While the recruiter who is actively chasing you is convinced you are the perfect candidate for them, do you feel the same way? The recruiter has obviously had time to think about how great a match the two of you make, but you are still reeling from being caught off guard. And this is the danger moment, when you can get swept up in the excitement and romance of an unexpected job offer and make a hasty decision that winds up being the wrong decision…for you! So stop, breath and allow yourself the time to make the right decision. If they really want you to work for them, they will afford you the time you need to make a considered and informed decision.

To properly assess a job offer, you need to know if it aligns with your career path. And there is only one way to figure this out; research, research, research. You need to know if the job offered will provide opportunities to advance your knowledge and skill set, opportunities that are not presently being offered by your current employer. You may choose to undertake online research, speak with industry contacts and ask questions, a lot of questions, of your potential employer. And not just about the position. You want to know if you will be walking into a culture that suits you. You need to know if the management style of your direct report fits your working style. How much room is there to grow in the role and in the company? And how stable is this organisation? If you’re to walk out of long held position that you have excelled within to start afresh in a new organisation, the reasons need to be compelling.

The one benefit of an attempt to poach your services is that it forces you to assess where you are at in your career and if you are happily positioned to achieve your occupational goals. You may find yourself asking such questions as whether or not you are still being challenged in your current role. Are you learning or have you plateaued in your current workplace? What will you be giving up? What will you be gaining? Is the timing right? Perhaps not immediately, but in a few months…maybe you have to take the leap slightly sooner than expected. Yet maybe you discover that you really enjoy your role and that there is still much to gain with your current employer. Why then would you consider another role? What will it take to get you to jump ship? In the face of hesitation, this is the key question the headhunter will be asking. What will be your response?

Being offered a job role that you didn’t apply for is a huge compliment. And yes, it may have you swanning around in the clouds for a moment, but it is not a hoax and as such needs careful and considered evaluation. Certainly you should investigate the offer from all angles, but if you are still unable to conclusively decide what to do, then listen to your gut. Push aside the novelty of the initial offer and trust in your instincts. If at the very least you only gain a greater understanding of your market worth, it has been a valuable exercise to undertake. And that may be enough for you to begin a conversation with your current employer to enlighten them as to your true worth too.

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